Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Time For A Change?

Dear Friends,

God told me I needed to change my personality. I know He's right and this will be welcome news to everyone who knows me but just how do I do that? How do I change something that is intrinsic to my very existence? Something so ingrained, it defines who I am? How do I change habits formed over a lifetime? Is God asking me to do the impossible?

Have you ever struggled to change something about yourself and wound up frustrated and defeated? You try and try and after a while maybe there was a small change. Perhaps you gained a partial victory over that old habit or personality quirk and then found yourself slipping and sliding right back to where you'd been. Maybe you gave up because whatever you were trying to change was just so much a part of you that you felt hopelessly stuck.

Sometimes a desire to change comes from our own self-examination and sometimes it comes from the influence of a spouse, another loved one or perhaps from a pastor or doctor who has our best interests at heart. But the most powerful desire to change comes from a conviction by the Holy Spirit. And when God’s the One directing you to make the change, He provides the Holy Spirit power to enable you to do so.

If the father shows his little daughter a footpath through the woods and tells her to stay on the path until she reaches her destination, her reaction may be fear and uncertainty. But when the father takes his daughter's hand and says, “Lets take this path together,” she knows they will reach their destination safely and successfully because of the faith and trust she has in her father. And when our conviction to change comes from God, He takes our hand and says, “Let’s walk this path together.”

Okay, I know what some of you cynics are thinking: "Yeah well.. I'm too old, worn out and too tired to change. Besides I've tried to change this one thing before and I've given up." 

Here's a Kingdom Principle: if you ain't dead, you ain't done. If you’re not dead yet, that can mean only one thing. It means that God’s not finished with you on Earth. When God is finished with you, He's going to take you to heaven. But if your body is still on this side of the dirt, you're not done. And until God is finished with you – until you're done – you can change. But authentic, efficacious and permanent change can only happen in the presence of God. “People make plans in their minds, but only the Lord can make them come true.” [Proverbs 16:1]

Years ago, as a counseling pastor, I saw how the degree of success a person had in making lifestyle changes was directly related to how much of God they had allowed into their lives. That’s why we need to invite God to rule and reign over our life. If you haven’t done that, it’s most likely because you like to be the one in control. The choice is your’s. You can maintain control over your life or give that control to God. And, yes it takes faith to give yourself completely to God and admit that He can do a better job with your life than you can!

We love it when God speaks to us. We covet those times when the Holy Spirit is leading us. We get truly excited when we see something good in our life that just happened and see God's fingerprints all over it. Indeed, we are God’s “work in progress” as He helps us shed the old and put on the new.

There are still some things that God wants to do in your life. Some changes He wants to make. Some refinements He wants to do. God's been wanting to get His hands on some of you for awhile now and you've been moving through life just out of His reach. Is it time to invite Him in to do the spiritual surgery needed to bring the changes you desire?

When we come into His presence, He forms us, transforms us and conforms us into the image and likeness of His Son Jesus!  Dear Lord, I surrender and submit myself to You, asking that You help me with all that which needs to be changed. The desire of my heart is to be a vessel of honor, sanctified, fitting for the Master’s use, and prepared for every good work. Amen.

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