Posts Tagged ‘change’

Sometimes a single sentence like the one from yesterday’s post says it all. Other times a single sentence can mean something different to each reader. In this case the sentence needs further explanation.

Here’s the sentence: What we give to the Lord opens the way for us to receive from Him.

Some might think this means the more I do for God the more He’ll do for me. I strongly disagree with that. God doesn’t have favorites and He can’t be manipulated, not to mention the question of motive. You could also read this from a monetary viewpoint and while scripture is clear that you can’t out give God, manipulation and motivation can be heavily at play here too.

What I’m trying to say in this statement is that we get to be part of the process together with God and to a large degree allow Him to mold us, make us, change us, heal us, grow us and so much more. You see, as we give more and more of our lives to Him we become more and more able to receive.

What God has for us is so much better than what we try to force ourselves. I heard a couple fantastic stories today that really demonstrated this. Folks who knew that change was coming and who were faithfully patient not to rush into the first thing that came along. They avoided multiple maybes along the way so that when the for sure came along, they were totally prepared. And in each case what God had for them far exceeded even their grandest dream. He has that for you too, hang in there.

God’s not asking for us to change the way we act, he has so much more for us than that. He wants to heal our broken hearts, comfort us in difficult times, rejoice with us in good times and be our constant companion. He wants us to not only know but to experience the power of His perfect love for us. He wants His unique love for each of us to wipe away our insecurities and fill us to the point that we’re gushing over, pouring Him on those He puts around us.

Hiding our shortcomings, our struggles, our insecurities or our fears only gives them power over us. Bringing them into the open, sharing them with someone you trust and who is not afraid to be honest about their’s weakens the hold they have and is the beginning of true change.

There are times when life can be completely overwhelming, we feel like we couldn’t do anything right if our life depended on it, we may be isolated, afraid and full of doubt and the last thing that comes to mind is being thankful. But that’s exactly what we need to do. Even if we can only find one thing to truly be grateful for, it can be the thing that opens the door to hope. With God there is always hope and through hope comes change. Change in our outlook and change in our circumstance.

As we grow in intimacy with God we learn to be ready to hear from Him at any time. He will seldom lay out the schedule for us. We have to be ready and willing to make changes in order to be used by Him. The adjustments will almost always involve people. God is way less concerned with tasks, plans and programs than He is with people. His heart is always for us and we need to forever keep that in mind. We want to look at every encounter with the folks around us as an opportunity to help them get a little closer to God. Let’s keep our hearts and eyes open to those things that seem like interruptions so we don’t miss the chance to join God in touching someone.

Here’s another one you won’t hear from our God. Not only is God not into acting at all He’s also not about conformity or falling into line. It’s true that the closer we get to Him, the more like Him we’ll become but not so that we become just like each other. We are all so unique that even the characteristics we’re told will result from His presence (love, joy, peace…) will not look the same in each of us. God is also not into acting in fact He’s denounced it on many occasions. God is not asking us to replace bad behavior with good behavior, He’s offering us the opportunity to replace emptiness with Himself.

Then we can see God’s power working in us and through us. And what will be seen is love. Love is the anti self. I would define love as when you care more about someone than you do yourself. Jesus says love is the first and only commandment that all the law and prophets hang on this one thing. Love by nature is sacrificial. Christ’s example of love was sacrifice. Scripture says we are to die to self. When we come to understand this simple truth the results are astounding. Not only do we join God in changing the world, we are changed into His likeness and the futile pursuit of emptiness is replaced with the peace and fulfillment that only a life with Him can bring.

Another area that we have a lot of trouble trusting God with is that He’s at work in those around us too. Why are we so quick to anger over other’s shortcomings? Why are we intolerant of those that are different than we are? Why are other people’s sins so much easier to talk about? Do we think the best of everyone first? Do we try to understand what might be going on in someone’s life before making a judgment based on what we are seeing in a particular moment or even season? Does doing these things make us feel better about ourselves or maybe even deflect attention from what might need to change in us?

With God there can be freshness to each moment. He makes all things new doesn’t mean one and done, it means even the things already changed are in the process of transformation. Understanding this allows us to avoid the ruts in life, gives us more compassion for the world and provides an appreciation for what is going on whether seen or unseen. Our frustrations can diminish and we get to come along folks and change together.