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When Change is for Good

Monday, April 19, 2010

Category: Change

Have you ever wanted to ask, ‘what exactly does God want from me?’

I think that’s a fair question. He wants the same thing from you that He does from all the universe—He wants to bring glory to Himself. Just look at Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).  The same goes for the people He created.  Isaiah 43:7 makes that clear: “I have created [you] for My glory; I have formed [you], yes, I have made [you]”

Of course, everyone on the earth doesn’t bring glory to God, just the people that He has converted. “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world . . . that we . . . should be to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:4, 12).

The glory of God is what emanates from Him. As light is to bulb, as heat is to fire, as wet is to water, so glory is what emanates from the presence of God. No one has ever seen God (John 1:18), but where He is, His glory is displayed.

Now here’s the point: God wants to bring glory to Himself and display Himself through you. In fact, He wants to do it even in the most mundane things that you do. “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If you’re a mom, understand that in every task—even the common and the repetitive—Almighty God wants to display His presence through the way that you do it. If you’re a factory worker or a medical doctor or a salesclerk or an astronaut, the truth remains the same: God wants to display His glory through you. Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit . . . ? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

Now I’ve hit the bull’s-eye as to why you are here. The reason is because God wants to display His power and splendor through your life, and if you realize that you are not doing it very well, then you truly understand why He wants to change you. He wants to get you to the place where no matter what happens to you or what you go through, you trust Him and follow Him and are committed wholly to His goodness. And so He’s coming after you, and He’s trying to change you. That process is called sanctification.

If you’re still struggling to picture what God wants to change you into, just think of Jesus Christ. He models who we are to become. That’s why Jesus just didn’t drop down to spend three days on the earth, die for our sins, and rise again. Peter wrote, “Christ . . . [left] us an example, that [we] should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). The essence of Christianity is to be like Jesus Christ, so that when people see you, they see the joy and the surpassing victory and the gentle graciousness of Christ. That’s what God’s trying to do. He’s trying to make all His children like Jesus.

When you first realize that life after conversion is all about being changed, it can be a bit overwhelming. You may feel like, “Can’t I just go to heaven? This is like way too much for me. I just wanted the fire insurance. I don’t want all this heavy stuff—it hurts and it’s hard, this change stuff. Can’t I just be forgiven?”

Everyone whom God makes one of His own children—everyone who comes to Jesus Christ for salvation—is in the process of being made holy. If God is not changing you, you have to honestly ask, “Have I ever really converted?” To put it another way, “If your faith isn’t changing you, it hasn’t saved you.” The people who really have the new birth—the people who really have that conversion experience—are changing.

Think about this personal inventory:

  1. How have I grown in my relationship with the Lord in the last six months?
  2. What have I been praying about lately?  What change would I like to see God make in me?
  3. In what areas have my desire to trust and obey the Lord increased?

Are these difficult questions to answer?  Tell the Lord about it.  Ask Him where He would like to transform you to be more like His Son. And then cooperate!

“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ,” Paul wrote (Philippians 1:6). It’s not like God dropped down into your life and forgave you and then went on to somebody else. When He dropped down into your life, He came to stay. The day you converted, God started something and He’s not stopping it until the very last day that you’re on this earth. Transformation is a process, producing holiness in your life.  Even today.

To all in the Chicago area: If you are interested in hearing more from Pastor James on how you can experience godly, lasting change, come to Walk in the Word’s I Really Want to Change . . . So Help Me, God seminar, meeting for 5 consecutive Mondays beginning January 6 at Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois.  Follow this link for more information.

 

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