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Do You Know What Needs to Change?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

 2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let that steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. — james 1:2-6

 God is passionate about making you more and more like His Son, but you must be fully committed to His transformation program. As we’ve been learning,  that can only happen if you permit God to get specific about the areas of your life that are in need of change. Only then will you experience the life-changing power of the cross.

For many years, I have made it a habit when talking to Christians to ask, “So what’s God working on in your life these days?” Pastors can get away with asking stuff like that, and when I do, I get three main responses: 

  1. The generic answer. It goes something like this: “He’s teaching me to love Him more,” or, “I need to trust Him more,” or, “I need to serve Him better.”  It’s the vague, Christianese kind of answer, and it makes me wonder, “Do you even have an answer?”
  2. The evasive answer. That’s pretty common when I don’t know the person as well. I say, “Hey! What’s God working on in your life?” And they respond, “Well, um . . . you know, I’ve never really had anybody ask me something, you know, quite that specific. It’s really kind of, um . . . personal, you know, to talk about what’s going on in my own life. I don’t think I’m going to answer that.”
  3. The no-answer answer. Some people just don’t answer the question. I ask, “What’s something specific that God is challenging you about these days?”  And they answer, “I . . . I . . . um . . . I . . . um . . . don’t think the Bulls have a chance this year.” They’re practicing the not-so-subtle subject change.

This brings us to the third critical step in the process of biblical change: Isolate your own areas of need. Every follower of Jesus should be able to articulate at least two or three things that God is trying to change in them—can you? You should have them on the tip of your tongue.

Do you remember the old gospel song, popularized by Bill Gaither, “He’s Still Working on Me”? Every time I hear that now I want to shout, “What?! What’s He working on?!” Unless you can answer that question with certainty, you won’t make a lot of progress. — James MacDonald

Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for always “working on me.” Grant me the strength and desire to honestly want to change. I want the world to see only You in me, and that will only happen as I submit myself to You completely. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal:

  • What are two or three things I know the Lord is “working on?”
  • Am I truly willing and wanting to change?
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