“He who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!” (1 Samuel 15:29 NLT)
On some levels it seems odd that our unchanging God created us, not only with the capacity to change, but with the necessity of change. When Adam and Eve sinned, they set in motion a destructive cyclone that has literally changed the complexion of creation. No one, not even Jesus, has gone unaffected by sin’s rampage.
While Jesus never yielded to sin’s subversive tactics or control, He nonetheless underwent an amazing and miraculous change in order to become our flesh and blood Savior. John said it this way in John 1:14: “So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
What prompted Jesus’ willingness to leave the splendor and majesty of heaven to come to live with us? What was so urgent, so vital, so demanding, that God Himself would choose to come to earth, not only to live among us, but to offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sin? What are so many among us, not only now, but across the centuries, missing?
It occurs to me that only the illumination of Jesus’ perfection can penetrate the barriers of darkness sin has erected in our hearts and minds; only the passion of our Savior can break loose the strongholds Satan has built for the express purpose of preventing the Spirit’s light from breaking through to us; only by grace can we find, not only the desire, but the strength to change.
The shackles of sin hold us fast, paralyzed by our inability to escape, frozen in our fear, incapable of change that could qualify us for anything good, let alone prepare us for a relationship with the living God and His holy heaven.
The irony to me is, the choice to change isn’t even ours to make unless and until we see ourselves in proper perspective to the only One whose opinion of us matters. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:8-9: “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
Seeing our need to repent – to turn from our sinfulness and shame – and embracing the Light of Jesus’ loving forgiveness, isn’t something about which we can brag and pretend it had anything to do with our own goodness. We have none. It’s all and only the gift of our perfect Provider, the Lord Jesus.
Once we see our need to change, the next step is to place ourselves at the feet of Jesus, surrendering our inability, failure, and shame at the altar of His sufficiency, wholeness, and bountiful provision. But even then, it’s critical we understand that we’re entering into a divine partnership. We’re powerless to save ourselves, yet the Spirit of God will not make us change, He’ll only provide us the strength and resource we need to make needed changes.
Ultimately, it’s up to us to submit our will to God’s, inviting and allowing Him to do in and through us what only He can do. Peter Marshall wrote: “Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change.” I’m not going to lie, change is sometimes very hard and with rare exception, easy. But it’s worth whatever it costs us, because only then will we be enabled and allowed to fellowship with the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Denying ourselves opens avenues of opportunity for us to see and sense God’s presence in and for us in ways that were impossible before we met Jesus. But a willingness to turn from our sinful desires and to change the way we think, and act is the heartbeat of oneness with our Lord.
Yes, you can be whatever God has designed and created you to be, but it will require your willingness to change? Are you willing?
Blessings, Ed 😊