Wednesday, January 9, 2008

CHANGE: Are We Willing to Be Willing?

When we are impatient to see change in our lives & circumstances, let's remember God's promises. I, for one, am desperate for change! Where am I going? Will I ever get there? I don't want to go 'round and 'round, repeating the same mistakes, unable to dig out of my rut.

It is a new year, but why should I hope for anything different? Well, I actually have a very good reason to hope, and so do you. Someone believes in us, enough to bet His life on us. Paul's letter to the Romans reminds us of the huge investment Jesus made, his very life blood:

. . . perhaps for a good person one would dare to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were [no good], Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:7-10, ESV [paraphrased])

Do you ever doubt that God will truly change your life? Do you wonder if things will ever work out? If we truly believe that Jesus has the power to take away our sins through his death (as it says above, we are "justified by his blood"), then we must also trust that Jesus will take action to save us "by his life." He is alive and working in us daily to change us from within.

We are being saved from ourselves, from our ruts, and from our tendency to repeat the same mistakes over again. He sees us very clearly, Dear. He knows us well, and knew us entirely before our lives even began. He loves us and He has the power to change our lives.

Yes! In spite of all our shortfalls and imperfections, Jesus believes in us. He invested himself thoroughly in our lives and continues to intervene daily for our transformation. Remember these promises from Paul's letter to the Philippians:

. . . He who has begun a good work in you
will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
(from Phil. 1:6, NKJV)
for it is God who works in you
both to will and to do
for His good pleasure.
(Phil. 2:13, NKJV)

God is at work to change us, even though we may not be able to clearly see the evidence. Change is cumulative, and will become visible over the passage of time. When we are desperate for change, we only need to do ONE THING. All we need to do is check our hearts to make sure that we are willing to be willing to change.

Even in our willingness, Jesus helps us. He can make us willing, according to Phil. 2:13, and He is also capable of working the necessary changes in us, in our lives, and in our circumstances! God is able, and we can trust in every one of his promises. Repeat God's promises aloud to yourself, in personal terms. Say to yourself:

. . . He who has begun
a good work in me
will complete it, for it is God
who works in me
to will
and to do

The Lord Jesus does all the hard work and asks so little in return, just that we be willing to be willing. This year, let's consciously offer him the willingness to be made willing. Let's offer it with our whole hearts, and simply trust Him to do the rest.

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