Lasting change starts inside us. I can remember a poster I saw years ago, it said:
Two Fundamental Truths
- There is a God
- You are not Him.
Am I the only one who has at times thought I knew better, and could do better than others . . . including God. I didn’t say it out loud but it showed in the way I ran my life and tried to control others. I could handle it, thank you very much. Until I made a mess and then mentally and sometimes out loud I would scream, “God how could you let this happen to me?” It never occurred to me that I wasn’t listening to Him, that I was going my own way and doing my own thing.” One day more than 34 years ago I got tired of making my own messes and I asked Jesus to be my Boss, the Lord of my life. It has gone much better since then but I confess to grabbing the steering wheel of my life and having frequent relapses into confusion over who the Creator/Ruler, of everything from all the galaxies that exist to me, is. I often make my own decisions and then want to blame Him for the results.
New Birth—Time to Start Over
I can be such a twit. I so often do and say the wrong thing. I am so grateful that God uses my mistakes, my wrong moves and wrong words, and, let’s be more honest than PC , . . .sins, to teach me. Lately, God has been really speaking to me about the time thieves in my life. These things aren’t necessarily bad. They can be useful tools when I govern the way they are used in my life instead of allowing them to govern me. Many of those tools are electronic—the television and the computer. That’s the reason I am on something of a computer fast. I fly by but don’t perch for long while He does a work in me.
God wired me to teach. I remember strongly identifying with something I heard Beth Moore say one Wednesday morning on TV. She said that she was wired to teach and the problem with that is that whenever she learned something she felt compelled to tell anyone who would listen. That’s me! Whenever I learn something I want the world to know. Part of it is simply that much of what I have learned has been hard won. I made so many mistakes on my way to the “Ah-ha” moment. I (we) can learn from what others have gone through or we can take the hard road. I have too often taken the hard road. I want to spare others the time and expense.
I feel like a suitcase that God has packed with attributes, gifts, talents and abilities. Along the way I have added some other things to that suitcase called me that were less glorious—unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, and other stinky stuff. God is willing to help me keep the suitcase cleaned out. It’s much lighter when I allow Him to shine His light in the corners of the suitcase and haul out, deal with, and discard the less than worthy stuff. His stuff is light and easy to carry. My stuff weighs me down.
When I run to the distractions of my life instead of keeping my morning appointment with My Father, my Friend, my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Comforter, and oh so much more in my God, the stuff stays stinkily in me. As I read my Bible, and pray and listen to Him speaking to my heart He changes me for the better. As I see who He is, it humbles me and strengthens me at the same time. I see His strength and wisdom and goodness and kindness and what I need for the moment, the hour, and the day.
Before all else, I am asking you to depend on Him to help you unpack your suitcase. I am asking you to ask Him to show you the gifts He has packed into you and the stinky stuff you have hidden in the corners of your suitcase.
What we do comes from who we are. The right things done from the wrong motive will not bring the fruit you hope for. Allow Him to transform you. He does the most magnificent makeovers.
I humbly urge you, my brothers and sister, because of the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice to God which is the gift He truly wants from you. And do not conform yourself to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you might know that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2 my paraphrase)
- Give the gift of yourself to God and He will give a transformed person back to you and the people in your life.
- Renew yourself continually by living in God’s presence.
- Expose yourself regularly to His Word
- Respond to His presence in and with you by knowing and doing His good, acceptable and perfect will. Be a conduit of His love and grace and mercy and goodness to those people He has given you to love.