Monday, April 30, 2012

Biblical Healthy Change.

               Biblical Healthy Change

All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward. Ellen Glasgow
We all realize that we need to change certain areas of our lives, but many of us are stuck and we don't know how to bring about good healthy change in our lives. 

Let me set the tone for today's post: You must understand that there is a vast difference between behavior modification change that is brought about by self will and human effort, and biblical Holy Spirit wrought change, and mind you, it is no small difference.

We as humans can change certain behaviors in our lives, we can go move from bad habits to good habits, and we can replace destructive behaviors with healthy behaviors. However, when we look at change in the Bible two thoughts appear evident, one, God gives us a new nature and new hearts (11 Cor.5:17; Ezek. 36:26). And the second thought flows from the first; all change in the life of the believer is not to make us better people, or better citizens, or better co-workers, or better neighbors, but all change for the Christian is for the "glory of God" (1Cor.10:31; Col.3: 17, 23).

Without being made a new creation (11 Cor. 5:17), without having a new heart (Ezek.36:26) we are left in our depraved sinful natures that are under the wrath of God (Eph.2:3).

The most important change that we need as a person is the change that is "from above"---this is the change that is accomplished by God in our lives through His word and by the work of the Holy Spirit. Then, as we move toward change, putting off the old nature and putting on the new nature, we can change, but not by sheer human will or behavior modification, no, but, by the active work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 

Let me share a change that the Bible calls all married men to---it is to love their wives AS "Christ loved the Church (Eph.5:25). You notice that the word "as" is capitalized and in red, this should shout out to you that it is an extremely important two letter word in the Ephesians 5:25 passage. This passage calls for men to love their wives just as Christ loved His Church, and how much did Christ love the Church? --- that love took Him to Calvary to become a sacrifice, His love was a sacrificial love, a giving love, a selfless love, a pure love, yes, this is the kind of love that all men are being called to show towards their own wives. 

This kind of love (change) can not be produced by self-will, or human effort. This love can only be a reality when one is given a new heart.

So, to get back to the question, how do I change? Change must start by coming to Christ; acknowledging Him as LORD and following Him. When we are given new hearts we can bring about change in our lives; change that will happen with the aim to bring glory to our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. The follower of Jesus realizes that he must die daily and allow Christ to live through him. So all change is a cooperative work between the disciple and the master, but all the fruit of change is to God's glory and honor.

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