The Christian and Change
If you’re like me, it’s easy to resist change. We seem to want stability and security. So, when change inserts itself – as it always does – we can go into crisis mode. We panic. And there’s almost no area of life where change is easy.
Looking Forward to Change
Christians, however, should have a very different way of thinking about change. If anyone should be able to embrace change, it should be us. We know that everything that comes our way is designed by God for our good and his glory. And, our anchor is not in the stability of this world. It’s in the person and promises of God.
We should be experiencing radical, personal change.
God’s salvation always results in massive change. We have new belief, hearts of flesh instead of stone, new citizenship, freedom from the slavery to sin, and much more. And these massive changes in us should mean big, dynamic changes in the way we think and act. We have a changed vision for life.
Christians should embrace ongoing transformation (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:22-24) and a new walk-by-faith perspective. In asking the Holy Spirit to reveal our idols, we are asking for change. Repentance is change.
It’s not wrong to want stability and security and even comfort, but we’re to find it in God now. And he’s as stable, and strong, and trustworthy as it gets. And with this rock of stability underneath us we can venture into the unknown while knowing that God is with us.
We are called to be agents of radical change in others.
Through the life-giving change God has generated in us, change should also come to those in our sphere of influence. As we die to sin and self, and live for Jesus, the Spirit will work in the lives of those around us. The apostle John understands it this way, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” – 2 Corinthians 5.20
It’s the ongoing change in us; our daily walking by faith, that is very much connected to the change we hope to see others. But if we resist God’s movement; if we become like everyone else, we cease to be agents of change.
We are here to trust God and keep changing.
We cannot align ourselves with Jesus’ example if we refuse to respond to the call to change. This is how we live by faith. For many this is the tough part. This is where the “rubber hits the road”. But Scripture is filled with examples of those called to trust God, move out of their comfort zone, and live and move and be witnesses. Here are a few examples:
- Jesus would be our primary model. Instead of clinging to his rights as God, he humbled himself and lived among those who were broken, lost, and hateful – the very people that would kill him. He moved among us and died for us that we might be saved. That’s amazing change.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. – 2 Corinthians 8:9
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. – Philippians 2:5-8
- Abram was called to leave his country to become a new nation (Gen 12:1-3)
- Moses was called to leave his home for a scary work in Egypt (Ex 3:10)
- We can only speculate about how Mary must have felt when her life-changing call came (Luke 1:26-38)
- The Apostle Paul made an amazing change when he met Jesus. Being a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee, he was a “Hebrew of Hebrews”. Yet he was compelled to give up all that had created his identity for the sake of Christ.
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” – Philippians 3.7-8
While these amazing characters embraced big change as they followed God, we must not assume that God is asking less of us. Jesus said, “…anyone of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) We must live with a very loose grip on the things of this world so that we can do what we’re called to do and go where we’re called to go.
God’s plan to glorify himself by saving sinners through the gospel is still God’s plan. And in his kindness, he is calling us to change so that we can be part of this. But we simply cannot be who we should be if they’re tied to the security of this world. So, let’s jump in with both feet, follow Jesus where he leads, and trust God to be faithful.
Waldean Wall is a member of Sovereign Grace Church who teaches the Money and The Gospel Course on Sunday mornings. He is a national speaker for the financial planning industry. He writes at moneyandthegospel.com and is the author of Money and the Gospel: 5 steps in creating a gospel-first vision and plan for your money.