The Providence Of Change
"Waisted time, waisted years; Waisted life, waisted tears"
These words were scribbled on a small piece of paper, the morning after the greatest tragedy in my life. At that moment, I thought life was over. There was not much to salvage from the past, and not much hope for the future. It was utter despair. As the agonizing days and more agonizing nights slowly went by, the world did not seem to improve much. Many nights I felt I would certainly die before morning. As it is written, Oh that it were morning; and then, Oh that it were evening!
Experiencing that change was very painful indeed!
Some seem to handle change much better than others. Some roll with the punches, while others are almost destroyed. Ancient Israel did not handle change very well most of the time. There are many object lessons we can learn from Israel’s departure from Egypt, and their subsequent wanderings for forty years in the wilderness. One of the most important for us as God’s children, is about change. They were always on the more...by the time they got settled, the pillar and cloud moved again. And again. And again. And again! (Numbers 9:15-23) Tomorrow may be better; or it may be worse; but one thing is for sure - it will be different!
So it must have seemed to be for Israel. They were reluctant to leave Egypt to begin with, and then they did not want to risk anything to gain their freedom. They could not change their unbelief quick enough to avoid disaster after disaster. They so often just could not see any need to change! Eventually the only change they wanted to make was a change in the direction they were moving. The wanted to advance to the rear. They were intent on changing - back to Egypt (Exodus 16:1-3; 32:1,7-10).
It should be very clear. God has created us for CHANGE - the created material universe, including us, cannot exist without changing. Change is the dynamic of material existence. Since everything is in the process of change, it must be changing toward and into something. Everything physical has a spiritual counterpart of some type, toward which it is moving. Adam and Eve could have eventually been changed by eating of the tree of Life. But they chose to stay the same, and thereby go backward through disobedience, which was enabled by unbelief. Those who are determined not to change will incur the resistance of God (Psalm 55:16-19).
Resistance to change can undermine our life in Christ. Being in such a mindset can turn our prayers into sessions of manipulation psychology. We subconsciously appeal to God to make everything OK where we are, and in effect, to leave us the way we are. The result is that we do not let Him change us into who He created to us to become. We begin forming God in our own image. Therefore, we cannot change! We become oblivious to God-ordained "wakeup calls", and signs for our personal times (Hosea 5:15). We can begin to quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:17-19). Our head and heart drift farther and farther apart. We end up playing mind games with the Lord Jesus Christ! Mind games with God can cause even greater heart damage, and it is our inner being, our "heart" that is being changed.
There are places and depths of our hearts that are too deep for us ever to know or understand, or to see by self-comprehension. Only the Holy Spirit using the Word of God can reach them (Hebrews 4:12-13). However, the Holy Spirit will not (actually cannot) use God’s Word to cause us to discern our need to change if we are recalcitrant, and in an attitude of unwillingness to change. It is not our outward appearance - how we desire to appear to others, for our self-esteem, or for any other affect (Joel 2:13). It is the inward new creation that must change!
A potentially more serious state is the unawareness that change is expected by Christ - the unbelief in the need to change. This is self deception. We can read the Bible a dozen times and what it says to us may never register. Once we come to see enough of our REAL heart condition, be assured, the Bible will become a complete new book! It will begin to say things that you never heard it say before. You will be stunned by what you begin to see in yourself (2 Corinthians 3:18). This is the beginning of the motivation to yield to the Holy Spirit as He makes you aware of the need change. When we become cognizant of our need, then - and only then - will understanding of the truth come about ourselves - as Christ sees us.
We finally become truly "alive"unto Christ. We begin to move toward the purpose for which we were born. We are finally submitting to God’s program for us. We have been conquered by the Providence of change. We are moving toward that final change (Job 1 4:14), orchestrated by the One who does not "change" (Malachi 3:6), unto our permanent change that never again will need to be changed! (1 Corinthians 15:50-57; Ephesians 4:22-24)
If so, you will never feel compelled to use the words:"Waisted time, waisted years; Waisted life, Waisted tears"...
I pray you will continue to change - until Christ is permanently "formed in you"...(Galatians 4:19)
Are you ready and willing to change?