We have often heard the saying, “Large doors swing open on small hinges.” As we step into the new year, what are the small adjustments we need to make that will allow us to walk through the doorways and embrace all that God has purposed to open for us? The question is important as it is often the small adjustments that bring huge changes, and change is one of the necessary elements in our lives. As it is said, “Constant change is the one thing that is here to stay.”
God uses external changes to teach us to trust Him, to put our faith in Him more deeply, and to cause us to heed His word. Then, as we look into His word and behold Him, we are changed inwardly from one degree of glory to the next. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed…” (2 Cor.3:18). He further uses change to bring us to the place of seeking Him and His kingdom first, as Jesus exhorted those who would trust and follow Him, “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).
So let us unpack “change” a little more:
We know that God Himself does not change. (Malachi 3:6, James1:17). His character and nature do not change. He is faithful to every generation, His love never fails, He is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow… However, God is in the process of changing us from one degree of glory to the next. We could say that as He brings change, He is moving His church towards perfection – glory to glory.
Jesus said, “…”Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17). Jesus calls us and as we surrender to that call, He, makes us… It is Jesus who fashions and forms us into His likeness. Not only is it Jesus who makes us, but Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will teach us and guide us into all truth. (John 16:130). In addition, He has given us the power to change: “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,” (Ephesians 1:18-20) Also read Phil 1:6.
As we change from one degree of glory to the next, we become more and more Christ-like in our character, in our nature, in purpose etc. It follows then that we would have more impact in taking the Light of the Kingdom of God into a dying world. What an absolute privilege.
Yet with all this at times it seems really hard to change. What are some of the things that might hinder us from change? While I am sure for each person it is different, here are some more common reasons:
- Busyness: We live in a time and place where we are constantly being bombarded by things that need to be done. It is not easy to take time to simply be with Jesus, focused on Him and His Kingdom. May we all be encouraged to make those adjustments in our lives that gives us the time. That we do indeed “Seek first the Kingdom of God…”
- Fear: A fear of the unknown is so very real. ‘We have not passed this way before.’ But let us remember that our Lord goes before us and therefore the road is sure.
- Pride: It is so easy to get caught up in the success of life and our own importance. Sometimes it is the big things, but all too often, it is those small things and we don’t even realize that we are putting our agenda before God’s purposes. While we don’t consciously think that, our time, thoughts, energy etc., are a reflection of what our priorities are.
- Tiredness: Because of the society we live in, we are sometimes so very tired and don’t have the energy to pursue the things of God with our whole hearts. Sometimes it just seems easier to sit back and watch a movie (not that it is wrong to watch a movie, but let us endeavor to keep Jesus first). Let us turn to Jesus in Whom we find rest.
- Tradition: Tradition looks back at the way things were and does not embrace change. The Bible tells us that the traditions of man nullify the Word of God (Mark 7:13).
Let us therefore be encouraged to make those adjustments in 2016 and embrace all that God has for us. Let us check the ‘hinges’ in our life so that the doors of change may be opened to the amazing opportunities God has for us in His Kingdom. May we truly live supernatural lives and grow from glory to glory. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-2). Let us live our lives unto Jesus “He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15).