Friday, June 02, 2006

change

Change in life is not easy. Especially for some people. But in a general sense, true for most all. It means a moving out of our comfort zones. It involves a willingness to be so moved. And to really change. In some ways we ought to rejoice over the possibility of change. After all, is every way we live really good? Are our comfort zones always good for us?

Change is an inevitable part of life. On top of that, for us in Jesus change is necessary, since we are to ever be changing from glory to glory into his resemblance. And God has new vistas for us, along the way. We need to have hearts and minds open, and keep moving, hopefully in the gentle, quiet move of God at work in our lives. We will fall behind, get ahead and get sidetracked. But we'll eventually find that the Lord is always there, to help us back, to find our way in his way for us.

Paradoxically, I think that we'll also find it true that the more we acclimate ourselves to live in God's will with the changes that will bring, the more a kind of refreshing sameness can be our experience, and can grow in our lives. The sameness that no matter what we encounter, God is with us. He will see us through. He is faithful no matter what. He is the same in his love, mercy and truth- for us. The sameness of the sense of his presence in our lives. Certainly that sense in our experience ebbs and flows, but he has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13).

Looking at lives in the Bible, we'll take a quick glance here, at Peter. What changes we see him going through! Often protesting along the way. Certainly being moved out, time and again, from his comfort zones. And being challenged to continue to follow Jesus. And really doing that. Even to the very end of his life, it wasn't always comfortable. But Peter knew that the Lord was with him. And he saw wonderful things he would have never seen if he would have refused to leave his old, familiar work of fishing behind. Though admittedly painful things, as well. Necessary for his continued transformation in becoming more and more like his Master.

This change will best take place in our lives together, as God's people in Jesus. Through relationships, not only with God, but with each other, we will find the Spirit drawing us to become, experientially more and more one with God, and with each other. Not in the sense of becoming clones, but of learning to live more and more harmoniously together with our God-given differences- and with those not God-given. And that will certainly involve change. Maybe in certain instances hopefully finding substantive change, though knowing God is not finished with us yet.

Lord, Give us the faith and courage to follow you. Your gentle blowing in our hearts and lives. Let us be open to your changing of us and of our lives. We know you are with us, to the very end. That your love for us never changes. Thank you for those you give us, to walk through this life together. May we help each other, and in your love encourage your change in one another. For your glory in our lives. Amen.

12 comments:

Drew B Moser said...

thanks ted...i'm preaching on change this sunday, in light of our seniors graduating...good words

John Frye said...

Ted,
This is very thoughtful and encouraging essay about change. Very well written. Thanks!

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks Drew. Blessings on you and your graduates. And on this Sunday.

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks John for your kind, encouraging words.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Conversion: you prsent a thoughtful essay on it. Thank!

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks Allan for stopping by, and for your comment.

Rusty Peterman said...

Ted,

How important is change to Christians? It's the goal of life--"Christ formed in you" (Galatians 4:19). I can't think of a bigger change than that.
Thanks for reminding me.

--Rusty

Ted Gossard said...

Rusty,

Amen. Thanks for your comment.

Bob Robinson said...

I love the thought that true change must happen in the context of community. Too many of us have a "just me and God" mentality, and, as I have experienced, that is a sure-fire way NOT to change!!

Ted Gossard said...

Amen to that Bob! I can testify to that myself. Thanks for your comment!

JP Anderson said...

A phrase are recently have jumped on to is "being comfortable with being uncomfortable." Seems very relevant to the topic of change.

Ted Gossard said...

J.P., Yes. Good phrase. I'm not there (ha), but a good goal to shoot for. To reflect on this is good too. Makes good sense. Thanks brother.