When the Lord requires you to change your lifestyle, He not only gives you the power to do so, but the result is a much more powerful you!
Change requires power. Any kind of change is a formidable challenge for most people. Yet the Lord asks us to change from our old ways and do things His way. Not an easy task! In the Book of Romans the Apostle Paul wrote,
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” - Romans 12:2
In your daily world, especially in this hectic instant access global culture where technology changes by the minute and you must be adapting constantly, change is inevitable. You are being pulled in diverse directions and the older you get the less elastic you become. You get in the habit of doing things a certain way and become less tolerant to external demands to alter our lifestyle. Modifying learned responses to habitual routine tasks often causes stress and anxiety, especially in older persons.
However, when the Lord requires you to change your lifestyle, He not only gives you the power to do so, but the result is a much more powerful you! Some people say they love the Lord but refuse to make a commitment because they’re just not “ready” yet! If only they realized that with the Lord everything goes smoothly, peacefully, and painlessly! Yes! Really!
First, it’s your love for Him that prompts you to adjust. Secondly, He has given you the Holy Spirit to be your comforter, counselor and help. (John 14:26). All you need to do is lay your life before Him and ask Him to fashion you into a precious vessel for His use. You cannot change on your own. He is the potter; you are the clay. The clay just lies there as a lifeless lump on the potter’s wheel while the master twists and turns it until it is just right. All that is required of you is a willingness to want to be like Him.
The more readily you give yourself fully to Him the more instant the transformation. It all starts in your mind. Once you align your thoughts with those of Christ and understand His Word and His ways, then all the old habits and mindsets fall by the wayside. Suddenly they don’t seem so important anymore. When you were in the world your mind, alienated from God through ignorance and blindness, prompted you to do things your own way.
"to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-23
Once you know the Truth, you will want to put off all the vices and let your mind be washed by the Word. Besides the Holy Spirit, the Lord also knows that you need tangible support here on earth. That is why He has established you, who has been called out of the world, into His Body, the church. There He has provided leadership and support “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ!” (Ephesians 4:12-13)
I pray, like Paul, that you will be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your heart by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may come to comprehend His Love and be filled with all the fullness of God!
Happy New Year!