1-23-17 Don’t Change Heb 13:8
Why is it that change can be so very challenging for us? I confess it takes me a while to adjust to any change- that’s why I missed last week’s encouragement blog. I came back from vacation last week and just could not get back into the swing of things. My body knew I was back home, but my mind simply didn’t want to switch over from vacation mode! Change. There is something within us that resists it. But the truth is the only constant thing in this life is change. Seasons come and go. Styles and fads never last. The brand new car we buy today, ends up in the junkyard, old and worn, tomorrow. Things are in a constant state of change. I recall watching a documentary once that stated we basically have a brand new body about every ten years since our cells are always breaking down and rebuilding…yeah, I know it sure doesn’t feel like a brand new body! We get older. Joints get stiffer. Movements get more difficult to maneuver. Change is real and a sure thing in this life. So why do we try to fight it tooth and nail? Could it be because our hearts long for the peaceful assurance that stability brings? Is it that somewhere deep inside we desire consistency? As we always should do, let’s turn to God’s Word to gain some understanding:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Heb 13:8 NIV
Jesus never changes. Of course, our real problem is not this always moving world around us. We need change. Life would quickly get boring if everything was always the same every single day. Think about the movie “Groundhog Day.” It would drive us insane to have to go through the same situations day in, day out, with no alterations. While we might complain about it, change is a part of what makes life exciting. The struggle we sense is not with the world around us, but more with the world within us. While the reality is that circumstances will always change, the constant we long for goes a lot deeper than what’s happening in our outer life. Because we were originally created in the image of God, there is a longing in our heart that desires to be just like Jesus. We want the unfluctuating stability of Jesus. We crave the unfading peace of Jesus. We desire the unfailing strength of Jesus. I believe the reason we fight change so much is because something inside tells us we were created to be firm, even, lasting, eternal, just like Jesus. But the sad result of our fallen nature is that we try to control everything and everyone around us instead of just controlling ourselves. We cause turmoil as we try to keep others and circumstances from changing instead of keeping ourselves steady no matter what’s going on around us.
Jesus never changes Himself. Of course, He doesn’t need to change because Jesus is Perfect…and clearly we humans are far from perfect. But again I remind us, my Friends, since we were originally created in His likeness, there is a longing in our heart that desires to be just like Him. What we need to do the be more like Jesus is to act more like Jesus. Jesus never tried to control circumstances so they would go His way. He never attempted to force others to do His biding. He never strived to make this world submit to His plan. No. Jesus, instead, exerted control on the only one we are ever asked to control, Self. As we imitate Jesus and use the gift of the Fruit of the Spirit, which includes self-control by the way (Gal 5:22-23), we become more consistent. You see, if we use self-control to stay peaceful even when the stock market vacillates, our peace becomes more steady. If we use self-control to maintain our joy even when things don’t turn out the way we hoped, our joy becomes more constant. If we use self-control to remain faithful, gentle and kind even when others offend us, our faithful, gentle, and kind nature becomes more fixed and even. As we choose to follow the perfect example of Jesus, we do become more like Him, unchanging.
Jesus never changes His Immaculate Nature. While this world will continue to change, we don’t have to change the way we respond to whatever happens. We can remain peaceful, joyful and righteous no matter what because we have the One Who remains by our side no matter what. It is because Jesus will never leave nor forsake us that we can become unchanging. The more I work with God to transform me into His likeness, the less I allow this changing world to change me. I become more steady, constant, fixed and even. Is that what you want? Then won’t you join me?
Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think…
<>< Peace, Diane
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