The fall season will bring the change of leaves and temperatures we’ve been longing to see. Our community is changing: there are buildings going up and roads widening. You’ve also read articles in this wonderful magazine about how you can make changes for your health and wellness. But truth be told, while we like to see change from a comfortable distance, we can often resist when change happens to us.
The fear of change goes back to some familiar struggles for all of us. If there are hints of control or comfort issues in our lives, we run from change. We make sure that nothing disturbs our little utopia. Control and comfort provide us the shelter that change ruptures. Don Carmont said, “People don’t fear change. They fear the loss that change brings.”
What’s amazing to see is that the Bible talks clearly about change. The Bible is adamant about God’s never changing. Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the Lord, and I do not change.” “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” Hebrews 13:8 tells us. What a comfort for us! In a world that is shaking, rapid and outraged, God doesn’t change. He is consistent.
However, that’s not the case with us. Once we come to know Him, we instantaneously and continuously change. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Our nature, destiny and position are completely changed. I’m now rescued from darkness to light. In this case, thank God for change! We ought to be happy we don’t stay the same way we came in.
God changes us! And that’s necessary, because we aren’t who we are supposed to be. I’m a pastor and will be the first to acknowledge that’s so true for me. I’m broken, sinful and in need of grace. The older I get, the more aware I am of my need. But, by God’s grace, I’m not who I used to be either.
There has been change in me. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” Transformation happens as we behold Him. It happens, not out of self-effort and discipline, but beholding.
Any change we make always happens best when we have others around us. It’s the same with transformation. Change has a venue: the church. The best place for all this to take place is in a body of people going through the same process who can both know you deeply and love you deeply. Transformation is a team sport. If you’re not plugged into a church, someone is missing out by having you right next to them.
It’s easy to coast. The great theologian Bob Dylan said, “People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.” The challenge is not doing the convenient, merely what’s comfortable in our control. Have hope in the One who can not only change the world, but can change you!