A Work in Progress
Eph. 4:23 let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
As God renews you and changes you, we have to remember that change is a process. It isn’t overnight. It isn’t immediate. And, it’s also never “complete” this side of heaven. On Earth, we can always grow, get closer to God, become more like Jesus.
Our thoughts and attitudes are constantly changing for the better. The goal is Christ-like, as the Theologians call it “sanctification.”
It takes more than desire to change, it takes discipline, it takes commitment. It takes cooperating with the Holy Spirit. You have a part to play in your transformation process. Here are 6 ways to cooperate with God’s change process in your life.
1. Be Alert To God’s Voice.
We obviously don’t really know what the future is going to hold but we’ve got to stay tuned into God’s voice and realize that the restlessness and the troubles that we sometimes feel is God trying to get our attention and get us ready for change.
Job 33:1319 (NIV) “For God does speak now one way, now another though man may not perceive it. In a dream . . . as they slumber . . . (or) he may speak in their ears . . . with warnings . . . Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress . . . .”
He’s saying here that God talks to us in many different ways, we just often don’t realize it. We need to be alert to God’s voice.
2. Accept God’s Comfort
When the crisis comes, don’t run from God, but run to Him. Immediately. Not as a last resort.
Ps. 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.
You know the pain you’re feeling right now, God has been paying attention to it. He sees the crisis in your soul. So, when the crisis comes in our life, we should remember the Lord as Jonah does.
Jonah 2:7 As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord.
3. Ask God For Courage
When we’re facing unknown changes. Isaiah tells us,
Isa. 43:2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
We don’t have to be afraid. We can have courage because He’s comforting us all along our change process. God will be with you. You can’t predict where the change is going to take you, but you can be sure of this: God will be with you.
4. Apply God’s Word.
That’s in the comprehension phase learning what the real truth is about the problem. Remember it’s the truth that frees you and the more you apply truth in your life, the freer you’ll be.
2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
James 1:22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
It’s saying here that information without application is deception. We may take tremendous notes every Sunday and we can put them in a binder but, if we don’t do anything about it, we’re just deceiving ourselves, and we’re not really changing. We think we’re growing but we’re not. We’ve got to act on what we know. We apply God’s word.
5. Anticipate God’s Help.
Ps. 37:5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
Trust God to help us do it. God moves when we expect him to move. You see, change is not a matter of willpower, it’s a matter of Godpower. He’ll help us.
6. Adhere To God’s Plan.
You know what adhere means? It means to stick to something. Stick to it, stay with it, don’t quit, don’t give up.
John 8:31-32 “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
We’ve got to stay with it. Finish the race, strong. Some of you are at the quitting point today and you’re ready to give up on your marriage, or on a dream, or on your health, on trying to change a habit that you know needs to be changed, or solve a problem that you know needs to be solved, and you’re ready to quit.
God’s word for you is this: Don’t Quit.
There are two promises I want to close with today. Gal. 6:9 and Phil. 1:6.
Gal. 6:9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
If we quit, if we bail out, we will miss God’s best. You don’t quit, you stick with it.
Phil 1:6 (NIV) “Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
God, who starts something in your life, is going to finish it.