January 15, 2014

I’d love to change but don’t know how.

Have you ever had the thought, “I’d love to change but I don’t know how?” I know for me this feeling pops up every time I’m in a spiritual rut and feel like I keep repeating the same sins over and over.  It seems like there is no escaping what I do, how I lose my temper and say hurtful or harmful things that have no place in a follower of Christ.  As days go on and this cycle continues, it seems my walk with Christ gets colder, and after a number of days I can barely sense his presence anymore.  I believe the cause of this in my life and many of yours is in the lack of Holy Spirit change that must take place in our lives daily.  The reason we resist this change is that it is a breaking of the will and spirit and is allowing ourselves to be broken under God’s perfect will.  In order for this to take place, we cannot just get our fill of God in a great worship service or even a couple days a week. We must daily allow Christ to destroy our carnal ways and to change us inside and out.  In Ezekiel 36 God compares the natural heart to stone.  If I took a large stone and threw it into the fire, it would get RED HOT and hold its temperature as long as it remained in the fire.  As soon as I removed the stone from the fire, it would begin to cool and, after a while, get cold again.  We make the mistake of thinking when our hearts of stone that are cold and hard get fired up that we will automatically change.  Often we leave with a heart that is ready to change, ‘fired up’ and full of intentions of changing.  But a few days or maybe hours later we are back doing the same things we did before and find ourselves even more frustrated.

Life change doesn’t happen when we put our minds to something or make a resolution.  Those are good things and God gave us a free will to choose what we will and will not do.  But true-life change happens when our hearts of stone get pulverized by the Lord’s spirit and we become like Christ.

26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

To win the battle over sin daily in our lives we must allow the Lord to break our sinful hearts of stone and replace them with the hearts He will give us.   If we want to find out if our hearts are stone or like Christ, we can simply put our lives to the test as Jesus said in Luke 6:42-45.

43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

If we are followers of Christ let us ask ourselves today: what is the abundance of my heart revealing about where my life is stone or flesh? At the end of the day the world knows and will be able to tell which one we are.  Let’s change the world by allow Christ to change us first.

Pastor Mark