Change… Are You Ready? – by Eliezer Gonzalez
Jan 13, 2016 1274
All of us, deep down, long for change. Yet it is the one thing what we resist the most.
The Christian message is radical. It is all about change. Other world philosophies and religions are based on the concept of lack of change. Some Eastern religions focuses on the acceptance of what is – no change necessary there. Some so-called Christian “gospels” are based on the notion that you don’t have to change. Contemporary materialistic philosophies give us the message that the world swirls around us but that we are ultimately unable to change.
Strangely enough, it seems to be a central mission of too many Christian churches, and individuals, to avoid change. That was the mission of the Jewish church in the time of Christ. And to ensure it, they crucified the Lord.
But the Christian message is radical. It is all about change. That may be a surprising thing for people who think that somehow Christianity is all about maintaining the status quo. It isn’t.
Isn’t it strange how we build churches where people who are afraid of change, and afraid of a wold in turmoil, can come inside and feel safe because they have made it, and they need never face change again? What would they do if God, in their old age, decided to teach them something new and to radically redefine their worldview, by saying to them, as he did to Abraham, “I would like you to go and sacrifice your only son”?
Here is reality. The first verses of the Old Testament begin with world-creating change: “In the beginning God create the heaven and the earth.” The last verses of the Old Testament foreshadow the coming of cosmic upheaval that will define every relationship on earth. The first verses of the New Testament announce that at the end of all human genealogies, the Messiah has now final come – the One who changes everything. In the last verses of the New Testament is the announcement: “Behold, I make all things new!”
The message of the Gospel as Christ preached it was all about the seismic change that has come upon this world with his arrival:
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand
and the corresponding call for urgent personal change:
repent and believe in the gospel – Mark 1:15.
When we do this, we enter an experience in which we become part of God’s new creation in Christ. All of Christ’s teachings call people everywhere to change. The Lord’s death and resurrection have forever changed the very fabric of the universe, and redefined every obligation and relationship. Change is at the very heart of the Gospel message.
We are called not only to experience this change ourselves, but to radically change the world around us, as ambassadors for the Risen King of All.
Yet the enemy of our souls lulls us into a sense that all is well. He makes us think that we are comfortable right where we are. Everything about us – the lives we have built for ourselves, our possessions, our love of control – everything tells us to keep things as they are.
Yet unless we are willing to change, continuously and radically, whether we are unregenerate sinners or long-time Christians, the experience of the Kingdom of God will always remain an illusion for us, just out of our grasp. We may pray about our Christianity, sing about it, tell others about it, even jump up and down about it, but we will never know if for ourselves.
Christ did not die so that you could remain where you are. He accepts you as you are, but he never leaves you as you are. And then you discover that the Christian life is one of constant, radical change – of perpetual self-examination, re-evaluation, and transformation, in the light of revelation and Spirit-empowerment. How many church-going Christians are there who are just happy where they are, thinking that everyone else around them needs to change. But you will never, ever be stuck in a rut when you are under the power of the Spirit of God.
Yes, most certainly, your life can change.
To accept this change in our lives – the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God into our hardened hearts – is one of the most difficult things that you will ever do. You have to take everything that you treasure most in this world, everything that you think gives you some kind of security in this world, and you must lay it at the feet of Jesus.
And then, stripped naked before the Cross, we look to Jesus only, and surrendering fully to his will, we accept his amazing grace, and wherever it may take us.
That’s not the end. That’s where it all begins.
– Eliezer Gonzalez