Nov 15, 2012

“When It Is Time for a Change”

I love autumn in Minnesota! Autumn is a season of changes; radical changes! All around, the trees are changing from green to vibrant colors as a way of distracting us from the fact the temperatures are plummeting from the eighties towards the freezing mark.

Walking in the park one day, Cathy made an observation about the leaves. She said; “The old leaves are being pushed off by the new buds that will become the new leaves next spring.” She also mentioned that oak leaves stay on the tree until spring when the new growth and buds will push them off.

Cathy said that she thought of a scripture passage which says; Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Eugene Peterson’s Message Version writes it this way: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.

My friends; God is up to something new in our lives, and the old just may have to go in order to make room for the new. Do you see it? It’s important that you do because when God takes us through changes; it’s easy to get disappointed when we can’t see what He is doing.

Too many people spend their lives stuck on what could have been as they fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of themselves, or others for their lives, and disappointment becomes the new focus of their existence.

Proverbs 16:9 says; “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps… In other words, just because we planned some path for our lives, it may not go that way; God may have a different direction.

Grasping this truth can change your perspective and will make the difference between disappointment and “His”-appointment. It be an opportunity for anticipation of what God might be up to; rather than disappointment for how things appear to have turned out.

When God takes us through these changes, He does cares for us as individual children:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:29-31)

BUT He probably is not thinking only about you and how this affects your immediate life.

He is thinking about how He will show Himself THROUGH your situation and to WHOM He will show Himself throughout your life; He is thinking about generations. The changes don’t always make sense to us if we try to assess everything in light of whether we are doing something right or wrong.
Job (of the Bible) didn’t do anything wrong, in fact he was doing things right! And yet big changes came upon him Do you realize that Job never was privileged to understanding what was really happening the same way that you and I can because we are able to read the WHOLE story of the Book of Job?

Do you realize that when Joseph (of the Old Testament of the Bible) went through massive changes, it wasn’t because he was doing something wrong, in fact he was doing things right! And yet big changes came upon him

Do you realize that Peter (of the Bible) went through massive changes? In fact his FRIEND Jesus was giving permission to Satan to bring change into his life.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32 31)

In all three stories, the changes were not only about their lives. The changes had as much to do with how we would talk about them and learn from them in our lifetime. We too can see how merciful the Lord actually was being; all three had stories of great victories after their changes.

If we are going to do this, we need to look at what is being asked in light of what He has done; looking through what He has done for us and how good He is

THEN: We can submit to God BECAUSE He has been so good to us
THEN: We won’t be conformed BECAUSE He has been so good to us
THEN: We will renew our minds BECAUSE He has been so good to us
THEN: Then we will know what is the perfect will of God …

Then we will be people who are flexible when changes come. Flexibility is about bending and adjusting with the changes that come. Being rigid can leave things broken (physically, emotion, etc.)

Let’s choose wisely how we respond and stop the mental erosion by asking the Lord to open our eyes to see what He is doing.

My friend, your story isn’t over yet! My guess is that His plans are so much better than what you would have ever thought or planned. Let Jesus Christ change your story for HIS-story.  The best is yet to come!

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

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