But I do change…every day! I change my socks, my shirts, sometimes I go to work taking a different route. Why, once I even tried a new blend of coffee!
That’s all fine and good, but when was the last time you changed your job? And not because the boss suggested a different career path, but because you wanted to try something new?
When was the last time you decided to try a new food at a restaurant? To try reading a different type of book? To learn a new language?
Or, what I really would like you to try: when was the last time you tried to stop doing something you know you shouldn’t?
AHA!! Now we’re getting somewhere. AHA!! Now we’re hitting close to the mark. AHA!! Now we’re breaking a sweat just thinking about it! AHA!! Now we’re……Okay, okay, I get it: enough with the “AHA! Now we’re…” stuff.
Change does suck, mainly because we all get comfortable, even when we are talking about the miraculous workings of the Lord, God Almighty. The Israelites walked through the desert with a cloud to lead by day and a column of fire at night, and after a while all they saw was the cloud and the fire; they lost the “feeling” of wonder at what God was doing. Not only did God miraculously feed them good tasting manna every morning, but He provided water and food in the desert. And eventually they complained about how boring the manna was and how they wanted vegetables.
What has God done in your life that you have become inured to? As for me, I miss the sense of His presence I used to feel when I was first saved. I miss His touch, which I haven’t really felt for years. That’s not His fault- His hands are always reaching out to me. It’s my fault because I am taking for granted what He has done, and what He still does. I am thankful that, every once in a while, I still get teary-eyed when I think of the moment the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) first entered me. I am thankful for the way God has protected me and Donna, and how He is answering my prayers to reconcile me to my children. Slowly, all too slowly for me, but I trust in His timing more than in my own understanding.
We come to trust God, to feel comfortable with our salvation, and to take advantage of His protection. Even David, a man after God’s own heart, said in Psalm 51, verses 10-12:
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation; oh, how many times have I asked that from Thee, Oh Lord? As if You should do that, when it is really my responsibility, it is my job, my actions that will restore the joy. The joy You gave me is still there, deep inside, covered with dust from all the times I left it sitting and unused, hidden under the moss that grew as I did not move myself, spiritually, farther along the path of righteousness You have laid out before me, and rusted from my lack of care and maintenance.
I started this message with nothing, and look what You have given me, given us…a message that is straight from Your heart, Lord: “Come closer to me and I will come closer to you” We need to move, we need to change, we need to break out of our comfort zone and push the envelope, and we need to stop using so many cliches and just do it!
I must try to identify something that will please the Lord and work it into my life. I must try to pray to God to remind me of His wonderful gifts that He provides, every day, and thank Him constantly. I must try to see, what I have gotten used to seeing, in a new light, and I must commit myself to doing more in His name; at home, at work, at worship, and even at play.
This is what I must do, and I will try to do it for the rest of my life. There is nothing wrong with being comfortable, and everyone needs to take a breather, now and then, to enjoy what they have. I ask you all to recognize, right at this moment, what God has given you and thank Him, reach out to Him and ask for His touch and open your heart to receive it. Even if you don’t get that sensation, that tingling all over, that sense of relief that causes you to cry tears of joy …wait for it. We are not supposed to test God, but He is right and just in testing us, After all, He never goes back on His word and we do so often it almost seems silly to even promise anything. So keep asking, as the woman asked the unrighteous judge for justice (Luke 18), because whereas even sinners will do what is right for their own sake, how much more so will God do what is right because He is righteous?
Just keep at it, keep asking, keep working towards being a little different every day, doing something a little differently now and then. Be comforted by God’s gifts and protection, but don’t get too comfortable.
Will Rogers once said that even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there. So, get off your tuchas, get moving and change into what God wants you to become.
Change sucks, and it is scary, and it is disquieting, and it is hard. However, stagnation is worse.