Growth Requires Change!

by Rick

Today we continue our mini-series entitled “A New Dimension of Glory!”  This series is under the overall theme for the year: “GREAT FREEDOM.”  We have been looking at a fairly long passage in 2 Corinthians 3 for a few weeks and verses 17 and 18 for several days.  Let’s go back to these two verses again. The Bible says:

(2 Corinthians 3:17&18 Easy to Read Version)

17 The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 

18 And our faces are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

I will focus in on the word change.  The text says, “We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  Let’s discuss this change.

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  The conditions are set for you to change into the very image and likeness of God.  God has done His part.

a)  Once you are Born-Again, God’s Spirit is living inside of you.  Not only that but unlike the people of the Old Testament, who neither had God’s Spirit nor access to His Word, you have unfettered access to the Bible.  You probably have multiple physical copies of the Bible, and access to countless more on your phone, tablet or computer. So, you have God’s Word (which is His will on paper), and you have the author of the book living on the inside of you.  God has set you up for success.

b)  The sad truth is that many of us know more than we are living.  My point is that KNOWING better and actually DOING better don’t always manifest in the same person.  Many believers go to church Sunday morning after Sunday morning, and Wednesday night after Wednesday night, only to receive a Word they have no intention of applying.  If your information does not turn into a real-life application, you are wasting your time! The Bible is not a textbook to be studied. It is a LIFEBOOK to be lived!

c)  If you are Born-Again you have God’s Spirit living on the inside of you.  You also have access to God’s Word. If you are not growing it because you refuse to change!  Walking with God requires a heart that is open to continual change because you cannot grow without changing.  

2.  You cannot grow without changing.

a)  Our text (2 Corinthians 3:18) talks about us beholding the glory fo the Lord and then being CHANGED to be like Him.  As you walk with God, the Holy Spirit will show you area after area where your life is not lining up with God’s best.  The Holy Spirit does not highlight these things to shame you, or to hurt you. He does so in order to help you. But it won’t help if you are not willing to CHANGE!  

b)  For things to change for you, you have to change.  If you are not willing to make purposeful change on the inside, you will never experience life-change on the outside.   

c)  Life does not get better by chance.  Life gets better by change. God destined you for a purpose.  Once God reveals that purpose to you, you must make a conscious decision to align with it.  If you don’t change the way you are you will never experience true and lasting change in your life.

d)  In order to become like God, and to develop into the man/woman you are destined to be, you must be willing to DIE to the person you become on your own.

e)  Jesus said, “If any of you want to be my follower, you must stop thinking about yourself and what you want.”  Once you are Born-Again, your life can no longer be about you or your selfish desires.  Just like Jesus had to sacrifice and carry His cross, you will as well. Jesus went on to say, “You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me.”  We all have a personal cross.  We must all be willing to make personal sacrifices.  Sacrifice requires change. If we refuse to change, we will miss out on the life God destined us to have.  Jesus continued and said, “Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it. But you who give up your life for me will find true life.” (see Matthew 16:24, 25).  In other words, if you refuse to change, you will maintain the life you have and you will miss out on the life I destined for you to have.  But if you are willing to change, and you allow yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit, you will be changed into the man/woman God called you to be from the foundations of the world.  You will look like God on this planet. You will be heaven’s reflection int eh earth. When people come in contact with you, they will come in contact with Him. But none of this will happen if you are not WILLING to change!

3.  Since the goal is to never stop growing, the truth is you can never stop changing.

a)  Knowing who God called you to be is great.  But this revelation is useless if you are not willing to change into that person.  Here are two things you must realize about the type of change I am talking about today.  First, it will not happen overnight. Most change is not instant. Lasting change is often gradual.  You must be willing to stick with the process in order to change and for the change to stick! And second, God will never stop requiring you to change.  Because, in one sense, you will never be finished. As long as you are breathing, God is still working on you. He is trying to get you to change into His very image and likeness on this planet.  

b)  Change is challenging.  God never said it would be easy.  Stop asking God for less challenge and start embracing His grace.  God never promised to give you less challenge. But He will give you more grace.  Instead of the challenges coming down to a level you are comfortable with. God will give His grace.  His grace empowers you to rise above every challenge you will face on the road to your destiny.  

c)  My last point for today: God will not give you all the answers.  There is a certain level of mystery required for walking with God.  If have to get comfortable with a certain level of discomfort. Change is not easy, but it is required.  

That’s enough for today.  

Declaration of Faith

Father, I am both willing and obedient.  I want to live as a reflection of You and Your glory on this planet.  Therefore, I must be willing to change. I declare that I am. I behold Your glory daily.  And every day I am willing to change to become more and more like You! I will never stop growing.  This means I must never stop changing. I am willing to die to anything that is not like You. So I can live as the person on You called me to be.  I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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