Growth Requires Change! (Part 3)

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.

For the past two messages I focused on the word change.  Today’s message will flow in this same vein.  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.  To walk with God you must be ever-willing to change.

a)  The Apostle Paul did a significant amount of teaching on the Holy Spirit.  He taught us that the Holy Spirit no longer lives in a temple. Instead, we are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit lives in us. (1 Cor 3:16 and 2 Cor 6:16).

b)  Paul taught us that the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, carries the glory of God.  He is no less God than God the Father or God the Son. As we spend time with the Holy Spirit we get to behold His glory, with the intent being that we are supposed to be changed into that very same image.  If you are going to walk with God, you must be continually open to change. 

c)  If you want to truly walk with God, by His Spirit, you must never be wed to anything.  Even if it is something that you thought came from God.  You may find out later that it did not. I will give you an example.  In my early years of ministry, I believed the Lord put it on my heart that I was going to retire from the U.S. Army someday, then move to Tampa, FL and start a church.  I truly believed this came from God. So I told my family about it. I told others about it. I was very public with what I thought was my faith in God. But when we moved to Virginia in 2010, the Lord started speaking to me about my future.  In 2013, in a very clear way, the Lord told me that Isabella and I would be in Virginia for the rest of our lives. I wish I could tell you that I was happy about it. But I was not. For years I had built up my heart for Florida. But when God clearly told me what He told me, I asked Him about Florida.  He told me that what I had heard years earlier was me and not Him. So I had to accept what God was saying. Isabella and I put God’s will above our own, and now we are passionately pursuing God’s will for our lives in Virginia. My point here is that you have to be willing and open God, no matter how seemingly painful or embarrassing it may be.  I had publicly told people about us going to Florida to start a church for YEARS. I had to admit to those same people that I was wrong, that I missed God, and that God has called us to Virginia. End of story.  

I share this because I know some people who told me that they would have moved to Florida anyway because of the fact that other people already knew what I said.  How ridiculous is that? Never allow pride to keep you in error.  You are human.  You are going to make mistakes.  Sometimes you are going to miss God.  Learning to hear the voice of God is a process.  If you miss God, admit it, change direction, and follow what you believe to be the voice of the Holy Spirit.  This is part of walking with God. The point of all of this is that you must never be so wed to something (no matter how much you want it), that you will disobey God to get it.  Because believe me, being OUTSIDE the will of God is NOT a place you want to be!    

d)  No matter how blessed you are, and no matter how good has God has been to you, never be so wed to where you are that you are not OPEN to what God is leading you to do next!

2.  To walk with God you must be open to whatever the Holy Spirit says, and in the process, you will be changed!

a)  You must be open to being LED of the Holy Spirit daily.  Being LED of God means that you are quick to change in order to do and say whatever He leads you to do and say.

b)  If you make it a habit to continually do whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do, over time you will realize that you have been changed.  The Holy Spirit leads us to make incremental changes on a daily basis. If we are willing and obedient, we will wake up one morning to realize that we have experienced significant change.  This change did not happen overnight. It happened as you were being led of the Holy Spirit to make small changes day by day.

c)  Spiritual clarity is the power behind supernatural change.  The more clear God’s vision for your life is, the stronger the PULL will be.  The more God’s vision will PULL you into the future He destined you to have. This is why spending time with God is so critical.  You must develop the ability to hear and see in the Spirit. Reading what God said (in the Bible) is good. But hearing what God is saying to you right now (through the Holy Spirit) is better.  This is how we are supposed to live. We must develop the ability to hear from God. Jesus said that we are His sheep, and as His sheep, we are supposed to hear His voice (John 10:27,28).

d)  God never has to explain Himself.  But He has promised to reveal Himself.  Divine revelation gives your life the clarity required to walk in God’s purpose.  The more you can SEE, the more you can BE. And this is why being open to change is so critical.  It does you no good to KNOW what God is saying if you are not willing to DO what He tells you to do.

That’s enough for today.  

Declaration of Faith

Father, I am open to whatever You lead me to do on a daily basis.  I thank You for the things I believe You have spoken to me. I live by faith in those things.  But if I am ever in error, I am open to correction and redirection. All I want is what You want for me.  I am not WED to anything. I don’t have a thing in my life that is bigger than You. I don’t place anything above You or Your will.  As You lead me, I follow. I place Your will over my will every day of my life. I am Your sheep. I hear Your voice. And I follow Your voice every day of my life!  I enter this day ready to hear, receive, believe, and experience whatever You lead me to do! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

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

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