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« Conquer Your Conflicts | Main | Don’t Let Money Destroy You »

You Can Survive the Timeline of Change.

“I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Philippians 4:1-13. 

Once life gets going in a positive direction, beware!  Just around the next corner, stuff happens.  John Covington writes, “Nothing stays the same; it either gets better or worse … Cows do not stay milked.” One woman who didn’t survive rationalizes, “What I had was good for me at that time in my life, but not now.”

At your initial conversion, God was the answer to your every need, whether financial, personal, social, etc. Over a period of years, however, typical changes take place: marriage, children, different job, promotions, new friends, new homes and neighborhoods, maturing family and changing interests.  Gradually, you may think that the spiritual principles and guidelines which were once relevant no longer apply.  There may not be any major crises, but you just begin to feel differently about life, God and the church. Consequently, you drift into building your life with the principles and philosophies of the world. When the crisis does come—and it will—there will be an overwhelming sense of loss, shame, emptiness and futility.

Consider this analogy.  The ageing of the human body causes changes in posture, strength, gait, stamina, metabolism and appearance.  These changes happen so gradually that the body’s adjustment to them seem nearly imperceptible.  Yet, when comparing a snapshot taken at age twenty with one taken at seventy, the difference is stark. Thus, it is important to understand that your ever-changing landscape makes an impact on your total person and your relationship with God.

Samuel noticed this change in King Saul. “So, Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel?” 1 Samuel 15:17. Saul’s advancement inflated his self-image to the point of unglamorous pride.  In the end, that pride cost him his life.

Life’s changes call for spiritual answers, all of which emerge from deeply embedded beliefs.  What part of you is supplying answers?  Your past character traits? Your parents? Friends and fellow workers? Secular education? Television? Popular songs? Radio, magazines books, conventional wisdom?

Of all the battles you fight, this one is the most deceptive because no clear battle lines exist. Thus, the Scriptures admonish us to “walk circumspectly.” (Ephesians 5:15), meaning to pay attention to the passing scene as you walk through life.  Never dismiss the fact that change represents an opportunity for you to grow and learn more about God.

Map out your strategy.  Maintain your walk with God when your family changes. Don’t compromise your standards.  For example, even if your children veer from the right pathway, don’t condone or defend any wrong behavior.  Make or accept job changes with great caution. Examine your motives.  Ask where a new job will lead you. Will it threaten your consecration? Will it damage your witness? Moreover, don’t let blessing and prosperity ruin you.  The world’s philosophy about success runs counter to spiritual attitudes.  Blessing can make you feel less of a need to pray.  Neither should changes in your social status affect your soul. Every change in your life or the live of close friends will deliver an impact on you.

When praying about change, don’t ask God to bless your decision before you ask Him what your decision should be.  The will of God is paramount in your life.  In seasons of change, hold onto your spiritual anchors.  Keep your supply line open.

“For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:15-18.

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