Change Is Constant for Christians
Often, I read of changes in someone’s life and I watch criticism unfold. I read many comments and I hear many stories on the news about how a specific person did something(s)wrong! It seems that there is much doubt as to whether change in a person’s life is possible. Take for instance , Kanye West. His story is in the news currently as his album “Jesus Is King,” was just released. Many are doubting right now that the change in his life regarding being a born again Christian, is real. When we look at his past, we see his lifestyle was rather vile, sexual and ungodly.
I recently listened to an interview with Kanye West in which he told the story of how immersed he was in pornography. He said his first encounter with pornography was when he was five years old! He said this really impacted his life and the choices he made. Most of his decisions revolved around things of a sexual nature.
Can God Really Make A Difference?
Can God not make a difference in a person’s life when they surrender to Him? Celebrities and those seen in the public eye are easily judged. We have media that portray people in extremes, as really good or really bad. Seeing this, we then compare ourselves against the celebrities, politicians or any of the people we hear about. We then tend to look at their past and feel much better about ourselves that we don’t act “as they do!” We don’t think of ourselves as needy, undeserving people. I think we tend to see ourselves as more “reachable” than some. Yet Paul says in Philippians 3:12 listed above, “not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect.” People who we don’t like, who misbehave or we disagree with, we often see as “unreachable.”
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold new things have come2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB
Is Change Possible?
The verse “with God, all things are possible” means exactly that! This includes change in a person’s life! God can change lives and He will. A person must yield their life to Him. He can then change their life! This is not a necessity for salvation, but rather a sign that salvation has occured in their life. It is a sign that they have changed directions, that they have repented of where they were in the past to a different life now. A change demonstrates that they know they need God to guide and rule their life. He’s the “New Commander and the Chief” as Kanye states in one of his newest songs, “On God.”
When we look at the at the apostle Paul’s life in the New Testament, he persecuted Christians for their faith. he said:
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst.1 Timothy 1:15
Is Change Immediate?
We can watch, we can wait and see how or if an individual changes over time. It takes time to see change, though. We won’t see the same change or amount of change from a newborn in Christ, as we will from someone who has known Christ for many years. This is the case for every believer. Paul In fact, speaks of the struggle between our flesh and our spirit in Romans 7.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.Romans 7:14-25 New International Version (NIV)
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[b] a slave to the law of sin.
Sometimes one who has known Christ for years and looks good on the outside, can be stale and be a lukewarm believer. They are not excited about things of God and thankful for His grace. There is no growth. They have still received Christ and have salvation but some cannot see evidence of a relationship with Him in their life. Some wonder if they are following His purpose for them. They go to church and do all the expected things that they believe makes them acceptable to God.
Once in Prison, Now Set Free
Sin is a choice that “imprisons” us. It is the choice that:
- We made to be stuck in a terrible place by the actions we did and decisions we made.
- God made to save us and to set us free.
- We make, to accept His sacrifice and grace for us and walk with our Lord from that point on.
See, it is a journey! There is no way that we will get to where God wants us to be , immediately. We can allow Him to use us in incredible ways by taking our wrongs , changing and using us for good. When I look at Kanye West right now, I see that he is concerned about moral issues for those who worked with him in making this new album, Jesus is King. He asked those who were unmarried, to not have sex outside of marriage. Kanye also sees the immodesty of the clothing that his wife, Kim was wearing and wants a change there. He is surrounding himself with other believers as well, and giving the gospel to many.
There is a huge relief, a freedom, when we know that we are released from staying where we were in our past, where we are still in other people’s views and expectations of us, how we can then be used of God and finally a permanent home in heaven. When we know that we may be judged by others and believe that they won’t accept where we are now, it is hard to follow Christ still. But, the Bible says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36). Choosing Christ brings freedom!