By Malcolm Burleigh
The difficulty of change is not knowing where it will lead you. However change is inevitable and necessary if we’re going to advance the purposes of God. Change is something we preach about, we like to sing about, we even celebrate the announcement of, but few are willing to embrace it. There are several things in life we can’t get away from – one of those things is change, because change is simply inevitable.
Throughout the Bible, we see examples of people refusing to change – great men have fallen, beautiful cities lie in ruin, and opportunities are missed.
To refuse change is to deny growth.
To deny growth is to wound the very heart of God.
There comes a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud becomes more painful than the risk it takes to blossom. Someone once said that the only people that like change are wet babies – and even they aren’t excited about it when being changed.
Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Remember, to be in Christ is to forever change. We move from learning about Him to living for Him. Listen to the counsel the Lord gave his disciples as they argue about who was greatest in the kingdom of heaven: “Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
The truth presented in this text is that you can’t fully embrace the call of God upon your life unless you change. Change is not an event, it’s a journey. Ephesians 2:10 says: “We are God’s workmanship created in Christ….” There are plans that God has for each one of us but if we don’t change, we will never experience the fullness of what He intended.
Judas never became, because he didn’t change.
Absalom never became, because he didn’t change.
Bishop Tony Miller declared, “We’re not defeated because of who we are, we are defeated because of who we refuse to become”.
To become is to change, and changing is a process. Too often we miss out on what God is doing in our lives because we’re looking for progress instead of process.
Matthew 18:3 stresses the importance of change – if you don’t change, you won’t become, and if you don’t become, then you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.
You’ll never enjoy the fullness of what was always yours. You’ll never have the capacity to complete the assignment placed upon your life. You’ll never become until you change.
The Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things.”
In order to change we must align our thinking with God’s word. II Corinthians 5:17 reads: “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Malcolm Burleigh currently serves as the National Director of Intercultural Ministries for Assemblies of God U.S. Missions, where he leads in twenty-two fields of ethnic ministry and four fields of compassion ministry. To learn more about AGUSM, visit www.usmissions.ag.org.