Here is the devotional:
We live in a semi-Christian culture in which a lot of people still go to church and sing a few songs, listen to a sermon, nod their heads in agreement, assume their agreement equals faith, and go home to live just as they did before—and just as their nonchurchgoing friends do. Does this sound familiar?
It’s a passive kind of faith. It keeps people in touch with cultural Christianity, but it doesn’t change lives.
We also live in a society where many Christians have bought into the lie that we can be fulfilled with a little more money, a better job, kids who excel, nicer clothes, a remodeled house, a better car, and better vacations. Settling for worldly pursuits instead of walking with God prevents us from experiencing the transformation He offers.
Real fulfillment of our deepest desires comes in the context of a growing relationship with God and alignment with His will for our lives. This change comes in three phases:
Spiritual Birth. When we receive Jesus by faith as our Savior.
Spiritual Maturity. When we grow in our learning and understanding of the character of Christ.
Spiritual Reproduction. When we turn outward and serve others in the name of Jesus.
The Bible doesn’t encourage us just to exercise more willpower and discipline, and hope for the best. It gives us an entirely new source of life, casts vision, and calls us into new experiences. Think of Paul, in Romans 12:2. He teaches us to renew our minds—to let God reshape our thinking, so that we can grow into the likeness of Christ.
When you surrender to these three phases of spiritual growth, you will sense the Spirit of Jesus at work within you. As you allow Him to work, you will begin to see the lasting change in your life that you are longing for.
Are you beginning to feel more hopeful about actually seeing change in your life?
How is God speaking to you right now? What does He want to do in your life?
Prayer: Father, help me see the picture of the person You are calling me to be. I am eager to explore Your promises of a radically new life.
Here are the scriptures referenced:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2 KJV
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Galatians 4:19 KJV
Here are Stu’s thoughts:
His first paragraph truly shows why so many feel the church is full of hyocrites.
But, most will condemn the church for being full of hypocrites without ever knowing what stage of faith someone is at.
A new Christian will more than likely continue going to the bars, drink and hang out for a while. Because that is what they know.
Two coworkers can go to the same church and see a different side of each other on Monday. One may not have learned to control his tongue yet and curse like a sailor when stressed out.
Yes, a lot of Christians are still caught up in the rat race and trying to keep up with Jones’ with a new car, boat, clothes, shows, phone, etc.
None of these examples I gave give me a reason to believe a person has not changed. Although I can see where many believe it.
Sometimes change is subtle.
This type of change takes place inwardly slowly and works its way outwardly even slower.
Sometimes change is immediate.
God is still doing miracles today and can cure people of addiction, a habitual sin immediately.
But no matter which route the change takes it will not happen unless the person actually wants to change.
Did you know there are a lot of Christians out there that do not read their Bible? It’s not because they can’t read or make time it’s just in the simple fact that they do not want to.
Let me just say this….
If you are struggling with ANYTHING that is causing your walk with God to not flourish you will continue to struggle until you want to change.
It’s like the smoker who knows the damage smoking causes but will not stop because they don’t want to.
When they really want to stop they will.
The same is true about changing for the better in our walk with God.
You can cry out to God all you want but until YOU are ready to change for his glory and not your own selfish reason then you will continue to not be changed.
Change takes action. And that first action is to realize you have an issue! Then you must want to change! Then take it to the throne room and talk to God about it asking him to show you what steps must be taken. Then and only then will you and others see a change within you.