There have been times in my life where I screwed up royally. I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes. There is a clique that I use all of the time. It’s not a matter of when you’re gonna mess up. It’s not a matter of when you’re gonna screw up. It’s not a matter of when you’re gonna fall flat on your face.
It’s not a crime so to speak to mess up, screw up, or fall flat on your face. The crime is not getting up, dusting yourself off, And move forward to the life that God has called you to lead. It is in those times that we have to decide. Are we going back or moving forward.
Working with people in life struggles is both rewarding and heartbreaking. Rewarding in seeing brothers and sister come to really and truly know Jesus and see how they grow in faith, have relationships restored, and begin to live lives honoring God.
Heartbreaking in seeing them stumble and return into their old way of life. My believe is that especially the new believer or what I term the casual believer who is one that puts in an hour or two at most into their relationship with God. Yet they can’t figure out why they continually struggle in the same areas.
When we accept Christ we are called to put off the old man and become this new person in Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-24). The scripture says that the old man is gone. The likeness of Christ is supposed to come onto us. But that means we have to change.
My next question is for people in counseling is, “what do you need to change, and where do you find out exactly what you must change in order to become more like Christ.
The Holy Spirit will guide us, lead us, convict us, and remind us of scripture. The power to change comes from God alone. However, the Bible gives us clear direction in how to grow, come to honor God in every area of our lives, and to grow in the image of Christ.
It doesn’t surprise me that 98% of people I counsel don’t read the Bible. The reason why it doesn’t is that I was one of them until several years ago. I went to church every time the doors were opened. Spent countless hours cleaning and helping out. Yet I didn’t grow in my renewed relationship.
It wasn’t until I became to pick up and study God’s word; that I began to pray that I found myself seeking to please God first that my life began to change.
Just a couple years ago I bumped into an old buddy from the police department. He asked what I was doing now. My reply was you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. So I told him that I was at Nashville Rescue Mission counseling lost and broken men to find Christ and to live a positive life for Christ.
This person knew me in my old self. He said the obvious that he’d never thought that about me. My reply was why would you. In those days I knew Christ but I didn’t really know him.
Hope you caught was I said. I knew him but I really didn’t know him. There was no evidence of fruit, love, compassion in my life. It wasn’t until I really gave my life over to Christ and submitted my life to him that I began to feel the love of Christ enter me and change me.
Some of my family and friends didn’t understand why I had changed, but my hope is that they understood who it was changing me.
So today, I want to say with all sincerity that if God can change this once self-centered, prideful, arrogant, angry, and bitter person; he can truly change anyone.
Want to change? Try these three things:
- Accept Christ- the power to change only comes through his redemptive blood
- Pray and seek God’s wisdom, and pay to the Holy Spirit for strength, conviction, and help in your pursuit
- Read, pray over, meditate on, study, and commit to memory the word of God.
My belief is if you will do those things you will find that your life will change. You will have a radical heart transplant and you too will feel and sense the change in your heart.
Change sometimes is painful, but it is necessary. As God chips away at the old you it will sting, but joy, peace, and living a life in pursuit of God’s holiness will be worth every painful sting of the chisel.
Thank you for reading, and you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Please send me a friend request. And if you’d like to have someone local in the Nashville area to help you find a closer relationship with Christ please respond or please see your pastor or go to a local church.
Remember that Brenda and I love you, and that God does too.
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