Marked By a Life of Change
Today’s post concludes a short 3-part series on wholehearted commitment– what it looks like, what the Bible says, and how we can go “all in” with our faith. Last Monday, we explored the WIIFM mentality and how it’s so seductive in today’s society. On Wednesday, we touched on lukewarm faith. Today, we’re concluding with the “what’s next”. Hope you enjoy reading!
My life has gone through a bit of change lately: new job, new child, etc. Those two alone are pretty big! As we conclude this mini-series today, I wanted to touch on exactly that: change. With regards to our relationship with God, I believe the following statement to be true:
Wholehearted commitment is marked by a life of change.
Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on things of this world. Some pretty bold questions that challenge the best of us.
A great example of someone in the Bible whose life was marked by change is Paul. Before his conversion experience, Paul (went by Saul) was a mean dude. He was uber-religious, knew his stuff, and persecuted the early church. In fact, he was there when the first martyr (Stephen) was stoned. Then God came into the picture. On a trip to Damascus, God met Saul where he was and changed his life. He changed his name to Paul and later became one of the principal figures in the early church. Here is an example of that change he experienced:
At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. (Acts 9:20-22)
Paul didn’t just stop killing people, he changed. He acted. His faith was real.
At times sometimes I believe that change only involves the elimination of a certain action in my life (“I’ll stop being selfish”, “I’ll put away my iPhone at night when I’m with the family”), but most of the time it is characterized by what happens next (“Instead of stopping selfishness, I’m going to chose to prefer this person.”, “Instead of just putting away my phone, I’m going to intentionally engage my family”).
What area needs to be marked by change in my life? My relationships with others? My discipline to spend time with God? My bad habits?
Without holding back punches, Jesus wasn’t interested in those who “fake it”. Many times He addressed Pharisees who behaved like this (Matthew 23) and, like we mentioned last Wednesday, a lukewarm faith claims to know God but doesn’t live like He exists.
Like myself, it may be time to examine and search our hearts so that we can truly give God wholehearted commitment.
Photo credit: dunkind