It’s good when your wife has your back. About a week ago, Sarah had sent me a piece from Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Connection — a daily devotional based off of his ever-popular book, The Purpose Driven Life. It’s a Christian guide for finding a better sense of meaning in one’s life and reassurance to get through the difficult times.
“Since you have heard all about Jesus and have learned the truth that is in him, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must put on your new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness—righteous, holy, and true. So put away all falsehood and tell your neighbor the truth because we belong to each other. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.” (Ephesians 4:21-27 NLT)
“Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception.” (Ephesians 4:22 NLT)
Change requires making choices. It’s not enough to dream of changing. It’s not enough to desire change. In order for you to change, you will need to make a decision. You must choose to change.
Change is intentional: Are you going to be any different in six months? Are you going to be better a year from now? Are you going to be healthier, stronger, and more mature? Are you going to be happier? Are you going to be less in debt? Are you going to be more like God wants you to be?
I can tell you the answer right now: It will only happen if you choose to change, because it isn’t going to happen accidentally. That’s why we’re engaged in Decade of Destiny; you need to think ahead to where you need to be at the end of this year, and where you need to be in three years, six years, and at the end of this decade. I want you to be better in ten years than you are now, but you won’t be unless you choose to be.
It requires a choice.
A lot of times we think we’re waiting on God to change us. No, you are not waiting on God. God is waiting on you. He’s waiting on you to say, “Yes, Lord, I’m willing to make these changes.”
We have to make intentional choices in order to grow. There is no growth without change, there is no change without loss, and there is no loss without pain. If you are going to grow, you will have to change, and change means you let go of some old things in order to grab hold of some new things.
It’s like swinging on a trapeze; the trapeze artist swings out on one bar, and then he has to reach out and grab the other one. At some point, he’s got to let go of this one to grab on to the other, or he’s not going to make it to the other side. If he thinks he can hold on to both, what happens? He gets stuck in the middle and he’s going down.
Some of you are stuck in the middle, and you’re going down because you haven’t let go of the old patterns, the old habits, and the old ways of thinking. You have to let go of your old ways.
The Bible says, “Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life ….” In other words, let it go. Those old habits, those old hurts, those old patterns, those old sins in your life—let them go. The Bible says to throw them off and trust that God is working in you “to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).