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Embracing Change - A Devotion

Embracing Change
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Psalm 51:10-12 (NLT)
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you.

Discouragement is very difficult for me to accept and endure. When it come like a wet blanket, I must fight my way out. Some people assume that such a thing is just part of life, but I refuse to accept discouragement, despair and defeat as part of God’s Plan for my life. When it comes, I become deeply offended. I will not remain in the darkness, because I have been called to live in the Light of His Love. Depression and I do not get along and we never have. Even before I made Jesus Christ the Savior and Lord of my life, I would not allow it to suck me in. I would not feel sorry for myself but decided to command my own destiny and change the course of my life. It belonged to me. It was up to me to make it into what I wanted it to be so I did. There were many bumps and bruises along the way, but in the end I ran right smack into Jesus Christ who gave me a loving husband and built a beautiful family out of something broken. But even in the midst of fighting for my life, depression and discouragement were unwelcome. They are self-destructive forces that eat away at our heart, mind and soul like cancer until our physical being becomes effected. However, when it comes to the alternative we want to live happy and joyful lives but do not want to change to do it. People are comfortable in the known and seldom anxious to jump into the unknown until, of course, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So why the verse from Psalm 51, that’s not very uplifting. It doesn’t lift my fallen head or mend my broken heart you may be thinking. Well maybe, just maybe, if we got to the heart and soul of the matter rather than just trying to feel good things in our life would improve. Life without discouragement, depression and despair will never rely on our circumstances because Jesus warned us that there would be days like this. We must allow Him to change our heart. We must allow Him to change our mind. He will then change our soul so that we are focused and centered on the Light of His Amazing Love. We will prosper as our soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)

Create in me a clean heart. (Verse 10) What a welcome relief to those of us who have tried relentlessly, religiously to change our heart to embrace the Lord! Only the Lord can create in me a clean heart. Who better to do it? After all, He is the One who created the darn thing. (Psalm 33:15) Renew in me a loyal spirit. The Holy Spirit has been placed inside of our heart to change our mind about God and make us devoted and committed to living in His Unfailing Love. The Word is a two-edged sword that circumcises the human heart so that His Word can heal it brokenness and allow us to live in relationship with God once again by the righteousness found in Jesus Christ. We will begin to want what the Lord wants so we will do what He requires of us to maintain right-standing with Him. Restore to me the joy of my salvation. How many can say with me today that your present situation may not have thrown you off your foundation of faith, or make you release the anchor we call hope, but it has certainly drained you of joy? My hand is raised. I love the Lord. I do. I am committed to serving Him all the days of my life so much so that my life is no longer my own. But I am still praying the Words of Jesus Christ when I say, “God please pass this cup from me!”

Matthew 26:39 (NLT)
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Every believer has a moment or two in their life when no matter how in love they are with the Lord, or how much faith they have in Christ, will ask God to remove something from their life. In weakness, we cry out to our Father God needed relief. We cannot go any farther. We cannot bear the load any longer. We cry out for change only to find in the midst of it all that is exactly what we are experiencing – change. Our life is changing. Our heart is changing. Our mind is changing. Our soul is changing. Our destiny is changing. But right this very minute it is uncomfortable as we fight discouragement and despair with depression offering comfort ready to throw you a pity party if you will just say the word. The way to overcome is to embrace such moments of change like Jesus did. He asked God to take this cup of suffering from Him. But then came the part that would change our lives forever when the Lord said, “Yet I want Your Will to be done, not mine.” Can you say that today? This is the moment when everything changes as we accept the Will of God for our life over our own way. It will be uncomfortable. It will require a change. It will produce transformation. You will not always understand what is happening. Are you ready for that? If so, you are ready to embrace change.

Hebrews 6:17-20 (NLT)
God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

God never lies or changes His Mind. (Numbers 23:19) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) Based on both these verses, it is established that once you receive a promise from God it will come to pass in your life if He has anything to do with it. But in order to receive His Promise, I must change. Why? Quite simply if I am going in one direction and the Lord is headed in the other, how will we ever meet to make the exchange? That would be as ridiculous as a relay team that never passes another teammate. How will they pass the baton if running in opposite directions? If God is not going to change then we have to. Do not get mad if His Promises have not reached you, just turn around. The problem is that we want God’s Will our way and that my friend is never going to happen. There is only one Way into the Presence of God and His Name is Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ means making Him our Savior and Lord. We must become members of His Kingdom which means pledging allegiance to our King. Our life cannot live in rebellion or we become traitors to the Kingdom of God so why would He release all that His Kingdom has to offer to rebels. That would be dumb. Yet, we use grace as a “Trojan horse” trying to trick God into blessing us but never allowing Him to change our heart, mind and soul. (Deuteronomy 30:6) Let me let you in on a little secret…He knows. He knows you inside and out. Only those who allow their faith to become confident hope allowing the Holy Spirit to change their heart, mind and soul will have all that God promised them.

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

I hate rollercoasters. I do not subscribe to fear. I do not care for the feeling you get when your stomach meets your throat. As a kid, my friends would goad me into riding with them. Each time I got off I said that I would never ride another until the next time it happened. Finally, as an adult I decided enough was enough. They can goad and press all they want I am not getting on another one. I can do that because it’s a rollercoaster that I decide whether or not it is worth paying for. Although as of late it resembles the path of a rollercoaster, my life does not belong to me any longer. It belongs to Jesus Christ. The journey that we are presently on with my son is not of my choosing. As I come to the base of the mountain called bone marrow transplant, I am terrified. No rollercoaster I have ever ridden has ever given me this feeling inside the pit of my stomach. As my son fights for his life, I am reminded that the Lord told me from the very beginning that he would live and not die. It is God’s Promise for my life. Now I have a choice to make. Will I embrace the transformation (or change) that takes my faith and turns it into confident hope to go up this mountain or will I run from it? Well I don’t think I have a choice right now. I fear that God’s Will and my will are not the same. There is a remedy for that if I will allow God to change my heart, renew my mind and transform my soul. I want to be a living and holy sacrifice which means trusting the Lord with all that I am and ever hope to be. I want to be his mom for a whole lot longer than twenty-two short years. God is transforming me into the new person who He promised I would be but I am not sure that I care for His Technique. It’s called change and lots of it. As I spend countless hour away from home, I have three daughters at home who are growing up. Will God redeem my time with them? His Word says that He will give me back everything that the enemy has taken from me. Will God allow me to leave the hospital with my son? I believe that is what He said when He promised that he would live and not die. The only way that I will know the Truth is to strap myself to my faith and hang on to confident hope to ride this thing out. God’s Will for my life is perfect and pleasing. It is only by faith and confident hope that I will ever discover what that is so I must embrace the changes in my life in order to have it.

2 Timothy 4:1-8 (NLT)
I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

“As for me, my life has already been poured out as a liquid offering to God.” Sometimes it feels like in this race of faith that our life is unceremoniously dumped out like a discarded water cup along the Boston Marathon route. We would prefer that the Lord carefully do it drop by drop. The truth is that no one really likes change some are just better at going through it than others. Right now is not my shining moment. I want to see God’s Promise but I am not sure that I have the strength or endurance to run the race. I do not know if I have the courage to witness a tragedy to experience triumph. But I do know this, I want to fight the good fight of faith. I want to finish this race. I want to remain faithful so I may receive a crown of righteousness in the end. I want the Will of God for my life even when fear of the unknown challenges my faith. A God changes our life as believers it offers the greatest testimony to those who are lost. They cannot help but watch us as God gives us a clean heart, renewed by His Love, overflowing with joy and peace in the midst of adversity and change. Commitment is a novel idea in the disposable world in which we live. Devotion and dedication are unheard of. We never finish what we start. Love has definitely grown cold. In its place we now have things like discouragement, bitterness, distress, despair and depression. Well, I want none of that. Lord, today I offer my life once again as a living sacrifice. Sorry for ripping me off the altar again due to fear. Oh, how I have asked for this cup to be passed from me. But I know that Your Grace is sufficient for me so I will embrace change so I concede yet again “Your Will not mine today and forevermore.”

Hebrews 10:21-23 (NLT)
And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.