Some Thoughts On Change

19 01 2012

I recently posted about finding myself in “Burnout City”, and the things that God revealed to me that got me there. If you didn’t get a chance to read that post, I would encourage you to read it here.  It will help you understand the context for what I will explain here.

When you are on the road to burn out, things need to change.  Jesus said, “for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” and if that is not how you are feeling about life, then something is wrong.  If something doesn’t change, you will burn out, and things will change, but not in a good way.  Spiritual, Physical and Emotional breakdowns are ugly, painful, and devastating.  That’s not the kind of change you want.

In the midst of my burnout, I was caught in a deadly cycle.  I knew I was stuck, but because I spent zero time listening to God as to “why”, I didn’t have a clue.  Because I didn’t know why, I didn’t know what to change…  and because I didn’t know what to change, I found myself doing the same old things, hoping that somehow I would shake out of my funk.  Because nothing changed, nothing changed, and I remained stuck… still not knowing why…and because of that… well, you get the picture.  It was only by God’s grace that I got out of that cycle.

When I finally began to seek God on the “why”, He revealed a host of things that needed to change in my life.  However, as we all know, change doesn’t come easy.  Along the way, I had to learn how to change, and how to make that change last.  Here are a few thoughts I learned along the way.

  • Change has to be intentional – It’s not enough just to change something because you’re stuck.  You need to make sure that the changes you are making will actually help you get un-stuck.  The key here is to “connect with God” to determine the “Why” to your being stuck.  Once you see the “Why” clearly, you can make purposeful, intentional changes that will help move you forward.
  • Your flesh will resist any meaningful change – Again, change isn’t easy… especially when you are changing habits or activities that you have given yourself to for years.  You have to know, going in, that there will be great resistance to any valuable change you desire to make.  It will take courage and strength to overcome!  “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”  Ephesians 6:10
  • For change to last, you have to change the “Causes”, not the “Symptoms” –  A mistake many people make is focusing on “symptoms” rather than “causes”.  When you do this, you will expend all your effort trying to change something that will never really change, unless the cause is dealt with.  You can take Tylenol to remove a headache, but if the cause is a brain tumor, it will only be a temporary fix.  For lasting change to take place in your life, you have to focus on “Causes”, and let the symptoms go.
  • You can’t do it alone – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”  God has given us relationships to help make meaningful changes in our lives possible.  If there is something that needs to change in your life, then get a friend or two to hold you accountable to those changes.  If you’re serious about change, it will be a welcome and necessary step.
  • Don’t give up! – Here’s the reality.  You’re going to fall short at times.  However, don’t allow those lapses to be a justification for letting change go.  If I’m dieting and I give into the temptation of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, I can’t allow that one failure to derail the meaningful and important change I am trying to make.  I must understand what went wrong (why were Ben and Jerry invited into my house to begin with?), consider what the causes were (poor shopping habits?), and recommit to living out the change God is leading me to make.  If you quit, change will never, ever happen.
  • Depend upon Christ – Ultimately, no meaningful or lasting change happens without God doing an incredible and radical work of transformation.  When things need to change in our lives, we must depend upon Christ, and His strength and power, more than our wisdom, our plans, or our greatest efforts.  Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things, through Christ, who gives me strength.”  It is Christ who gives us the strength to live out the change we so desperately need in life.

God’s Transforming Power + Our Best Effort = Meaningful Change

When you combine God’s Power with your very best efforts, meaningful change is the end results.  We can’t just think that transformation will take place while we sit on the couch, and we can’t just believe that we can change ourselves.  It takes both God’s power and our best efforts to see the changes we desire come to fruition.  It’s in our efforts that God’s power is released.

So what kind of changes need to take place in your life?  Be intentional, be strong, be wise, be accountable, be diligent, and be dependent.  If I can change, so can you!  If you need help or prayer for things that need to change in your life, I would love to help if I can.  I am praying that God uses this to help you take those important steps!

Burn On!


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