by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you ever noticed all this things you think about changing that you never quite get done? I should be more disciplined. I need to be nicer to my husband. I need to be nicer to my wife. I need to spend more quality time with my kids. I really need to set up our budget. I need to start planning for retirement. I need to quit smoking. I need to get involved serving somewhere in church. I have got to start eating better. I need to get into an exercise routine. I need to lose this extra weight. I need get up earlier and spend time reading the Bible and praying. I need to get my butt of the couch and do something more productive. I need to stop drinking and get help, and on and on. Honest people admit they think repeatedly about change, but execute few successfully and consistently.
The road to Hell, the road to failure, and the road to disappointment are all roads paved with good intentions! And no one is giving out hundred-dollar bills for them. The reality we all face is this: we all think about and desire to make changes that mentally don’t seem like they would be that difficult. Yet, as we begin to initiate them, they suddenly feel overwhelming and impossible to carry out. Why is that? There are many reasons including demonic warfare. Satan tries to keep you enslaved and stuck in your rut. He will oppose your personal change for the better if it means you’ll become a better person that loves God and touches others with His love.
It’s only with God’s help that will we experience meaningful and lasting change. This is the time Jesus’ words from Mark 10:27 rings loudly. Jesus said, "With man this is impossible, but with God; all things are possible."
Let me share strategies that God gives us from His Word to help us achieve victory in making changes in our lives. First: Know what you want to change in and commit it consistently before God in prayer. Phil 4:6 (NIV) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” You know what a petition is. It’s a formal request for something desired. In the Greek, the word for petition actually originates from a word meaning to beg! That encompasses knowing two things: What it is you want and begging as though you were needy and needed help. You do. Admit it. Write down your petition or your list of things you desire to personally change in. Understand that unless you (pray) beg or realize you can’t do this without God, you will not succeed. Humble yourself and understand that the strength to live out God’s will is only within receiving His help in your attempts to change.
Secondly, Ask God! I know we just said that, but I have to emphasize that it isn't enough to just think about it or toss thoughts around like a football. It is got to become a prayer—you taking the time to stop in devotion and say, Lord, without the help of your Holy Spirit, this isn't going to change so I am asking you to strengthen my by your spirit! Is that really important? Yes! James 4:2 (NLT) says, “… And yet the reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it.”
Thirdly, you need to be tenacious! Be the little kid that was promised a treat from daddy and never lets Daddy forget! Daddy, you said…. Daddy, you promised… You know how kids are. They don’t just think it, they say it because they know it’s been promised to them! God’s grace to change has been promised to you. Be tenacious like a child in asking. Have your list of changes you are making request for and pray them to the Lord.
Fourth, don’t stop asking. Jesus taught that truth. There are demonic forces working against you. Luke 18:1 (NLT) says, “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up.” Colossians 4:2 (NIV) says, "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."
Understand Satan is opposing you. Instead, you oppose Him! Ephesians 6:10-13 (NLT) says, "A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm."
Keep asking till you see the desire and motivation for change grow strong within you. Then you'll KNOW you are ready to go succeed in your desired change. Keep asking for strength until you've finished your course. By that point your asking will turn into excitement and thanking!
As you do these things, God’s help within you will manifest. How long should you do this? Until it comes. It may be a week, it may be a month, it may be two months. Do these things faithfully, in faith knowing confidently that God is doing a work in you and that one day it will drive the change you desire with His strength! This is how Supernatural Change comes!
Matthew 21:21-22 Then Jesus told them, "I assure you, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, 'May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and it will happen. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt