Changing Our View Of Change
Fall is upon us. We hear the winds of change swirling and can smell BBQ filling the air around Kansas City. Soon the city will be gorgeous with leaves changing colors, people rockin’ their favorite fall sweaters, and the mornings will feel like a touch of heaven with a cool breeze. Plus, the weekends will be filled with the excitement of fall festivals and football. As much as fun as the summers are, there’s something about the excitement of a new season that gives us something to look forward to.
And before you know it, daylight savings will remind us that the holidays are right around the corner. Change is always upon us. You can’t escape it and you can’t wish it away. It’s part of the rhythm of life.
Change is inevitable. Have you ever noticed that kids love change but adults tend to resist it? What changed? Kids love to see their growth spurts, they love to go to the next grade, they love meeting new friends, and they love new adventures.
However, as we age, that love for change dies inside of us. For many people, it’s their perception of change that causes us to resist it as we get older.
So how can we embrace change with a healthy heart and be excited for what’s to come?
1. Let’s not focus on what we are losing. Instead, let’s shift our focus on what we will gain.
Portions of Philippians 3 says: I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things.
Notice that Paul says those who are mature take such view of these things. Your perception shapes your reality. As you mature in your faith, what may seem like a loss in the hands of Jesus can be a great gain if we shift our focus on what we will gain instead of what we are losing.
You can’t choose everything that happens to you in life. Sometimes change is part of life and sometimes change is forced upon us and is unexpected because of situations out of our control. We aren’t always in control of what changes. However, we are in control of what we give our time and attention to and as Jesus followers we can be confident that He can take the worst situations and turn them for good if we remain focused on Him.
Portions of Ps. 30 (VOICE) - I praise You, Eternal One. You lifted me out of that deep, dark pit and denied my opponents the pleasure of rubbing in their success. You lifted me from the grave with a mighty hand, gave me another chance, and saved me from joining those in that dreadful pit. Let grateful music fill the air and bless His name. The deepest pains may linger through the night, but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.
No matter where you are in life, choose to believe that there are still new friendships to build, new opportunities to take hold of, and more people to impact. God is always moving us forward into the future.
2. Instead of focusing preserving our past, let’s shift our focus on what’s to come.
Why is change so hard for adults? Because the past is what we know. Even if it’s bad. The past seems safe. It gives us a false confidence to stay put. And for so many people, they just get stuck there. The past can literally become an idol that we find our security in.
Heb. 11:1-2 (MSG) - The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
The enemy of our souls would love for you to stay committed to the past. But God is calling you towards the future. Familiarity is the thief of the future! Get around people who are willing to step out and take hold of new grounds and territories that seem impossible. Stay planted in environments that are willing to go after the future. That belief in the future will allow you to lean into God and away from self-preservation.
The only reason we ever look back is to be reminded that God was faithful so it gives us hope to look ahead and be confident that He is able to see us through whatever is in front of us.
3. Remember whatever you magnify is what you will worship.
Ps. 69:30 - I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive!
Ps 34:3 - O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together.
Because of Christ, change isn’t something we have to fear anymore. And do you know where that heart posture begins…gratitude. When we understand what He’s done and rescued us from, it changes what we magnify in the middle of change. We do it privately and corporately.
And when you magnify God and not your situation, those looking in begin to take notice and find hope through your life.
The whole duty of the follower of Jesus can be summed up in this: think, love, and act in a way that will make God look as great as He really is to our city. Let’s be a magnifying glass for the world of the infinite wealth of His love and grace for all people.
When that happens, change is inevitable. And honestly…when God is our primary focus, we can learn how to celebrate change instead of fearing it! Because it’s always been about God, it still is all about God, and always will be all about God.