“Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.” – Ephesians 4:22
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 in less 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. 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 a decade from now. I want us to be better in 10 years than we are today, but we won’t be unless you choose to be.
CHANGE REQUIRES A CHOICE.
All too often we think we’re waiting on God to change us. No, you are not waiting on God. God is rather 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 and grab hold of some new things.
It’s like swinging on a trapeze (a short bar hanging right up in the air from two ropes): The trapeze artist swings out on one bar, and then she has to reach out and grab the other bar. At some point, she has to let go of one to grab the other, or she’s not going to make it to the other side. If she thinks she can hold on to both, what happens? She gets stuck in the middle, and she’s going down.
Perhaps you’re stuck in the middle, and you’re going down because you haven’t let go of old patterns, old habits, and old ways of thinking. You have to let go of your old ways.
The Bible says, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life” – Ephesians 4:22 (NLT). 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 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” – Philippians 2:13 (NLT).
Talk It Over
- Why does change require loss? How has this been true in your life?
- What old habits and patterns do you need to “throw off” in order to grow and change this year?
- What promises can you claim from God’s Word to help you make the choice to grow and change every day?
TAKE MY LIFE, AND LET IT BE – MHB 400
1 Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
2 Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
3 Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
4 Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
5 Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Our old way of life before we believed in Christ is completely in the past. We should put it behind us like old clothes to be thrown away. When we decide to accept Christ’s gift of salvation, it is both a one-time decision, as well as a daily conscious commitment. We are not to be driven by desire and impulse. We must put on the new nature, head in the new direction, and have the new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit gives.
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