What Would I Give to Change?
Matthew 16:25,26 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
I spoke yesterday of the necessity of committing to radical change if I want transformation. Half-efforts are of little use in the battle against the flesh nature. I still struggle with some things (donuts) because I just have not been desperate enough to make radical change in my life. In other areas, (drug addiction), I have been desperate enough to make radical change.
It is often only in our desperation that we become willing to do what it takes to be different. This is why most of us do not change. We simply remain unwilling to do what it takes. If nothing changes, nothing changes.
Some believe that God transforms us without any effort on our part. I have been told by some that I needed nothing but God. What they meant by this was, that I did not need to go to recovery meetings, I did not need counseling and I certainly did not need treatment. Those were all secular concepts and thus, faithless. All I needed was to sit and pray.
You may object to this line of thinking, but we do it with other defects quite often. We often want God to just magically change us, so we pray. We ask God to take away our anxiety, appetite, lust, anger, pride and need for affirmation from others, but we do nothing. We just sit and pray.
Suddenly, you are not sure if that is right or wrong. Am I not to pray about everything? Absolutely. We are to take everything, including our defects, to God. Just like with addiction though, we are to pray and do whatever it takes to abandon the defects that cause us destruction. If I pray that God magically fix me but I remain unwilling to change anything in my life, I am going to remain in my defect.
Jesus insisted on profound commitment to give up all for him. We can hang on to whatever we want, but in the end, the more we cling to, the higher the cost. Whoever would save his life will lose it.
I can insist that I need to do nothing. I can remain in the same job, habits, TV watching, internet surfing and leisure. It is my choice to change nothing but then nothing will change. Being a Christian does not mean that I get to indulge in my anxiety, anger or lust all day and then pray in the evening that God make me different tomorrow.
If I want to follow God, then I need to continually ask if I am pursuing self or God. If my pursuit is of self, then I need to be willing to give it up. I do not get to pray that God will make all donuts taste bad. I need to change my lifestyle if I want to stop eating donuts. The defects that I still struggle with remain because I remain unwilling to do what it takes to change. God will always do his part. I need to forfeit my will if I want the transformed life.