Sunday, 20 June 2010

Good and lasting change..

The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded.  He went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

2nd Chronicles 15: 1-2


In my church, this month has been declared to be our month of 'GOOD CHANGE'. Amen. I declare a good change over issues that may have persisted for long in our lives in the mighty name of Jesus. The main focus of my prayer these days has been for God to work within me, strengthening my inner man, uprooting evil seeds, getting to the root of things, not just dealing with the things I do but rewriting the script from which the actions flow forth.It's an interesting way our God works, in an instant He can cause blind eyes to open, the lame to walk and provide supernatural supply. Even salvation is an instant process, we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths and we are saved. However, I've come to realise that the greatest work does in us isn't as instant, isn't as visible. It is God working in us to become like Him. This is a lifelong process and takes time. As I pondered on the verses above, it was like the Holy Spirit saying to me

'It is time to change tactics, it is time to seek the Lord, stop always trying to change behaviour instead of taking time to develop a relationship with the Creator who possesses the manual. He created you, He knows what you are capable of. He's Father, Friend, Coach. His Spirit is stretching you beyond what you thought possible through tests and trials to develop you. He chases you to the point of salvation but the desire for growth and communion with Him is up to you for you must make the choice. He cannot force His will on you for that is not love but control. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. Your change cannot come from self-help but God help. To bring about reform, we must go to the One who is the Author and Finisher and ask for His help.'

When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the LORD

Replacement therapy

His actions remind me of Gideon, who after receiving His mission statement from God, destroyed the altars for idolic worship and built an altar to the Lord. Hmm, these idols, I can write a book or two about them. For lasting change, the idols we have set up in our lives must be dethroned but even more than that we must consciously repair the altar of the Lord in the temple of our hearts. For God to live in us, He must reign supreme, 'I am the Lord your God, you must have no other gods before me'. He does not accept to be our back up plan, our alternative. What does this mean practically? That ensuring our relationship with God becomes our number one priority. Not our careers, not even the 'job' God has given us to do in Kingdom, not our spouse, or our desire for a spouse, all these things are important but must flow from the relationship we have with God. Our priorities determine how we spend our time, money and things precious. I have to ask myself these days, what that says about my relationship with God. Have I truly built an altar? An altar of worship, an altar of prayer, an altar of sacrifice?

Like Asa, the actions required for lasting change will need us to take courage because we will have to make decisions which are unpopular. Some of us may sacrifice relationships which are pulling us away from our first love. If you have a friend who is always negative about your spouse, your family or your job we normally distance ourselves from them to preserve what we hold dear. Let us in like manner hold fast to our God. Asa had to remove his mother from being queen because she refused to follow the Lord. As leaders, we must make tough decisions for the greater good.

....for large numbers had come over to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was WITH HIM. ........They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side. There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa's reign.

The Covenant

When we give God the honour due to Him, He begins to work in our lives in ways we never thought possible. The people that had been scattered all over came back home when they heard that the Lord was with him. Whose destiny is tied to yours, that needs you as a divine advertisement of the transforming power of the grace of God so that they can come back 'home' so to speak. We can't keep talking about a God who seems 'impotent' of bringing about lasting change in our own lives. What is the evidence that we can present to the world of what serving Christ has done for us personally? Father, help me on this one.

When we begin to get our acts right with God on the inside (private), He begins to do things that are noticed by all (public). The people came back and all decided to enter into a covenant with God. Yes, we sing He is a covenant keeping God but a covenant has to do with all the parties in the covenant. God will keep His end of the bargain, are you keeping yours. That's a whole post in its own right. The Word says that God then gave them 'rest on every side, there was no more war' for a season. There is nothing that we 'lose' for Christ that we do not gain back many times over. Those things we felt we couldn't do without, as we draw closer to God, He begins to give us a desire for something different, all of a sudden 'vegetables' begin to have more appeal than the 'king's meat'. I pray that as you decide to step up with God in this season that He will give you rest on all sides. That as we surrender to His leading and guidance, we will begin to understand what it truly means to have Jehovah the God of War (Sabaoath) fighting on our behalf.

Dear Father,

I thank you because you are a God who desires to have a relationship with His children. Not stale legalistic do's and don'ts but a dynamic one where you speak and we listen, we speak and you listen, growing in you. You desire intimacy. Help us to draw near to you, forgive us for idolatry, we avail ourselves to the Holy Spirit that He may do His work in our lives in Jesus name. Whatever will prevent us from seeing a good change, we take authority over in Jesus name. By your mercy and grace, please lovingly show us those little foxes that spoil the vine, areas of compromise, the sins that easily beset us for by your grace we can receive strength to pull down idolic altars and build instead an altar unto you where our wills are the sacrifice. Thank you Father, thank you Lord for my change shall be good and it shall be a lasting change in Jesus name.


Berean Girl said...

Uprooting Idols... that part stood out to me. I never interpreted the story of Gideon in my life that way. Thankyou for this.


Wow. This really got to me. "If you have a friend who is always negative about your spouse, your family or your job we normally distance ourselves from them to preserve what we hold dear. Let us in like manner hold fast to our God" It's easier to forsake families and friends for our selfish reasons than to forsake certain things for a godly change.
I so love that 'as we draw closer to God, He begins to give us a desire for something different'. Little would you know how much blessing this post was to me. Keep shining the light. You are absolutely inspiring.

blogoratti said...

Many thanks for back to read more on that.

Kafo said...

this is really potent
so many nuggets of wisdom
i must return and read this again

have a blessed week

Jaycee said...

The month of "Good Change." Wow, I declare that over I and hubby's month as well. Amen.