The Abundant Life: Riches money can’t buy…
The abundant life knows that change is hard. In fact, just mention the word “change” and an automatic resistance shield springs up around most of us.
Yes, change can be hard. Yet, change is inevitable—in our families, our homes, our communities, our world, our church, and everywhere. It’s been said that the only constant in life is change. Some changes are beyond our control and thrust upon us. Some changes we may have to accept. Others we must choose.
Change can be a friend or a foe, but it’s never easy. The Russian empress Catherine the Great described the changing times of the eighteenth century this way: “A great wind is blowing and that gives you either imagination or a headache.” Not much has changed regarding our reaction to change since then. We don’t like it. We struggle with it. We resist it. We fear it. However, as things around us change, we must adapt or make changes as well. Sometimes our survival depends on our ability to change.
When the Israelites faced the prospect of entering Canaan, they sent scouts out to take a look at this land God had promised them—a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Indeed, the land was all God said it would be. (Numbers 13:27) However, they perceived those inhabiting this land as much stronger than they were. (Numbers 13:31-33) So instead of going forward with God’s blessings, the majority wanted to return to Egypt where they had been enslaved. (Numbers 14:1-4) They would have preferred something familiar no matter how bad it was, rather than moving forward into the unknown.
Many of us are like that when faced with a significant change. Since we can’t be certain of the outcome, we back away. Some of us would prefer to just live in pain or be unhappy instead of stepping out in faith. However, if we want things to be different, we cannot remain the same. We either choose to act in faith or react in fear.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and a strong mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) The spirit He gives us has the ability to make changes when needed. Positive changes can mean growth. Those unwilling to change can become stagnant, lifeless, and lethargic.
Many think that if they change it means what they’ve done in the past was all wrong. The past doesn’t have to be put in a negative context. After all, the past was a stepping stone to the future. Let’s face it, what we did fifty years ago may have worked well then, but times change. Circumstances change.
This is very evident in presenting the gospel message to others. The message is the same because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), but how we present it to others may need to adapt with the times.
Those living the abundant life know that if they don’t like what they are getting out of life, they must change what they are giving. In other words, they strive to be the change they want to see in others.
“…I have come that they may have life and that they
may have it more abundantly.” ~John 10:10 (KJV)