New Year, New Hope

Devotional

Change

There is need of a great revival of spiritual life, of truly fervent devotion to our Lord Jesus, of entire consecration to His service. It is only in a church in which this spirit of revival has at least begun, that there is any hope of radical change in the relation of the majority of our Christian people to mission work. — Andrew Murray

When Jesus was born into the world, everything changed. Life came to conquer death. And of course, even Jesus Himself experienced some dramatic changes. The son of God took on the weak body of a newborn baby, the awkwardness of puberty, and the aches and pains of adulthood. He allowed His circumstances and His very being to be changed from one of heavenly perfection to one of earthly imperfection. That’s a huge change—bigger than any physical change you or I will ever know. We can’t even fully comprehend what that change must have been like.

The change of the world started with Jesus, and it will also end with Jesus when He comes back to establish a new heaven and a new earth. But our question today is: What will we do in the time between those two mileposts of change?

All throughout Scripture we see that we are called to be like Jesus. We are called to be the difference. And until Jesus returns in glorious fashion, we are called to be the change.

What does that mean?

“Being the change” can be as simple as letting your voice be heard or even being a little louder than you were the day before. We are all at different places in our spiritual journey, but we are all called to be the change—and that’s one thing that won’t ever change. Change, whether your cause is a major social issue or just a desire to see someone in your school or workplace treated better, is something most of us are looking for. But we often hope that someone else will make it happen. Guess what? You are that someone else.

Our culture revolves around maintaining a baseline of comfort. That means change is usually the last thing we want to think about; change is uncomfortable. Although change and newness often results in growth, psychologists know firsthand that millions of people fear change. This fear is known as “neophobia”—yes, it’s a real phobia, and yes, it shows how faithless we really are.

My point: We’re so comfortable with where we are that we ignore openings that might help us get where we’re heading. We all want change, but we’re scared to be the ones to step out and be the change. We can’t expect to look any different than the world while we continue to immerse ourselves in its garbage.

We’ve created an agenda of comfort that keeps us from breaking into the world of “changedom” (yes, I invented that word). If we want change, we need to be the ones to act, to build, to speak up, to start. God hasn’t called us to conform to the patterns of this world but to be transformed through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Challenge:

What are some concrete things in your community that you hope will improve this year? What steps can you take to make that change a reality?