What do you think about change? It’s one of those funny words that makes some people giddy and others cower. Change is avoided and resisted by some, while it is wholeheartedly embraced by others. What is it about change that causes such varied reactions?
We all know that change is part of life, that it is inevitable, and even necessary. But why? What’s the purpose of it? After all, God doesn’t change, He is forever constant, and eternally the same. I would venture to say that at the beginning of creation, change was not necessarily part of the plan. Change of seasons, yes, and changes such as fruit growing and ripening, babies being born and growing up, but that’s about it. God’s creation was perfect and needed no change. However, that all changed with the Fall, and man’s rebellion against God. That single act of disobedience changed everything! Some of the changes that happened were negative consequences, such as aging and death. Other changes were desperately needed and hoped for, such as the redemption and restoration of our souls. And ever since that time, we have been in a constant state of change. And whether we like it or not, change is good for us. This is especially true in a spiritual sense.
Some people believe that if we have felt God calling us to a specific service, then we are to stay there until death. I would like to propose a slightly different thought: God has uniquely gifted us with spiritual gifts, and we are to use and develop those gifts until death. But the capacity or the location where we serve can very much be subject to change. For example, Paul was the “missionary to the gentiles”, and he planted many a church, often remaining with the local fellowship for extended periods of time. But gradually, his involvement in the established church changed from planter, leader, and preacher to mentor, advisor, and delegator. He could have stayed as pastor with any one congregation until his dying breath, but he knew that he needed to move on, to serve in different capacities and locations. Yet his spiritual gifts remained the same.
God uses change to stretch us and cause us to grow. He knows that without change, we become complacent, self-reliant, and boring. Life just ends up being a mindless routine, and we slip into lukewarm mediocrity. Sometimes, change is necessary because we have put too much on our plates, and God needs us to simplify, de-clutter, and re-prioritize our schedules. Whatever the case, the purpose of change is to bring zeal and excitement to our relationship with our heavenly Father, to cause us to depend on Him for everything, and also to grow and develop the gifts He has given us.
Don’t be afraid of change. Step into it, boldly and whole-heartedly, knowing that God is using it for His glory and your benefit. Maybe it’s time for a change in roles or positions. Maybe you need to look for a different way to use your gifts better. Either way, allow the changes in your life to bring you closer to God, to invigorate and set your soul on fire for Him, and to impact more people for eternity. Everything God does is for a reason, and all His ways have a purpose. Live confidently in the knowledge that your life is carefully molded and crafted by Him, and that He desires change for your life. Be comforted in the knowledge that God never changes because no matter what life circumstances you find yourself in, He will sustain you and be your strength. His promise from Matthew 28:20 is forever true: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He is there, in whatever lies before you. He is there, even when you don’t see what the next day will bring. And He is holding out His hands to you, asking you to follow Him into the adventures He has planned for you!