walk in the word
Category: Attitudes, Change, Family, Character, Friends, Your Walk With God
“You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. . . . But that is not the way you learned Christ!” Ephesians 4:17, 20
Do you believe that God changes people?
In principle it’s easy to say that God can work on anyone, but it gets risky to say He can transform the people you know. Then it’s personal. Can God change people in your family and in your church? Have you ever met up with someone you hadn’t seen in a while, and they seem different—in a good way? That’s God at work.
Is God changing you? Are you the same person you were 2 or 5 or 10 years ago? Think about a habit or a character issue that used to be a serious struggle. Is it still a battle, or have you seen victory over it? If you can point to something specific and say, “That used to be a problem for me, but it’s not anymore,” then praise God! He’s changing you!
The apostle Paul offered the same encouragement to the followers of Christ at Ephesus. He drew a line and said, “You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do. . . . That is not the way you learned Christ!” (Ephesians 4:17, 20). In your days before salvation, you had no choice but to “walk the way Gentiles do.” You may have been involved in any number of dark things. But, according to Ephesians 4:17, your life shouldn’t be like that anymore. Once you’ve come to Christ, you’re on a different road.
I believe that people change first when they admit their need to change and then when they identify and articulate specific areas on which to focus. Let me ask you to do this: Name three things that God is working on in you right now. Ready?
Do you have an answer? If you had to make up a scenario, or couldn’t think of anything specific, then you’re not taking seriously God’s offer to make you more godly. Change is not some mystical something that descends on you while you’re eating breakfast. Change happens because you see your sinful tendencies and allow God access to your will. Then you can yield to His Spirit when you come to those forks in the road when that inclination in your old nature is to do wrong. You can choose to turn around and act differently.
It is the grace of our long-suffering God at work in you and me that transforms us day by day. It’s an amazing testimony to His mercy that He keeps coming after us, pointing out the things that keep us from knowing the fullness of His joy. Ephesians 4:22-24 continues the process, “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life . . . and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” That’s the goal we’re going after—changed to be more like Him.
brought to you by change partners