Forced to Change – A Devotion

Forced to Change

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

 

As she made her way to the altar for prayer, the tall beautiful woman caught my attention. Holding tightly to the young man’s hand, her intention was to find relief from the pain she has suffered. The loss of a child is a change no parent ever wants to endure. Much less the senseless murder of an innocent but she has made it this far. The sweet prayer worker prayed with the couple as I prayed from afar. God heal their heart of this unthinkable horror. Flood them with joy and peace again in this life though they now long for the everlasting. In life there are many times that we are forced to change and adapt to our circumstances. We have no choice in the matter whether a tragedy or simply the process of transformation from one season to the next. In these moments of forced change in order to survive, we must learn to accept what we did not want to accept the Glory hidden in that moment. The pain is real. The suffering severe. No one is exempt from the tragedy and trials of life. Change is inevitable. But change is not bad. I dare say that in every season and situation – God will make good on His Promises for His People regardless of the events leading up to it. When we submit our devastation and brokenness to the Lord that is when we accept the change that is forced upon us.

We are God’s Masterpiece. Allow that thought to sink in past familiarity and really chew on it philosophically. Sin caused our beauty to be hidden beneath its ugliness but in Christ we are being renewed day by day for the good things that He planned long ago. We are given this opportunity to live again in Jesus Christ. It is our blessing and benefit though we have very little to do with the process other than change. Those who have accept the Lord have committed their life to change. It is transforming which is another word for change. Don’t be deceived. The details of life are constantly moving and changing. The difference between a believer’s plight and that of those who do not know the Lord is that we have hope. In every season with every change there is life potential. How do I know that God makes good on every detail of our life? Why am I so sure? I am just like you today. I have been forced to change due to certain circumstances and situations beginning with our son’s battle with cancer. It was in that moment that the reality of death became a real factor in our life. Was it always there? Of course, but I chose to ignore it. Our children are growing up and leaving the nest. Is this normal? Yes. Do I miss them? Without a doubt. There are so many changes that go on each day but as human beings we often ignore change until it is forced upon us. Renewal requires change. Transformation is change. Both are necessary to see God’s Glory released in our life.

Jeremiah 18:1-6 (NLT)

The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.

Human inability to live apart from sin keeps us on the Potter’s wheel day by day. The Lord has a plan for our life that far exceeds our imagination. When we call on His Name asking Him to save us and be the Lord of our life, it is a cry for change and commitment to the process of change. We cannot be a Child of God and remain the same. We are His Masterpiece. We are His Glory. We are His Beloved. He cannot and will not leave us in our broken down and ineffective state. As believers we pray for change without even realizing it, when we ask for more faith. When we cry out to be closer to the Lord, He pulls us in separating us from that which kept us apart. Change. It’s all about change. Our prayers and pleadings to the Lord produce a change that seems so forced but really is exactly what we have asked for. As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. What if I never prayed to the Lord for faith or hope or any other thing that He offers? Clay on the wheel is watered and worked into a vessel worthy of use but if it never makes it into the potter’s hands or becomes subject to the wheel, it becomes dried out, wasted and lost. I want change. I want God to transform my life into something beautiful. I must trust the Lord enough to stick with Him even though change is inevitable and sometimes even painful.

Isaiah 30:14-15 (NLT)

You will be smashed like a piece of pottery—shattered so completely that there won’t be a piece big enough to carry coals from a fireplace or a little water from the well.” This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.

 

Are you broken today? Even strong Christians and committed believers can become devastated in times of change. When it is difficult to comprehend the Love of God and His Hand in the midst of the pain and pressure of change. I remember the morning after our son was diagnosed with cancer. Someone who knows that we are believers who love the Lord asked me point blank, “How can you love a God who gave your son cancer?” Whoa, way to be put on the spot. In that moment, the only answer that I could get out of was just wait and see what my God will do. Three years later and five bouts of cancer, our son is alive and cancer-free attending school and living his life as a college student. Yes, he still has to be closely monitored. Yes, there are still some side effects that are being resolved. He is a living breathing miracle. The real treasure in all this is the faith in God that was forged through the change. Would I still love God if the story had ended differently? Yes. I know that I would because life is uncertain and change inevitable. We made it through being smashed into being renewed over and over again. No longer attached to ordinary life the hope we have is eternal because life is uncertain. There are no guarantees. “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.” This is true of those undergoing radical transformations in this life. God didn’t do but He is taking your situation and circumstances as an opportunity to reveal His Grace, Goodness and Glory in your life.

Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

 

I attended my first church retreat in high school. I had the most wonderful youth leader there named Louella who introduced me to Psalm 139. I experienced many changes as a child first as a military kid who moved a lot, then as the product of statistics when my parents divorced. I lived with my mom for part of my childhood and then moved to my dad’s house in high school. I wasn’t really certain of anything other than all the changes in my life. She told me that I was made with purpose by a God who love me. He paid careful detail to my creation and I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I was important. I was worthwhile. Despite all the changes that I had undergone in my life, God had a plan for my life encompassing every single moment of my life. Nothing was wasted. Instantly, I knew not only did I want to know God but I had to have Him.

“Every moment was laid out before a single day passed.” Why can’t God stop the things that are going to happen that will break me? It’s not that He can’t but He won’t. Sin introduced pain and suffering in our life. God gave us a free will to choose our course and make our own decisions. Too often we choose the Lord after the fact. God cannot lie or change His Mind so He promised that He will make good out of every detail of our life instead so even though we may choose something or someone other than Him – He can make it right when we turn back to Him. What about the little boy in Heaven? Can God bring Him back? Sure He could. But that child has no interest in returning to this world now that he has met Jesus. His parents must accept the change in their life and choose to have faith in God trusting Him to make good of the details of life. I know of one person who was saved at his funeral and is now serving the Lord wholeheartedly. The first seed in the ground of tragedy already producing great fruit. Heaven becomes real in change especially when someone we love relocates. I cannot understand everything about how God works in tragedy and devastation other than how He works in me. I can refuse to change until the details of life force me to do so. It is acceptance by faith that God is in control and my hope that He will make good on every promise that I find life and am renewed in change.

2 Timothy 2:19-21 (NLT)

But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.” In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.

Change produces hope. Hope is the unseen goodness and glory of God that He desires for us. Faith connects us to hope making it a very real possibility in our life. Those who are committed to change will experience this with all probability as the true potential of God is revealed in our life. God made you. He knows what it will take to complete us. Satisfy us. Make us content. God is finishing the work that He began in you when you rushed to meet Him asking His Son, Jesus to let you in. He did. Now you are subject to change, the world forces change on us most often in consequences but many times in life. The evil of this world preys on the believer. As hatred grows the challenges we face are greater, faith allows us to have hope in the midst of change even when it is the result of tragedy and devastation. This is where the Lord can renew us in our broken state and God produces the great masterpiece hidden behind our hard, callous hearts. You may be forced to change today. Don’t fight it. Accept the opportunity found in change when the Lord fills our voids and heals the brokenness left behind. You were made for more than this. You have the potential to experience the Glory of God in your life and shine for Him today. Change is a requirement. It is the opportunity to be made new.

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

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