You Can't Change by Accident
“Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception” (Ephesians 4:22 NLT).
Change requires making choices. It’s not enough to dream of changing. It’s not enough to desire change. In order for you to change, you will need to make a decision. You must choose to change.
Change is intentional: Are you going to be any different in six months? Are you going to be better a year from now? Are you going to be healthier, stronger, and more mature? Are you going to be happier? Are you going to be less in debt? Are you going to be more like God wants you to be?
I can tell you the answer right now: It will only happen if you choose to change, because it isn’t going to happen accidentally. You need to think ahead to where you need to be at the end of this year and where you need to be in three years, six years, and a decade from now. I want you to be better in 10 years than you are today, but you won’t be unless you choose to be.
Change requires a choice.
A lot of times we think we’re waiting on God to change us. No, you are not waiting on God. God is waiting on you! He’s waiting on you to say, “Yes, Lord, I’m willing to make these changes.”
We have to make intentional choices in order to grow. There is no growth without change, there is no change without loss, and there is no loss without pain. If you are going to grow, you will have to change, and change means you let go of some old things and grab hold of some new things.
It’s like swinging on a trapeze: The trapeze artist swings out on one bar, and then he has to reach out and grab the other bar. At some point, he’s got to let go of one to grab the other, or he’s not going to make it to the other side. If he thinks he can hold on to both, what happens? He gets stuck in the middle, and he’s going down.
Perhaps you are stuck in the middle, and you’re going down because you haven’t let go of the old patterns, the old habits, and the old ways of thinking. You have to let go of your old ways.
The Bible says, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life” (Ephesians 4:22 NLT). In other words, let it go. Those old habits, those old hurts, those old patterns, those old sins in your life—let them go. The Bible says to throw them off and trust that God is working in you “to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV).
Talk It Over
Why does change require loss? How has this been true in your life?
What old habits and patterns do you need to “throw off” in order to grow and change this year?
What promises can you claim from God’s Word that will help you as you make the choice every day to grow and change?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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