How lovely it would be to plug yourself in at night and wake up almost brand new on the inside? Increased tolerance, joy 10.0 and lower ‘freak out’ mode!
Yes! This would be especially handy doing away with annoyances in the ‘old you’! Deleting negative emotion and traumatic memories, or erasing the bad words from my vocabulary … if only it were that easy!
Change is never easy, especially when the thing you’re trying to change is yourself! Whether it’s dealing with negative self talk, breaking bad habits or even overcoming things like unforgiveness, it can often feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.
I remember a time when I was really battling with unforgiveness and a friend said to me: “you’ve made up your mind to forgive, so just keep asking God to work on your heart. That part is up to Him”. Sure enough, He healed my little heart and all the hurt and bitterness had disappeared!
Recently, on a normal day, while I was carrying out normal, daily tasks, it suddenly hit me that the thing I had been praying for years for God to change in me was gone, and had been gone for a while! I remember standing still, thinking about the fact that I hadn’t even noticed. He had changed me, and changed me so well that I forgot that I needed change! As I stood there, amazed, and whispering prayers of thanks for His faithfulness, He taught me one thing – that He is not in a hurry!
When we open ourselves up to the Goodness of God, we can clearly see the sin in ourselves. For us, it can feel like we’re seeing some of it for the first time, but God has always seen it. We are the ones that are often taken by surprise and seek instant change, but God is not in a hurry to change us.
Change will happen, and sometimes it will even happen over night, but it only happens because of Him who works in us. His love for us doesn’t rely on how soon we change or how many changes need to be made. God took care of that through Christ’s death and resurrection and He showers us with grace!
Romans 6:17,18 (NIV)
“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
So don’t think that any sin is getting in the way of Gods plan and purpose for your life. When you do sin, confess. Accept His forgiveness and just keep praying for God to keep working.
I love the way CS Lewis put it, he was speaking specifically about sexual sin but I believe it applies to other sin as well. He said:
‘You must ask for God’s help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.’
Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”