Weekly Sabbath Survey
Change — 1-16-2016
Human beings hate change! Evolution, a fancy word for change, is happening in everything on our planet. The land changes. The vegetation changes. The animals change (adapt). And, the people change. But nothing on this planet resists change like the people. And that is sort of comical, since it is one of BIG inevitabilities in life on Earth. There will be good change and there may be bad change. But make no mistake about it: THERE WILL BE CHANGE.
Bad changes can be opportunities to make good changes. The Forest Service and Smoky the Bear fought forest fires started by unattended campfires and lightning (an Act of God in legal terms). But as the years went on, it was discovered that deforesting for lumber wasn’t enough in some places to keep the forests healthy. In a short time after a mountain side burned up, the area would be teaming with new life. Certain birds and other animals that hadn’t been seen in the area for years moved right in. Their activities cooperated with seedling trees that soon sprouted up. The Forest Rangers were amazed as they paid closer attention to the process over time. The burned forests were literally ‘born again.’ Not really so amazing, when we consider our Creator seems to be in the born again business! Now, there are controlled burns in the forests when the scientists see the trees are aging and that forest is in need of a change.
Other bad changes that turn into good are floods, tornados, and fires in towns. The devastation is very real and awful for those who experience it. But picking up the pieces brings an unexpected change as people call on reserves of strength and determination they didn’t know they had. Many people were forced from their homes in Louisiana several years ago, They came to football domes and other facilities in Texas homeless as a one-eyed cat. They wept for home, which didn’t even exist anymore. But years later, they are living a life above the poverty line they left back home. Their kids got a better education than they could have imagined in the old neighborhood. Out of the worst, came a wonderfully GOOD change. It wasn’t easy, but eventually, it was GOOD.
In the lives of Believers, change is the watchword. The change that comes in the name of Jesus is simple. It is Light to people who are in darkness. Jesus is the Light of the World. He has forgiveness for sin today and eternal life in the future. People who embrace Him are changed!! If we are in the same place spiritually we were when we got saved, it is high time to get a fire going!! Of all groups, tribes and nationalities in the world, the followers of Jesus should be doing the most changing and making change happen everywhere we go—in our church, our neighborhood, our school, our town, even our own family. Not all of us are called for extreme interference work. But any of us can be a witness and testify to what the Lord has done for us. And all of us are REQUIRED to be changing in ourselves. This is a work of God in answer to our prayers that He keeps changing us until the day we die. He won’t give up on us, and we MUST NOT give up on ourselves or settle for what we are today.
A word of caution here. There is a TIMING for change. Being able to discern when the time is right is important. If we are too early, it may make the change more difficult. Prophets are known for being ahead of time. They warn and warn until people ignore them. Like Noah. His warning was given no credibility. The thing worse than being too early in the timing is being too late. This happens when we hesitate too long with what the Lord is saying to us. Obviously, the fallout from being late can be very serious.
Golda Mier, Martin Luther King, Michael DeBakey, Florence Nightingale, Bill Gates, Jesus of Nazareth. These people, like Star Trek characters, bravely dared to go where no one had gone before! Sometimes people do this and get rich. The opposite of that is paying the ultimate high price for the privilege of their name being recognized the world over and having the respect due a hero many years after they died.
“Making waves” as we sometimes call it, can be very difficult. Nobody said it would be easy. Every change in an individual, a community or a nation brings a reaction of some kind. (Think about the elections of a president in the U.S., the arrival of a new pastor in your church, or a personal change in your own life that made great waves in your family.) In the Lord, every change is always GOOD.
. . . Do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed (changed) by the renewing of your mind, so you may prove what is that good, acceptable, and complete will of God. Romans 12:2