Seeking God for me almost always results in a revelation that I need to do the changing rather than everyone else around me. Can anyone else relate? The closer we get to God, the more His light shines upon us, revealing all of the "dirt" that can't be seen in the dim or even the brightest of artificial light. But since there is no darkness in God at all, it is no wonder that we don't hold up to well under the comparison.
But we can't be defeated in knowing that we have no chance at ever achieving the sinless perfection of Jesus. God doesn't ask us to be perfect - because He knows we cannot be; He only asks us to do our best where we are with what He has given us. And, the great thing is, God even gives us the tools to do even better than our best by tapping into His Holy Spirit for strength. Obviously, I've been doing a lot of self-examination of late.
In the book "The Winning Attitude" by John Maxwell, we see outlined the source of power for all of our ability to change. We are not left without help, as God has provided His Word, prayer and the Holy Spirit to mold and guide us in His ways. From the last chapter "The God Above You", Maxwell shares with us his thoughts on the ways that God strengthens and supports us through change (p. 174-177):
1. God's Word. The bible tells us over and over again how marvelous God is and how nothing is too hard for God to accomplish in our lives. God can and will change us. (Jeremiah 32:17, Isaiah 43:18-19)
2. Prayer. One of the purposes of prayer is to call out to God for help. Maxwell quotes Richard Foster as as saying:
To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives. The more we pray, the more we come to the heartbeat of God. Prayer starts the communication process before us. At that point we will either forsake our prayer life and cease to grow, or we will pursue our prayer life and let him change us. Either option is painful. To not grow in His likeness is to not enjoy His fullness. When this happens, the priorities of the world begin to fade away.
3. Holy Spirit. "Power was promised when the Holy Spirit was received." (Acts 1:4-8) We can have the same power to change because as Christians we have the Holy Spirit inside of us to help us. Remember 1 John 4:4 says that "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."
Great stuff, huh? All of us can change if we just choose to use the tools!!! Are you ready to make even more of a difference in your life by using all of God's resources? I know I am. Let's get going.