Ten Steps to Change

by Taffi Dollar | 28 Mar 2018

Summary

The ability to adapt to change makes us flexible, and as Christians we should be constantly willing to change. The trait of being able to embrace change says much about our character. Another person’s willingness to make adjustments to what they believe is an important factor to consider in relationships. The beautiful thing about change is that it keeps us from getting stuck in something and allows us to move forward when necessary. Even when we cannot change ourselves, we are not stranded; keeping our hearts open to the Holy Spirit allows the Word of God to deeply transform us in ways we never could manage on our own. This transformation is so thorough that it becomes readily visible to others, making them want to change because of what they see in us. This frees us from having to do something to bring about change and allows us to simply be the change.

  1. Real and positive change comes when Christ changes us from the inside.
    1. I appeal to you therefore, brethren,  and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God,  even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you] (Romans 12:1, 2, AMPC).
      1. Changing is not too difficult for us. With God we can do all things.
      2. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13).
      3. We make a decisive dedication when we receive Jesus into our lives.
      4. Change should be a way of life for believers; we must not stay the same.
      5. To be transformed implies a process we go through; it is not rooted in a single event.
      6. Change begins on the inside. We can compare it to the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly.
      7. Life is a series of decisions and choices; we must choose the Word of God.
      8. …I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).
    2. Give attention to this! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed [of the same kind] fell on ground full of rocks, where it had not much soil; and at once it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil;  And when the sun came up, it was scorched, and because it had not taken root, it withered away.  Other seed [of the same kind] fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew  and pressed together  and utterly choked  and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain. And other seed [of the same kind] fell into good (well-adapted) soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielded up to thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times as much as had been sown. And He said, He who has ears to hear, let him be hearing [and let him consider, and comprehend] (Mark 4:3-9, AMPC).
      1. The Word is seed planted in the soil of our hearts. The condition of the soil determines the type of harvest we get.
      2. We need depth in our lives. Our hearts must have enough depth to receive the seed that is planted.
      3. Satan will immediately send whatever or whoever he can to derail the decisive dedication we made, in an effort to snatch away the Word sown in our hearts.
    3. And He said to them, To you has been entrusted the mystery of the kingdom of God [that is, the secret counsels of God which are hidden from the ungodly]; but for those outside [of our circle] everything becomes a parable…The sower sows the Word. The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them. And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy: And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away. And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; Then the cares  and anxieties of the world  and distractions of the age, and the pleasure  and delight  and false glamour  and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving  and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.  And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much ...If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and comprehend. And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you  who hear (Mark 4:11, 14-20, 23, 24, AMPC).
      1. Just as we plant a garden and guard against the weeds that try to invade it and choke out what we plant, we must guard against bad attitudes, bad habits, negative thinking, and unbelief.
      2. We must constantly meditate on everything God says to us about who we are in Him.
      3. …As he is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
      4. What we hear has the potential to rob us and uproot what is being planted in our hearts. We must guard our ear gates and not allow evil to pass through them.
  1. For change to happen in our lives, we must be realistic about the process.
    1. But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it  and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like. But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it  and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience) (James 1:22-25, AMPC).
      1. We deceive ourselves if we think our lives will be changed on the basis of passively hearing the Word without acting on it.
      2. The person who is blessed is the one who constantly looks into the mirror of the Word to remind themselves of who God says they are.
    2. There are several characteristics of change.
      1. Change happens slowly, not overnight. We must focus on consistency, not speed.
      2. Change does not occur in regular ways. It begins slowly but can move quickly when we embrace it.
      3. It requires intellectual information. Sometimes we have to inform, educate, and enlighten.
      4. It also requires taking a risk and making a decision. Sometimes the decisions we must make are difficult.
      5. It has generational aspects. Teaching what others have endured adds perspective and makes it easier for the next generation to come behind us.
      6. Stories also motivate change; it is important that we share them.
      7. Change is based on the study of the Scriptures, which teach us that we can be changed.
      8. To reach a place of action, people need time to make the transition from the head to the heart.
      9. Change is aided by surrounding ourselves with positive influences.
      10. It is not based on demand, but on God’s Word. We cannot demand that others change; we can simply be ourselves.

Scripture References

Romans 12:1, 2, AMPC

Philippians 4:13

Deuteronomy 30:19

Mark 4:3-9, 11, 14-20, 23, 24, AMPC

1 John 4:17

James 1:22-25, AMPC