Summary: There are three different types of people that pray this prayer, "O Lord, change me." This sermon deals with each one and helps us identify the true meaning of this prayers is to want to dwell with God.
Read Exodus 25:1-9
Up until this point the Israelites have depended on Moses to lead them. They were taken out of captivity in Egypt by God through Moses. They used to be slaves to Pharaoh, now they are free. But ever since they left their bondage, they have complained about everything. They have even said they would be better off in Egypt. Now here they are many, many years later wanting something more. God has shown them too many times how much he loves them and cares for them, but they continue to complain. So out comes the tabernacle.
Exodus 25:2 tells the Israelites to receive offerings from each man whose heart prompts him. Who should give? Those who are part of God’s family. Those who call God by name. 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by my name…”
God requires his people to give to his plan and mission. God is in the relationship business. He desires to draw us close to himself, and use us for his purpose.
Where does God draw us from? Out of the bondage of sin that entangles us. Out of Egypt, in the case of the Israelites. Out of those places where we have been so accustomed to living. Out of our old neighborhoods!
The problem for us is that we cling too tightly to the old neighborhood. In Exodus 25:2 we read, “Tell them to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.” God desires our willingness, not forcing or demanding us to give.
We often know as we follow God that change is needed in our lives. As God’s people we say, "O LORD CHANGE ME." But what are we truly asking? Do we know the full meaning of this simple request? Are we really up for the challenge of being changed? This morning we will look at this small request, O Lord Change Me, 3 different ways to discover exactly what we are truly asking. There are three different kinds of people who pray this prayer. The first is…
A. O Lord change ME.
ME! We say things like, “O Lord, do something great, quick and at a bargain in my life.” “Make me more, compassionate, smarter, and richer.” It’s all about me, me, me! We don’t really want to move out of the old neighborhood. We kind of like it! We just want a quick fix. We want the miracle to happen, or the answer to come, or the favor in our lives, but we aren’t truly asking for change. We just want what’s convenient. So many people I have seen come to church and come to the altar only when things are going wrong in their lives. And when everything is fine and dandy, they stop coming to the altar and even stop coming to church. They got the quick fix. I’ve seen this happen in a marriage where the husband would only come to church when his wife was about to leave him. It was sad. Let me tell you something on a side note. Church isn’t just for a quick fix, it is for a lifetime of learning to live and love forever. And another thing. The altar isn’t just for a quick fix or when things are going bad, the altar is for you to come lay down your life to God on a daily basis. Yes use it for the other too, but the real purpose of the altar is for all people to come and build upon their relationship with God. I have done an altar call almost evry Sunday for the last several weeks. Only a few have responded. I have never just opened it for those seeking salvation either, I have opened it for any and all. But few people have taken advantage. What kind of change are we seeking if we aren’t faithfully coming and praying every Sunday? “But pastor, I don’t need to pray at the altar all the time, I can pray in my seat.” True, you can, but maybe others won’t come unless you are there. Maybe we ought to set the example for the young ones. Maybe we ought to grab someone in the church and drag them to the altar with us to pray over them. What’s wrong with that? O Lord Change ME is the problem.
This is often where we are at the point of salvation in our lives. Too many times we have more concern about what neighborhood we live in than really allowing God to change us.
We say something like, “At least I’m better than I used to be” “At least I pray more than I used to pray.” At least I came to the altar more than so and so.” And we are happy with this for a time because the neighborhood has improved. Hopefully we still sense something is terribly lacking in our life! Hopefully our self-pleasing spirit really does want to change. Soon we move from O Lord Change ME to the second type of person…