The Change we need and we’re called to change.
St Paul said in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
We often think God has assigned us to change the world around us when in reality He is interested in changing you and me in order to make each of us “a vessel of honor.” Bible says “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.” (2 Tim. 2:21). God often uses the most unlikely people in the most unlikely places to teach us some of life’s most difficult lessons. And just when we think we’ve arrived, He is instructing us further.
Change is something we all need. It is an ongoing process of life. With its constant flux, life demands adjustments for our schedules and plans. Essentially, change is the new norm. But people's spiritual lives call for more than slight changes to the calendar. Their lives are in need of transformation. Paul wrote, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come" (2 Corinthians 5:17,). The very heart of the Christian faith revolves around change, but it is not turning over a new leaf - it is living out a new life. The marks of a transformed life are merely the signs of Christ’s presence in us. They are the witness of the Spirit’s work in our lives. When we see these marks, it is because God keeps His covenant to conform us to the image of His Son.
In the Old Testament, we see how this cycle played out in the life of Solomon. He tried to change through human ingenuity when he needed divine intervention. And he was the smartest person - ever. The book of Ecclesiastes provides a classical example of how relevant the Bible can be in today's world. The title of the book comes from the Greek word for "preacher" or "teacher." He goes through a list of things he tried in seeking fulfillment: career achievements, materialism, alcohol, Pleasure, even knowledge, His conclusion? All of it is "meaningless." Solomon began as a man poised for greatness. Both his wisdom and wealth were legendary in the ancient world. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” "Did all this wisdom, wealth, and power make Solomon happy?" The answer is NO! With all Solomon's wisdom, he understood one thing: "For God gives to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he gives travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit." (Ecclesiastes 2:26) "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Therefore to live differently, we must think differently, to think differently, we must have a right information, understanding and purpose to change and it does not easily happen, we must make deliberate choice daily. What you read or listen to has the ability to change the way you think or change the way you respond to a situation in a time of dilemma. What you read, listen to and watch the most will probably cause you to change or transform into something else. When Plato expressed the ultimate purpose and great imperative of philosophy with this command, “know yourself,” he had struck upon a valuable insight. If we would know our purpose in life, how we should relate to the world and to others around us, what our goals and dreams and desires should consist of, how we should spend our time, and then we must know who we are.
However, this is not so easy to put into practice. Who really knows what he is like, deep down inside? Do we really know how our minds function? Do we really know what we actually want or need? Can we really know ourselves if we don’t know God? I don’t think so. Or can we be happy without God? Again, I don’t think so. As I know that God is the Source of all life, including His only-begotten Son Jesus, the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:24 says “……..Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
So Nearly all the wisdom which we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, come from God .All our real wisdom is wrapped up in the knowledge of God, because you can’t have true knowledge without God. This is why King Solomon said “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
Question is how can we get to know God personally?
There are three unique things told us in the Bible concerning the nature of God.
First, "God is spirit" “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). The literal idea would be something like, “Absolutely spirit in His essence is God.” He Is a Living Person and we can know Him. It is quite obvious that a spirit is alive. The very word spirit also means “breath,” and breath is the evidence of life. Throughout Scripture He is called the living God. God also has the basic characteristics of personality—intellect, emotions, and will. He thinks, He feels, and He acts. And that is good news. Because He is a living person we can get to know Him personally and communicate with Him freely. If He were an inanimate object or an impersonal force there would be no hope of a personal relationship with Him. Just about everybody knows that a spirit cannot be seen. God Is Invisible and we can know Him apart from our physical senses. We cannot even see a human spirit. The most intimate of friends cannot see each other’s spirit and none of us can see God. Paul called Him “the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), and “the King eternal, immortal, invisible” (1 Timothy 1:17).
Since God is invisible, not only can we know Him, but we can know Him apart from our physical senses. We do not have to see Him or feel Him to know Him. We have spirits too, you see. God is spirit, but we have spirits housed within our physical bodies. And when our spirits are made alive toward God through the new birth, we have the capacity to commune with Him in our spirits, anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstances. Communion with God does not depend on external things because it takes place internally in the spiritual part of our being. Worship is not primarily a matter of physical location, surroundings, form, ritual, liturgy, or ceremony. It is not a matter of creating a certain kind of mood or atmosphere. It is a matter of spiritual intimacy with God. Worship is the response of our spirits to God’s revelation of Himself.
Second, God is light (1 John 1:5), which is the opposite of "darkness." In Scripture "darkness" stands for ignorance, sin, evil, death; and "light" for knowledge, holiness, goodness, life. God is light, means that He is the sum of all Excellency. First of all we see that this is a metaphor. God is not literally light; it is a comparison, and what we have to understand in any metaphor is what the field of comparison is. Any word defines a field of meaning. It has an inherent logic to it, there are certain things that apply to the concept and certain things that don’t. A word by itself is an absolute. So we have the word “God,” and then we have the concept of light. "God is light and in him is no darkness at all." Notice something else. John does not say, "Light is God." It is, "God is light." You cannot reverse that. That means that what light is, on a physical plane, God is on every level of human experience. If you want to understand the character of God, then observe what light is. What light does, God does. What light accomplishes, God can accomplish in your life. Well, then, what does light do? First, the most characteristic thing about light, the thing we are enjoying at this very moment and probably the first discoverable fact about light, is that light reveals. Darkness conceals, but light reveals. God reveals reality. God, through Christ, opens up the eyes of the heart and life comes into focus and we see clearly, without distortion. God is light and he does reveal truth, he does measure life, he does give us a reference point by which the false can be separated from the true. Best of all, he fulfills, he glorifies, he energizes, he vitalizes. But he does so only as we learn to take down the umbrellas that hide the light from us.
Light is used also as a metaphor for the kingdom of God and the plan of God in contrast to darkness which is used as a metaphor for the kingdom of Satan, carnality, sin and evil. Proverbs 2:13 “From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness.” The paths of uprightness are the instructions of Scripture, the way of wisdom. So to walk opposite to that is to walk according to Satan’s plan and procedure, described as the way of darkness. Proverbs 4:19 “The way of the wicked is like darkness… ” So darkness here is related to knowledge and the lack of knowledge, specifically ignorance.. Darkness is used here to symbolize the ignorant path of the unbeliever because he is living his life in rejection of doctrine and without paying attention to truth.
Acts 26:18 says “to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me.'” That is parallel to Colossians 1:13 “For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,.” This is what happens at the point of salvation. It is used for justice, righteousness, judgment. The presence of judgment in the Tribulation period is called a time of darkness and the coming of the Lord is referred to in terms of light, the ending of judgment. So light and darkness related to judgment. The glorious God is clothed in light. Light represents truth and divine revelation, that which comes forth from God.
Third, "God is love" (1 John 4:8). It is not simply that God "loves," but that He is Love itself. Love is not merely one of His attributes, but His very nature. This is why; one of our greatest needs as human beings is to be loved. These days almost any emotional relationship can be tagged with the term love. But consider this: "God is love" (1 John 4:16). Real love, then, must lead us closer to God, or it is not real love. And love desires the best for the beloved. Sin, which separates a person from God to one extent or another, is not love. Lust is not love, Fornication is not love. Adultery is not love. It is selfishness, for it puts personal gratification before the good of the other.
We all need agape love. We need to know that somebody truly loves and cares about us, wants us, and accepts us unconditionally. When a child feels that he/she is not loved, they may develop unacceptable behavior patterns to compensate for it. For example, they may act irresponsibly in a desperate attempt to get attention. Attention is a poor substitute for love but it seems better than nothing at all. They may develop physical symptoms that bring them sympathy and concern. The symptoms cause them genuine pain, but the pain of sickness is more bearable than the pain of admitting that nobody cares. We all need to know that somebody loves us. Scripture shows that God made love a law. Why? He made it a law because He could not trust us to do it ourselves. He stated to His disciples, “This is my commandment that you love one another” (John 15:12).
Everything about God is infinite. His essence fills heaven and earth. God is immutable in His essence. His nature and being are infinite, and so, subject to no mutations. There never was a time when He was not; there never will come a time when He shall cease to be God has neither evolved, grown, nor improved, All that He is today, He has ever been, and ever will be. "I am the Lord, I change not" (Mal. 3:6) is His own unqualified affirmation. He cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse. Altogether unaffected by anything outside Himself, improvement or deterioration is impossible. He is perpetually the same. He only can say, "I am that I am" (Ex. 3:14). He is altogether uninfluenced by the flight of time. There is no wrinkle upon the brow of eternity. Therefore His power can never diminish nor does His Glory ever fade. God is immutable in His attributes. His power is unabated, His wisdom undiminished, His holiness unsullied. His veracity is immutable, for His Word is "forever settled in heaven" (Ps. 119:89). His love is eternal: "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3) and "Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end" (John 13:1). His mercy ceases not, for it is "everlasting" (Ps. 100:5).
His wisdom is illimitable, for He knows everything of the past, present and future. His power is unbounded, for there is nothing too hard for Him. So His love is without limit. "God so loved" of John 3:16. It tells us that the love of God is so transcendent it cannot be estimated. No tongue can fully express the infinitude of God’s love, or any minds comprehend it: it "surpasses all knowledge" Eph. 3:19).
The nature of man as the image-bearer of God is what sets him apart from the rest of creation, and gives him a unique and dignified role among all God's creatures. God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth knew our mind better than we know ourselves. So He said "Pay close attention to what you hear”. (Mark 4:24) “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
The new information in a mind can cause it to change the way it reacts or responds to a situation or a crisis. How you handle a situation is based upon what is in your mind that you have acquired. All information will cause you to change, either for the negative or the positive. It's up to the individual to accept or reject the information based on the source.
Bible shows us how to change and improve our selves to become what God wants. Jesus said the same thing in John, "you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32) The only way to replace the error of the world’s way of thinking is to replace it with God’s truth, and the only infallible source of God’s truth is found in his revealed word, the Bible. There are no shortcuts. There is no magic formula for renewing our minds. We must fill our minds with God’s word. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).
Once you submit yourself to the principles of the Knowledge of God, change will begin to affect your life. You will learn to accept the change that happens to you under the Biblical principle as being prosperous and productive. When change comes, we must realize that it doesn't come over night. Transformation comes through a period of time and there will be "setbacks". Be patient and allow it to run its course. Nothing worth having comes easy, but the rewards are worth the effort.
In order for us to grow in maturity and in character, we must first gather new information from right source to reach the level we have set for ourselves. We can't allow every piece of information to occupy our mind. Television, radio, internet, print media and what we gather from our environment can be a serious distraction. Like everything else, we have to learn how to filter this information that comes into our minds. This is why Knowledge of God is the most powerful source which we can use to change the world. The best changes often start as single, simple thoughts of God.
If we meditate and remain in the word of God, we will become sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus sad: John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” By studying God's word on a consistent basis, we begin to grow in maturity, character, integrity and--most of all--faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep this thought in mind.... We have to study the Word and allow it to saturate every fiber of our mind and heart. This is the beginning of change. Peter said in I Peter 1:13 “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
God Bless you