Yes We Can!, an idiom; catchphrase; even a proverb is the slogan by which a great majority of Americans closed out the past year. Having experienced the monumental extremes that marked the year 2008 America asserts she is ready for CHANGE and the world responded likewise. There is talk of HOPE and UNITY on one end of the pendulum and War and Economic Crisis on the other. 2008 Goodbye!
Even is our own personal experiences, we can think of moments when we profited some and found favor one area or another. Most of us have been able to attain some degree of advancement or at least maintain even in the face of frustrating situations and in few troubling times. 2008 Goodbye!
As I began to speculate about the message GOD is speaking through all of this to the Called Out regarding the New Year -2009, God just kept speaking to my spirit that this year is “the year of Change!” The number 9 is the number of Judgment Judgment is synonymous with verdict, deduction, finding, summary, ruling. It is also synonymous with award and/or conviction. The way we feel about or perceive the word Judgment is directly contingent upon which side of the adjudication we sit. If we are on the side of the “guilty” or the “at fault” then we view Judgment as damnation, or at best harsh and often un-welcomed chastisement If we are on the side of the “innocent” or the “not guilty” we understand Judgment as an AWARD! Listen to the words of Paul the Apostle to his son Timothy, the evangelist as is ready to pass to him the torch of ministry:
“You take over. I'm about to die, my life an offering on God's altar. This is the only race worth running. I've run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that's left now is the shouting—God's applause! Depend on it, he's an honest judge. He'll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8 -The Message Bible)
and Hebrew 11:6 declares:
“...He |GOD| is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”
In as much as we will likely be inundated with ad and fads for Weight loss, work place advancements, love-connections, smoking cessation, financial profit and such are all wonderful goals for self-betterment and make good resolutions for the New Year but as the Called Out we resolve more than self-improvement our improvement comes from GOD. This is “Change we can believe in...”
In the Book of James we find GOD's recipe for change, a prescription if you will for overcoming the selfishness that lands us over and over again convicted and regretful. In chapter 1 of the epistle of James the Apostle, he instructs:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (v.5, NIV)
Wisdom (=Gk, sovifa or sophia) means to have a a broad knowledge of diverse matters and the ability to apply the knowledge. You see it is not just knowing but understanding how to work what you know.
Once we resolve to change we must depend on GOD every step of the way- He can make the change in us. Hear the wisdom of the Apostle James as he tells us to:
“My dear friends, you should be quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry.”(v.19, Contemporary English Version)
Corporate management espouses the value of these words this way: “I understand, may I get back with you on that...” words spoken to the irate costumer for whom there is little to nothing you can do to quail his/her dissatisfaction “in the moment”. Be careful how you respond to life's situations, not just what you say to others but even what you say to yourself. Esteem writer Maya Angelou has said: “Self talk is powerful” and “when a person shows you who they are -believe them!” Wise words.
But words alone can not and will change a person. Self talk even when it is GOD's word will take effort o your part. Actually, it will take time and effort. Again the Apostle tells us in chapter 2:
“Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” ( v. 14-17 -Message)
“Outrageous”, I love it! We must understand that GOD has given us everything we need for change. We have His Blood, His Spirit, all the Angels, all the Called Out Believers, and our own testimony.
“And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing]”. (Revelation 12:11 -Amplified Version)
Some of us have experienced an increasing righteous discomfort with certain areas of our life. Things we used to do with little or no thought that now seem only carnal, selfish or unGODly to us. It seems that there is little to lasting pleasure in it anymore. Sometimes with remain involved with it because of it's association with friends or loved-ones or to appease co-workers and such... We know that the Spirit is calling us into “light” but we rather like the company we find in the “darkness”. We know it time for change but … change is uncertain. The cocoon is a vulnerable place for the caterpillar as she morphs toward becoming a butterfly. She was able to adapt to most any of her lowly surrounding as a worm but she can fly to new heights after the CHANGE. Remember Wonder-Woman. She was smart and savvy but average as Diana, but when started to spin all of a sound there was an explosion and a power force to be reckoned with emerged. That's what the Devil knows about you and me. To that end in chapter 4 the Apostle admonishes us to:
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. (v.7-8 -Message)
Never ever negate the power of the Called Out Assembly in fellowship together. We we come together we are most powerful to affect change. Remember that no lasting change has happened in the course of any human event absent a Spiritual Awakening. Even as recently as the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. Social Consciousness took us to the brink of a revolution but it was the Prophet Dr. Martin Luther King's articulated vision of a Dream that Changed the course of history for multiplied millions. And, it was the life, words, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth which inspired generations to take the life changing message of GOD's all embracing love to the ends of the earth.
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2 -Message)
Will you resolve to be changed. It's resolution time!