Everyone has something they want to change about themselves.
Lose a few pounds, remove a mole, fix your teeth, the list goes on and on, but at a deeper level, we all have things we want to change like addictions, sins, and relationships that we aren’t sure will ever change. We know that God is can do miraculous things, we just aren’t sure that he will miraculously change those nasty parts of our life we are ashamed of or frustrated about. We have prayed and begged God to change us, or remove the temptations from our life, but it doesn’t feel like we’re making any progress, and we’re struggling to believe that it will ever change.
We’re like the father talking to Jesus is Mark 9 who said,
“I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
We all need help believing that God will not that God can.
But what if we are changing, we just don’t realize it? What if slowly and steadily, even with a few setbacks God is changing us into the person who wants us to be?
In 2 Kings 5, a soldier named Naaman was known as a mighty warrior but underneath his armor he had a contagious skin disease. After going to Elisha to be healed, he was frustrated when Elisha didn’t come out and perform an instant miracle. Instead, Elisha told Naaman to go and dip underneath the water in the Jordan River 7 times, and sure enough, the Bible says after he rose out of the water the seventh time his skin was healed.
After rereading this story, a thought crossed my mind, “What if God is changing me a dip at a time?” Like Naaman, all of us love when God does the flashy instant style of miracles. I have a friend who struggled with addiction to heroin and after crying out to God for help one night, God miraculously saved her and took away her desire for heroin and she has never taken it since, incredible! But after meeting and counseling with countless people over the years, the truth is, those kinds of stories are few and far between the stories of slow change and setbacks.
What if God is changing you a dip or a decade at a time? What if you aren’t as angry as you used to be? What if you’re making better decisions more regularly now? Sure you still fall off the wagon but often the feeling of defeat in the short term causes us to forget the steady improvement over the long term.
I’m not saying that the goal of following Jesus is self-improvement. He loves us with our faults and all, and being a “better” person doesn’t change His feelings towards us, but the Bible does say that the fruit of our life gives a glimpse into our heart.
You may not be where you want to be right now, and you may feel like you should be farther along than you are at this moment, but here is what I know for certain,
He who began the good work within you will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
We’re all under construction, a work in progress, and we serve a God who never gives up on us. Who you are now is not who you will always be, and how you feel now is not how you will always feel. God is changing you a dip at a time. Don’t stop on #6.
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