The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Have you been experiencing some pressure lately? Do you have some unexplainable feeling of urgency around you? Do you feel some kind of dissatisfaction without any visible cause? It may just be possible you are going through an unavoidable phenomenon in life- change.
No ministry is ordained to usher in changes in the lives of men as that of the Lord Jesus Christ. The whole essence of His ministry is the transformation of lives. When the captive encounter Jesus, they are set free, the blind see, the lame walk, the bound are set free, broken hearts are healed. They are exposed to a higher level of life.
But as common as change is, it is often misunderstood. Many resist change because it comes with a measure of discomfort they are not prepared to deal with. For others, it is because they have so dogmatically followed a certain routine. The anticipation of the pain and discomfort of relocation and uncertainty of the future simply give some nightmares.
It has been said that change is always hardest for the man who is in a rut because he has scaled down his living to that which he can comfortably handle and welcomes no change or challenge that would enhance him.
Progress in its fundamental meaning is nothing but the steady process of positive change. People are often settled, but only as far as they become unsettled is there hope for them. In the words of Myles Munroe, “Nothing is as permanent as change. Nothing is as constant as change. It is natural to the existence, common to creation and it is the proof of our humanity. Everything is in a state of change and nothing can stop it.”
Whether or not we like it, change is one thing we will have to confront from time to time. Whatever our attitude towards it, the reward or consequences are enormous. One of the greatest tragedies in life however is that only a small percentage of men and women confront change effectively.
Practically all the people who benefitted from the ministry of the Lord Jesus were people who were dissatisfied with their prevailing circumstances. Blind Bartimaeus, for example, was so disgusted with his situation that he did what he had never done before. He probably had waited quietly for a touch in all the year gone by without any visible result. But one day he changed his modus operandi. He did what men usually find difficult to do – shout for help. His life changed! And who brought the change? Jesus of Nazareth.
It was Robert Dale who observed that of the 20 largest companies in the United States 40 years ago, only two are still among the first 20 in size. Of the 100 largest companies 25 years ago, almost half have disappeared or have declined substantially from their peak. Refusal to change spells decline.
Change is usually heralded by crisis. That was the case of the prodigal son in one of the parables in the Gospel according to St. Luke, chapter 15. He had practically fallen from grace to grass, his situation was such that he would have gladly eaten the pods meant for swine, but no one gave him any. He came to a threshold of pain, which pushed him to pursue a better tomorrow. And he got it! That tells me no matter how terrible your situation looks right now there is a way out. Do not give in to despondency. Pursue the change that will usher in a better tomorrow.
Before you desire or push for a change, ask yourself why you want it so desperately. What is your real motive? Is it the urge to be better than others? Is it the desire to gratify yourself? Any change that does not contribute positively to the fulfilment of your overall purpose in life is not needful and should not be embraced. As it has been said, “Twenty per cent of any change is knowing how, but 80 per cent is knowing why.”
Job said, “… All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes” (Job 14d4). If any man ever suffered pain and sorrow, it was this man. He lost everything he had, including his children. But he knew the One who could make change work in his favour. He also made the statement, “I know my Redeemer lives.” You have probably been in the shadows for too long. The time for you to shine has finally come.
I am built to handle all forms of pressure, dissatisfaction or feelings of urgency. I recognise that these could be an indication that my life is about to change for the better, so I handle them effectively as I am led by the Holy Spirit. I will never pursue change for its own sake. I embrace only the change that will lift me to higher heights and usher me into a better tomorrow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.