Thursday, July 24, 2008


Have you ever watched a movie or heard someone say something that really moved you? You may even vow that you will be a “changed” person because of what you heard or saw.

Perhaps it was a documentary on hunger throughout the world with pictures of starving, dying children. You decide that you will eat less and send money to help them. The truth of the matter is that the feeling will fade and you will gradually go back to the way things were before. It’s not that you don’t care but simply that change is difficult. Real change for the better is just about impossible!

I’ll give you a personal example. I had let myself get overweight. At first, it was just a few pounds but it gradually became more and more until I found myself over 80 pounds heavier than I should have been.

I tried diets, exercise and nothing seemed to work. Stay with me because here is the real deal, the secret to the whole thing…

The Lord convicted me that if I was to be a witness for Him, an example of Christianity, then I should be displaying the Fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians…

But the fruit of the Spirit
is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 HCSB

Naturally I said, “Well Lord, maybe it’s genetic!” I figured He knew better than I did and besides, what difference would it make to give it a whirl. Why would it be different this time? Because it was part of the fruit of HIS SPIRIT, not mine. He was the power. All I needed to do was yield and let Him do His thing. Now, nine months later I weigh eighty-three pounds less than I did.

Change comes only as a result of allowing God to work in us. If we surrender every area in our life to Him (one at a time perhaps J ) then He will shape us and mold us into the people that we ought to be. We can’t do anything without Jesus (John 15:5).

At the Worship Conference we were at in Glorieta, NM last week, Pastor Wayne Barber, the preacher, put it like this (I’m condensing the story)…

We are a coat. You know, like a coat you’d buy at a store to wear. Without us inside the coat just hangs there and looks good. It can’t wave, it can’t talk, it can’t move. However, when we purchase the coat and put it on, it moves with us. We cause it to wave at people. We give life to the coat.

Similarly, Jesus purchased us with His blood (1 Corinthians 6:20). His Spirit lives in us (1 Corinthians 6:19). For in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Through Christ, we can do anything (Philippians 4:13).

Clothe yourself in the righteousness of Christ…