The Framework
Author: Kylie Welch

Chapter 3
Change

The Problem

I always want change.  Settling down into one routine for a long time doesn’t seem to be my thing.  Wanting to do things differently is appealing to me.  It is through change, experiencing new things and not being afraid of doing something differently that the gifts I have been given are enlarged but there are always these underlying issues in my life that drive me (I was going to say nuts, crazy, to despair but I won’t) to seek God in prayer.  

 

I was talking with a friend the other day about how there will always be ‘something’.  There will always be something that we absolutely need to change in our lives.  We cry out to God, do everything in our power to change it but as soon as that thing has been fixed, solved or diverted there will always be something else.  Change is always going to be something we desire, whether it is change in the weather, our finances, our weight or our relationships, we are always going to be seeking change. 

 

When asking the question “what do I need to change?” I know that the answer will be different depending on the stage in our lives, but the foundation block to the actual problem will always remain the same.  Say for example, 11 years ago I really wanted to give up smoking.  I unsuccessfully gave up using my own will-power many times, but as soon as I asked God to help, He took it away in His own time.  It took 2 years of prayer and seeking God before He actually took it away and I was really happy to say goodbye to it, but immediately after the smoking went, another issue took its place that absolutely had to go from my life.  We are always going to want to change something that we dislike about ourselves and there will always be something to replace it. It may be a huge problem or a really small problem that just won’t go away.  Let’s see what the Bible says about change

 

 

The Biblical Approach

 

1.     God does not change

 

I guess the first thing to know is that God does not change, thankfully.  The first part of Malachi 3v6 reads “I the Lord do not change”.  This is reassuring.  He knows that we are prone to changing, daily, in our ways but it is wonderful to know that God does not.  He is consistent, committed and comforting.  Hebrews 13v8 states that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.  Numbers 23v19 says that God is not man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change His mind.  Does He speak then not act?  Does He promise and not fulfil?  This is definitely a sign of good character and stability.  Definitely one good reason to rely on Him.

 

2.     We change when we become Christians

 

When a person becomes a believer 2 Corinthians 5v17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”.  This tells me that I am prone to change now that I know the Lord.  I am now a new creation.  We all change when we meet God.  This is a sign of hope.

 

3.     Things in this world will change

 

Change within our environment will always happen. Regarding this, the Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5v21 to test everything and hold on to the good.  This is great advice.

 

4.     Attributes

 

There are attributes in the Bible about change too.  Joshua 1v9 says “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” and 1 Corinthians 15v51 also talks about change.  It says “Behold!  I tell you a mystery.  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”.

 

 

5.     Like little children

 

Matthew 18v3 advises us to become like little children in our faith.  “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  God wants us to be childlike in our faith.  What qualities do children hold that makes their faith so special to God?  Children have wonder and excitement at simple things.  They don’t tend to worry too much about tomorrow, bills, other people.  They trust and believe for good.   This in a sense is a change scripture.  God wants us to be excited about Him.  He wants us to have wonder and excitement about things regarding our faith.  In effect, like a child, to explore, seek and rejoice in all things God.

 

6.     Real Change

 

Jeremiah 7:5-7 tells us that “If we really change our ways and our actions and deal with each other justly, if we do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood, and if we do not follow other gods to our own harm, then God will let us live in this place, in the land He gave our ancestors for ever and ever.”   This scripture calls us to be accountable in our ways, our actions and the way we deal with each other.  It is an instructive scripture and gives hope that we can change.  Where we don’t treat people well, this scripture is a very clear way of knowing God’s will on the matter.  The nice thing about this scripture is that there is a very real blessing as a promise of following through.  I’m sure that as I go on this journey of change and look into an effective framework for change, there will be many real blessings on the way.

 

7.     Do not copy behaviour

 

Romans 12:2 tells us not to copy some behaviours.  "Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."  Gods will for us is good and pleasing and perfect.  When I think of the very real fact that I am not of this world, but my real home is Heaven, it brings me joy.  Although I know that I have years of living left, preparing for eternity.  In saying that, it’s hard in many ways not to copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but as I look into an effective framework for change, I know that I will find ways to overcome many of the bad habits that I have picked up along the way.  It is going to be a life-changing journey as I let God transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. 

 

8.     New Wineskins

 

Matthew 9v17 talks about pouring new wine into old wineskins.  “"Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins.  If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."  I must admit it took me a while to totally understand this scripture but someone gave me a good example one day.  They gave me the same scripture in a more modern way.  We don’t like to put on old, dirty clothes.  Neither should we put our new selves in our old ways.  We are constantly being changed to be like Him, so we should look to the Bible in how to do things His way, in new ways, with our new selves.

 

9.     Behold, I am doing a new thing

 

I have recently felt that the Lord was leading me to change something in my life.  It is a dramatic change but as I was looking to Him in prayer and fasting for confirmation, my intercessor friend invited me to dinner and presented me with this scripture.  “But forget all that is of old —it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.  For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."  Isaiah 43:18-19.  I was so excited to receive such a scripture.  It confirmed that I am on the right track, that I am hearing from the Lord correctly.   Because the change is so big and life changing, I am still processing all that it entails but as I go on this journey of creating a new framework, I am looking forward to see how it goes.  At the moment, this is my favourite scripture about change.  What is yours?

The Framework

After looking at all of the above scriptures, the framework for change would therefore be.

 

1.      God does not change – but He knows we are prone to change

2.      God speaks, then acts

3.      God will fulfil His promises

4.      We are a new creation – the old has gone

5.      We need to test everything and hold on to the good

6.      We need to be strong and courageous, not to be terrified or discouraged because the Lord will be with us wherever we go

7.      We will all be changed

8.      We need to be like little children in our faith.  Excited, full of wonder and hope

9.      We need to deal with each other justly

10.  We are not to conform to the ways of this world

11.  We are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind

12.  Do not bring old stuff into our new lives or new ways of thinking

13.  Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past because the Lord has started something new in us

 

That’s it.  13 key biblical principles to change.  This will be one of the key frames of my new framework.   God does not change.  He speaks then acts.  He fulfils His promises.  There are so many reassuring and powerful biblical principles in the above key passages regarding what or why I need to change that it fills me with hope. 

 

Key Point 1 – Change.

I can indeed change (into the likeness of Christ) and that I will be transformed by changing the way I think (the renewing of my mind).  
 
     

The Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I thank you that I am a new creation.  The old has gone and you are doing something new, in fact you have already begun.  Lord, let this change be permanent.  Look unto me with favour as I seek your will, your Word and try to understand the concepts behind the issues I am facing.  I invite you to come on a journey of change with me and to give me an overcoming nature.  Indeed I ask you to take the lead.  Show me the wondrous things that you want me to see.  Show me your principals and precepts in the best way possible.  I ask that this journey bring lasting change and that as I renew my mind with your Word your Holy Spirit will breathe new life into me.     

 

Father you desire us to live a full life as we look to you for guidance and understanding of your ways.  Mold me Lord.  Fill me.  Use me to help others on my journey Father as I seek your Face.

 

I ask these things in Jesus name.

 

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