30 Days to a Better You . . .
5 Steps to Health . . .
The Plan You’ve Always Needed . . .
Have you ever picked up a book or an article with that sort of title? Were your hopes high and the goal looking closer than it appeared before? Then what happened?
Maybe you got some good results, but more likely, you ended up disappointed. Even if you lost the weight, the discouragement you felt may not have lifted. Perhaps all your dreams didn’t fully come true. Maybe your heart continued to search for that fulfillment and joy, even past that thirtieth day or that last pound or that final check on the list.
What happened? Perhaps your goal was good, but the way you tried to get there was less than good. It was dependent on you. And you, being imperfect, couldn’t completely do what you hoped for. Your flesh fell short. You fell short.
In her Revive ’19 message today, Kelly Needham addressed this exact longing that we all have for lasting change.
She said that there are only two people that we can look to for change: self or the Spirit. And those two people don’t get along. For lasting change to happen, the Spirit has to rule. It’s not half ourselves and half God. It’s gotta be all God or nothing.
When we depend on ourselves, as Kelly reminded us, we’re believing a false good news, a fake gospel. Rather than a plan to transform ourselves, which is what the world offers us, we have to depend on a Person—Jesus!
We have to walk in the Spirit, as Galatians 5:16 encourages us. What does that mean? Hour by hour, minute by minute, letting the Spirit of God lead us to Jesus. It means acknowledging the Spirit that lives within us because of Jesus and paying attention to His leading and activity.
It means prioritizing the Word of God, as Dámaris Carbaugh encouraged us—opening His book and letting it show us Jesus.
Through His Word and His Spirit, God grows us in grace and helps us become more and more like Him. Lasting change happens.
This doesn’t happen by us mustering up our own strength or even finding some step by step plan for spiritual growth. No. It occurs gradually as we throw ourselves on the mercy of Jesus, ask for His guidance and help, and obey His Word and His voice. He does it. He does it all.
God changes our everyday lives change through those small moments of listening, praying, and obeying.
And that’s how the extraordinary things happen too. God does it. He breathes on dead bones and makes them live, as Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth shared in her message on Ezekiel 37. And everyday, as we follow Him step by step, we can trust Him to work in our impossible situations—even if it’s just to change us in the process.
When we look around us and get discouraged that there’s no signs of life in the valley we’re in, what can we do? Muster up more effort? Do more? Speak more words?
All we can do is depend on the Lord. Just like in the ordinary things of life, we need Him to work in the things that we feel are extraordinarily desperate.
Thankfully, His Spirit is in the business of bringing things to life, in His time and in His way and for His glory. As Nancy said, “When things seem hopeless, there is hope through the Spirit for Him to bring the dead to life.”
So cry out to Him. Ask Him to bring lasting change in your life. Ask Him to bring life to the things that you cannot change. But above all, trust that He is good, and that you can rest fully in His loving arms.
Three Persons—a Father, a Savior, and a Spirit that loves you—are better than a plan any day. And a lot more personal. And a lot more powerful. Trust Him, not your plan.