As I write this article, I reflect on the biggest moment of change in the story of humanity, Jesus Christ’s resurrection. I believe it is the greatest moment in our history because the ripple effects affect us in such a way as to require us to make substantial change in our lives as well. If Jesus died and did not rise, it would have been a waste and a lie. However, because I believe Jesus is my personal Savior and King, I am allowed and required to also die and be reborn in obedience to God.
My daughter, Ariana, is sharp and analytical. Even in her young age, she often has great insight. Some time ago, I joked with her, “Ari, can you just stop growing?” Not understanding my humor, she looked baffled at my request. She responded, “Daddy, if I stop growing, then it means I will die.” While that is a cute moment and response, she cannot be more right. She will die if she does not grow.
Ari continued to explain to me that if she stops eating and sleeping, then she will not be able to continue to live. Taking this illustration a step further, analyzing our own spiritual growth as a body of believers in Christ (who calls us to change our lives), we risk getting dangerously close to a lifeless time on earth if we are not growing.
The marvelous Good News is that we have access to beating death. The reason the greatest change in history occurred with Jesus’ resurrection is because He promises us the same power that raised Him from the dead. The same Holy Spirit can live within and among us. The same Father is looking out for us.
In my work and life, I sometimes encounter people who are adverse to change. They often say things like, “I just don’t like change” or “I don’t do change well.” If we are believers of the Good News and followers of Christ, we are called to change everyday. Everyday change is the reality of sanctification.
I love reading the stories in the New Testament where Jesus calls individuals to change their lives. My favorite stories are the ones where Jesus doesn’t even ask; the person just offers it. I’d like to be like that. I’d like my life to change so rapidly that it’s not even a request from others.
Can you imagine what that type of life would do for your marriage, your family or your church? These words from Romans 12:2 come to mind: “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” (NLT).
The command here is to offer ourselves to God. We are offered as people who have been brought from death to life. Romans 6:13 continues to call us to giving our entire selves to God — to using our bodies as living sacrifices to do what is right for the glory of God.
By these standards, we are called to be a body that is ever-changing. Some of us are veterans in the world of applying change, but it doesn’t make change any less scary. Experience just makes it a little more comfortable. In fact, for me, not being in a state of perpetual change is more uncomfortable.
Most members of my generation embrace change. I recently read in Fast Company magazine that the new standard for holding a single job before changing is now three years! The important thing to consider is not just to make changes in your life for the sake of change, but to make changes in your life that reflect growth and multiplication of the movement of Jesus in your life.
Change is almost always scary if it is the right change. My good friend Rob McKenna, the executive director of Seattle Pacific University’s Center for Leadership Research & Development, challenged me to read some scripture in a different light.
In Mark 10:32–34, Jesus leads the way to Jerusalem. He walks ahead of the group (going first) and the disciples were filled with awe and fear. They heard Jesus’ prediction and were on their way to the cross.
I can’t imagine the fear I would feel knowing the upcoming moments, yet they were faithful and followed. I don’t always know God’s plan. In fact, I almost never do, but I am certain of one thing. I must me prepared to drop my plans and change my path to follow the Holy Spirit.
Jay Cordova is an ordained elder who serves as the director of communications for the Free Methodist Church – USA. He previously worked as a startup business entrepreneur and coached small businesses in a Michigan incubator.