One amazing truth about life is quite simple: you can change. God created you with an inner capacity to make radical and progressive advancements in your life, and there is almost nothing you cannot change if you have the will to make the adjustments. The most significant and profound changes occur when you are in partnership with God.
From the time I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I learned that God would always be with me. I discovered that the power of repentance, when accompanied with faith, is an amazing change agent. Repentance means “a change of mind effecting a change of direction!” When I wanted to make a 180-degree turn, I noticed that it came more easily by asking God for the gift of faith to enable me to become the person I wanted to be. God has given every man these two great powers: the strength of repentance, and the authority of faith (which is the ability to believe); and these forces will enable any man to reshape his future.
God expects every man to make radical 180-degree changes in life toward His purpose. This is what being a Christian is all about. It is a change of mind, which affects a total life transformation. When God sees your desire and willingness to do this, He gives you the faith to become the man you want to be. Changing your life then becomes a progressive reality.
In order for your life to be constantly developing, growing fuller and richer, change is necessary; and every man must learn to process this quickly and easily. A great life involves changing the way we think about ourselves. Some men are self-important and need to learn humility, while others struggle with low self-esteem and need to define who they are called to be.
When Peter was brought to Christ by his brother Andrew, a single word change his life forever. John chapter 1, Jesus took one look at Peter and said “You’re John’s son, Simon?” From now on your name is Cephas” (or Peter which means “Rock”) (John 1:42).
Jesus’ words showed Peter that his life would forever change. Over the next three years as he followed Christ, Peter’s personality was revolutionized from unstable and erratic to the characted of a “rock” which Jesus would shape to become a pillar in the church (see Galatians 2:9).
Jacob was a man in the Bible who struggled with his identity. His name meant “deceiver.” For the first part of his life and in his business dealings, Jacob lived up to the name his parents had given him and practiced a deceptive lifestyle. He stole his brother Esau’s birthright, and later, with the help of his mother, Jacob took his brother’s blessing. Later in life, he manipulated his uncle Laban in order to steal his business (see Galatians 27-31).
When Jacob’s deception was uncovered, he fled from his uncle Laban and began his journey back to the land of his calling. He realized he must face his brother Esau, who was threathening to kill him. In a crisis moment, Jacob had an encounter with God, who asked him, “What is your name?” Jacob faced the reality of who he really was and reached out, asking God to bless him. God performed the miracle change and gave Jacob a new name, “Israel,” which means “prince of God.” From this meeting with God, Jacob’s life his personality and his manner of living took a radical 180-degree turn. He has met God, who helped him make the change (see Genesis 32:24-32).
In the morning, he walked out of his tent a new person with a new name. in his struggle with God, his very nature, his character, and his countenance had been transformed. He met his family, who saw that he had experienced a radical change. He was a new husband and father. He met his brother Esau, and the old alienation was replaced by a new relationship of brotherhood.
Change is both instantaneous and progressive. The moment any man receives Christ as Savior, a new nature begins to replace the old way of life. It is the miracle of salvation.
The good news is that there is a God who can bring radical change to our lives. As we ask Him for his help, and yield to the continuous process, we will leave the past behind. We will begin to take on a new nature and new attitudes and become the person we want to be.
This excerpt is from the book Be A Man: A Real Look at Real Men Facing Real Issues written by Mel Mullen
Points to ponder:
How much are you willing to change? Can you identify the changes that you should make?
Share us your insights through the comments section below! Let us know how this article helped or encouraged you.
Mel C. Mullen and his wife, Heather, are co-founders of Home Church which began in 1972 with a group of youth and has grown to a multisite, multigenerational church with campuses on four continents. Mel is recognized as national leader in Canada; he oversees the Life Church Network, hosts conferences and speaks internationally to church and business leaders. Mel and Heather have two children, Jachin and his wife Becca, and Christy and her husband, Chad Caritt, They also have six awesome grandchildren.