You Have to Choose to Change
By Rick Warren
“Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception” (Ephesians 4:22 NLT, second edition).
Change requires making choices. It’s not enough to dream of changing. It’s not enough to desire change. In order for you to change, you will need to make a decision. You must choose to change.
Change is intentional. Are you going to be any different in six months? Are you going to be better a year from now? Are you going to be healthier, stronger, and more mature? Are you going to be happier? Are you going to be less in debt? Are you going to be more like God wants you to be?
I can tell you the answer right now: It will only happen if you choose to change, because it isn’t going to happen accidentally.
It requires a choice.
A lot of times we think we’re waiting on God to change us. No! God is waiting on you. He’s waiting on you to say, “Yes, Lord, I’m willing to make these changes.”
We have to make intentional choices in order to grow. There is no growth without change, there is no change without loss, and there is no loss without pain. If you are going to grow, you will have to change, and change means you let go of some old things in order to grab hold of some new things.
It’s like swinging on a trapeze. The trapeze artist swings out on one bar, and then he has to reach out and grab the other one. At some point, he’s got to let go of one to grab on to the other, or he’s not going to make it to the other side. If he thinks he can hold on to both, what happens? He gets stuck in the middle, and he’s going down.
Some of you are stuck in the middle, and you’re going down because you haven’t let go of the old patterns, the old habits, and the old ways of thinking. You have to let go of your old ways.
The Bible says, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life” (Ephesians 4:22a NLT, second edition). In other words, let it go. Those old habits, those old hurts, those old patterns, those old sins in your life — let them go. The Bible says to throw them off and trust that God is working in you “to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13b NIV).
Talk It Over
- What change have you been waiting on God to make in you? What do you think your responsibility is to make that change happen?
- How is accountability with other believers helpful in making the choice to change and then following through on it?
- What do you need to do once you make the choice to change? What steps will help you move forward?
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Based on Jesus’ very own words in the Beatitudes, this DVD and workbook guides you through eight critical choices that every wounded believer must make in order to experience wholeness, happiness, and healing. These essential decisions will build your trust in God even when you don’t understand his plans and your circumstances look hopeless.
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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