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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Change!



Are you tired of that word yet?
It's the "it" word of the day. Change.

From the White house to my own house, our nation is in a state of change right now.

I feel pretty safe in assuming that many of you are also in a season of change.

Some changes are huge- moving, major job changes, marriage, divorce, children. Others are smaller, yet meaningful changes. Some changes are internal such as attitudes and dreams.

I believe that the body of Christ is going through changes also. There seems to be a common thread in the conversations that I have with Christians lately. It is a sense that the Lord is calling us closer to Him and that things are starting to shift and shake within our churches.
Some of the changes are painful, yet necessary for us to become the "spotless bride" that He will ultimately return for.

One thing is for certain...we're being taking out of our comfort zones!
My "comfort zone" was always busyness. Yes, running around taking care of this ministry and that ministry and having lots of goal driven activities filling my time.
Now the Lord has brought me into a quieter place and calling me to lay down some of these things as He ministers to me the value and necessity of family and home.

This has caused me some pain. There have been a few things...titles...etc. that I have had to lay at the altar and walk away from.

Has God asked you to lay something on the altar?

He asked Abraham.
Gen 22:2
2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son,

Isaac, whom you love,
and go to the region of Moriah.
Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering
on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
NIV

Abraham was asked to bring his greatest blessing to the altar.
His legacy. His only son, whom he loved so much.

Isaac was a gift.
Abraham was God's servant. He knew His God. He trusted His God.

God then provided a different sacrifice.
Genesis 22:12-14
12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

NIV

Abraham renamed that mountain "The Lord Provides," also known as "Jehovah Jireh."

Look at what Abraham said on the way up the mountain:
Gen 22:5
We will worship and then we will come back to you."
NIV

Did you know that is the first time in scripture that the word 'worship' is used?

There were other offerings, but not worship such as this.
How beautiful is that?

When we lay down, as to sacrifice, something for the Lord- it is an act of true worship.
As a former worship leader and one who loves to sing praises to Him, that is powerful to me! There is no talk of music or singing being involved, but there was...worship.

So again, let me ask...has He asked you to lay something on the altar?

I believe, "sacrificial change" as opposed to "superficial change" will be the hallmark of the body of Christ in these last days.

Let's look at the blessing Abraham received for honoring the Lord:
Gen 22:17-18
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

KJV

I love it!
The Lord will bless our obedience. He knows our hearts. He puts desires in us. He will take care of bringing them to pass...in His time and in His way! He's so incredibly loving.


When we sacrifice our own wants and needs so that we can honor Him with our lives, He is worshiped!



As we do this, it changes us. It makes us more like the Savior we worship.


It’s change that we can really believe in!




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17 Comments:

Blogger North Carolina Gran'Ma said...

Thank you for the thought-provoking words....
I am in a point in my own life that is requiring change...I just recently resigned as the bible study leader at my church....I felt that season had come to an end..hard, though, because of "titles", recognition, etc. but I pesonally needed "change"...change of attitude and spiritual change....God has gotten my attention now and I am being humbled...which is where I needed to be all along.
Thank you.
~Blessings

February 23, 2008 at 5:10 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

I had some changes a couple of years ago. I was feeling burn out! I was on committees, teaching Sunday School, etc. Just like the work place, it seems the same people do everything! Others need to be able to step up to the plate. Thanks,Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

February 23, 2008 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Thanks for these challenging words.

February 23, 2008 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Sheila said...

Amen, I agree! There's real, painful, good change going on in the hearts of those who call themselves Christians and it's coming out in all kinds of joyous worship, that is, sacrifices of love and trust in Christ.

Thanks for sharing this!

February 23, 2008 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

I am in much agreement with you my friend.

February 23, 2008 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Mary Lou said...

YOu are so right. We've been shaken at our church and shaken good out of our comfort zone, it's been for the best, it needed to be done. My husband and I are facing some major changes in the next few months. I am going to need much prayer and i do have prayer support, so I know God will see me thru. Your words were right on target. The changing seasons of our lives are for our good and He is moving in His church and changing us too. Thank you for saying this for all of us. You did a great job. He spoke thru you. Blessings...Mary Lou at dlowran1(at)comcast(dot)net.

February 23, 2008 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Mob said...

Thanks sue, I can always count on you to get me thinking! Yes, I had to lay down my selfishness. My life had gotten way to easy and comfortable. God lead us to adopt a beautiful baby girl this past year and I can tell you one thing, I don't have any more lazy days.

February 23, 2008 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

I love change. . Serious I do, In my time?? HA! No sacrifice there, It must be in His time, which can really be hard BUT it is so worth the change when we follow. Thanks for another great word Sue:) love ya,
Deb.

February 23, 2008 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Daughter of Annie said...

Sue, love your blog - change....that word that scares us so - I have really felt the Lord's presense in my life lately and I have learned to NEVER say "I" going to do this and "I" going to do that. I realize how selfish I have been mostly with my time - I have certainly been in my comfort zone.. I have made some changes and I pray God will keep me rolling with the punches.. In Peace.

February 23, 2008 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger kmom3 said...

"I believe, 'sacrificial change' as opposed to 'superficial change' will be the hallmark of the body of Christ in these last days."

I love that! And yet, I know I cannot be quick to say of my own life that my changes are sacrificial instead of superficial. You have given me something very important to think on and to ask God to check my heart on. Thanks, Sue!

February 23, 2008 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Isn't it funny how some people thrive on change, they can't wait for what's next around the corner. Not me. I am Mrs. Status Quo. I have to fight that so that I don't become lukewarm in my worship. I did not know that that ref. is the first one to mention worship. Thanks for a great thought-provoking post.

February 24, 2008 at 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

God has been working on me recently. My mother died in early January, following about a month of a severe and painful condition. It was all very unexpected. Talk about change! I am 53 years old, but losing the mother of our family has been a BIG change. Yes, it shook me up and is changing me still. I have been awakened to things concerning Jesus and his coming for us and to things of this world that are false; which I thought were true, and to things I need to change in myself (attitudes and wrong beliefs, and leaning on the wrong words (not His words)). He is taking me from my comfort zone and I am truly shook which has led me to seeking Him in a mighty and urgent way. I feel like someone who has been safely asleep for too long, and was awakened by a terrible and true nightmare. God is using this time to call us out and draw us nearer to Him in truth, which is not always comfortable! Be prepared and be watchful. Trust His word and listen to Him before you listen to anyone else.
In Him, Terri

February 24, 2008 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

A guest speaker sort of hit on this topic today in church. He was saying something about how there's this widespread, errant belief that when you become a Christian, your pain is taken away. Truthfully, I don't think He'll ever completely take our pain and need for sacrifice away this side of heaven. He wants our dependence and utter surrender. Hard to surrender when everything is going my way. Thank you for this great reminder.

February 24, 2008 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

I loved that Sue. It made me instantly remember a song we learned many years ago..."I'm so tired of being stirred about the lost who need to hear...I'm so tired of being told that His coming is so near..I'm so tired of being stirred that I cry bitter tears...Lord--I'm so tired of being stirred...and not being changed."
I hope I didn't lose you in the first line of the song...but the message to the song is relevant for our lives. We are encouraged to "be more like Him---to change" and while we WANT to ...we rarely take the necessary CONTINUAL steps to make it happen in our lives.
This was a powerful message to me.
Thank you for that.

February 24, 2008 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger A Stone Gatherer said...

Oh I am not fond of change, but in Christ I must change to be more like him! One of my catch phrases these days is "I am being a willow, not an Oak!" I so desire to be used of God, any where! I am waiting on Him to show me what I need to be doing for Him. Thanks for the great reminder!

February 26, 2008 at 4:13 AM  
Blogger Mel's World said...

Dear sweet Sue...could your words be any more on target...

When you wrote, "When we sacrifice our own wants and needs so that we can honor Him with our lives, He is worshiped!" I started to feel my soul weep.

As you know well enough I have had to lay so many things on the alter lately, and as much as it has hurt me I know that by doing so HE was worshipped! Thank you!

xoxo,
Melissa

March 2, 2008 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Tamatha said...

pretty sneaky posting only half of this on your blog and having us come over here for the rest!hehe

March 3, 2008 at 9:16 AM  

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