I’ve been thinking about change since Anessa told the teens at CHOSEN that she hasn’t seen a whole lot of change. To her, it seems like they always come back to the CHOSEN Youth Camp in the same place they were the year before. Even though I didn’t go to CHOSEN, I watched the services online. Immediately I asked myself, “Am I in the same place spiritually that I was last year? Has my change and growth been evident to others?” I hope it is! I hope others can see my growth.
Ever since that question, things have been coming to the surface. Reminders that change isn’t a one-time thing. Surrendering to God is something that happens continually. Every few days I tell God, “I surrender to you. I surrender my need to be right. Whatever you need from me, I am Yours.”
Each one of us needs to do that. And then, to bring everything full circle, Apostle David preached an excellent, timely, heart-piercing word recently about strengthening our joints. He said, “We have strong members (at Gateway), but weak joints.”
While thinking about how God wanted me to write everything that has been bouncing around inside of me, I thought about our physical joints. They become weak when we don’t use them. We lose function when we stop changing positions. If we stop getting up, over time, we won’t be able to get up at all.
I know there are areas of my life that I haven’t let God stretch because it’s painful. But I don’t want to be comfortable while God’s Kingdom becomes ineffective. I don’t want the weeds in my life to choke out the Word of God that is trying desperately to take root in me. I want God’s love to be fully manifested in me. I want His peace to be fully manifested in me.
While reading in Ephesians 4 today, I came across these verses, “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (NIV).
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my thinking to be useless. I don’t want my understanding to be darkened. I don’t want to be ignorant because I have hardened my heart.
Thinking about what those verses are saying. Useless thinking, no understanding, ignorant, and a hardened heart. All of those things cause a spiritual joint to be weak because the person won’t even realize they need to change. They won’t even recognize the need for growth!
We as believers of Christ don’t have to stay ignorant. Thank goodness our hearts can be softened. We can choose to not move our joints and we will get weaker and weaker. We will become more ineffective as the seasons go by. The only remedy is to say, “Continue breaking me, Lord. Continue shaping me. I know I’ve let You shape some areas of my life, but I need more of You. I want to be an effective joint in the Body of Christ, so show me the areas of weakness in me.” If I can’t see the problem, I can’t deal with it.
I know that two areas in me that are weak are my love walk and patience. Way before Apostle David even preached his message, I’d been asking God to increase my love walk and increase my patience. He has given me opportunities to walk in love, but I haven’t done that enough.
Guess what? There will be more opportunities for me to strengthen those weak areas. By His grace, I will become a strong joint, which means I will be able to minister to those in need.
It’s all about His Kingdom. There are so many people who need God’s love in their life, but we have to be mature, strong joints before we can help them. We know what to do. Now we have to do it!
~ Madison Sanders
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