Friday, November 16, 2007

Malachi 3:6

Malachi 3:6-“For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.”

I’m reading a book by A.W. Tozer right now named, “The Knowledge of the Holy-The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life”. It’s an awesome book, written to correct some wrong thinking of God about Who He is, and how we relate to Him. (Stop laughing at me Randy Riggins; I apologized to you already!)

Each chapter of the book addresses a different characteristic of God. Then, through Scripture, he shows how we think in relation to what that attribute really expresses about God. One of the most recent characteristics of God I just read about deals with His immutability; that is, His characteristic of never, ever changing.

Have you ever thought about what it means to NEVER change? We have no idea what the term NEVER really encompasses. We have absolutely no idea that never really means never, ever, ever, ever; it won’t happen, there is NOTHING that can force this to happen.

God never changes. Heck, I can get up in the morning, have someone speak to me in a way I consider wrong, and my whole attitude is shot for the day. My feelings and desires can change in a heartbeat. But God, He doesn’t change. He doesn’t wake up and not like the way I dress or talk. He doesn’t go to bed mad at me.

He never changes how He looks at me. He loves me. Sometimes, I hurt Him when I tend to do bone-headed things that I know I shouldn’t just because I’m stiff-necked. But through all that, God still loves me.

Why should I be different? Why can’t I look at the people around me and feel the same way? God never changes, but God changed me. He gave me a new leash on life. He washed my filthy rags in the blood of His precious Son, who was without spot or blemish, so that I could enter into His gates. And what do I give Him in return? How do I treat the precious gift of eternal life that has been bestowed upon me?

I put Him into a box. I keep Him there, and I pull Him out when I need/want Him. I pull Him out when I feel like I need to pray, and then shove Him back in when I’m done. I treat Him like a genie in a lamp; rubbing the side when I need a wish. I pull Him out to punish or smack someone around who I feel has hurt me.

I limit Him in my life. Notice, I didn’t say that I limit Him; I said I limit Him in my life. God doesn’t need me. He didn’t create me because He had a Bo shaped hole in His heart that He needed to fill. Scripture doesn’t say that God is complete with me; it says that I am complete in God.

God doesn’t need me; I need Him. God desires that I should grow in Him. He desires me to change and become the new creation that Scripture says I am because of the Holy Spirit in me. However, God’s existence and being is not dependent on me or my fickle feelings.

We need to understand and comply. In his book, Tozer states, “God never changes moods or cools off in His affections or loses enthusiasm.” 1 We’ve already discussed my ability, OUR ability, to change at the drop of a hat.

So, if God doesn’t change, where does that leave me? If one of us has to change, and God doesn’t have to, it seems pretty obvious right? I need to bow my knee to Him, and realize that He is Lord and learn what that REALLY means in my life.

But then, I bow, and I tend to look around and see if anyone else is bowing with me. And when I see that someone isn’t, I feel cheated, especially if they are seemingly getting by with what they are doing. It’s our nature to look around and compare our life to those around us. Heaven forbid if someone else is ahead of us in the game!

God doesn’t care what I see around me, He cares what I see IN ME. He cares that I look inside myself and see the change that needs to come there and allow it to happen. When I get caught up in the stuff on the outside, it muffles and suffocates the changes that need to occur in me.

Does it stop change? I really don’t believe it does, if I am a blood-bought, born-again, sanctified believer. What I do think, is that it makes it the change that is inevitably going to occur that much harder on me to take. Change happens, whether I embrace it openly or have to be dragged through it kicking and screaming like my grandson.

Change happens. God effects change, but change does NOT affect God. He is changeless, so I have a base, a solid foundation to start from in my new life. God wants to make us anew and fresh.

So, I’ll start by trying to turn loose some things in my life that deal with looking at those around me. I’ll try and remember that my circumstances and my surroundings don’t dictate to me my God.

I’m gonna try and change. Who knows, I might like it.

Be blessed in the Lord today,

Bo J.

P.S. Sorry about this being late. Last week, I went on a field trip to the zoo with one of my daughters. We had a ball! And this week, I had 2 doctor’s appointments, one of which was to the eye doc to get dilated. Oh joy!

1. A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy. HarperCollins, New York, 1961. P. 53.

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