by Mark Chironna
This week, I want us to take a look at change as a process, as it is important for you and I to understand the dynamics of how change works. By the way, change is an ongoing reality in life. Some changes are continuous, as with growing up and growing older. Some changes are discontinuous, as those unexpected things that interrupt our normal continuous patterns of change in life that we don’t necessarily see coming or don’t expect. These can include the loss of a loved one, the loss of employment and the need to find new employment, a relationship that ends unexpectedly, and many other things that come to mind. Change is dynamic—it is not static.
You’ve probably heard that we tend to regard change as “loss,” and therefore we tend to resist change. There is certainly truth to that premise, both spiritually and psychologically. However, we often don’t fully realize how come we tend to have a built-in resistance to change. Then, on top of that, change is a process of transformation that the Spirit calls us into:
2 Corinthians 3:17-18: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit (emphasis mine).
The lordship of the Spirit of Truth in our lives is the road to freedom; and freedom is not “my freedom to choose” (as we have been taught in Western democracy). I know that may come as a shock; however, sadly most Christians in North America have no clue how much the culture has crept into our thinking and usurped what the Scripture says. The Bible does not define freedom in terms of your freedom or my freedom to choose. In fact, Jesus tells us that we need to repent because we are enslaved to sin. If you and I are found to be enslaved to sin, there is no freedom to choose, there is only choice in relation to our enslavement. Pay careful attention as we unpack this.
John 8: 31-32: So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The Son makes you free from sin. Listen carefully, because theoretically we know that, yet how real is it in our lives? The Truth is a person, and the Truth makes us free. Yet what is that freedom? It isn’t freedom to choose. Modernity and post-modernity have defined that for us in our Western Culture, and we have exported that around the world in all our branding and marketing. It is the lie of the powers of darkness. Paul says we are either a slave of sin or a slave of righteousness (Rom. 6:15-23). So how free is that? Either way I am a slave. Slaves are not free. What then is freedom?
Dr. James Houston, one of the great biblical scholars in the area of Spiritual Theology says that freedom is Christ in His perfection, perfectly influencing us. To the degree that we are influenced by Christ, who is the Truth, and who brings us into truth—to that degree we are free. In any area where we are not influenced in the depths of our being by the Truth, to that degree we are not free. It is actually a haunting question to ask ourselves to what degree we are free.
Have you noticed all the moral scandals in the church in America lately? Professing Christians who can quote, “The truth shall make you free,” are living lives of bondage. The statistics are staggering. Yet what about all those areas in you and in me where we continue to unconsciously resist change and transformation? If Christ is our horizon, to free us to become partakers of the divine nature, how often do we get stuck and remain unchanged? How come we often don’t realize our own internal resistance to change and how that slows down and impedes the work of transformation the Spirit of Truth himself wants to bring us into? Be mindful of this reality: no change, no growth.
Next week, I’ll continue looking at the process of change, some of the reasons we resist change, and why resistance to change is especially unique within family systems.
P.S. I would love for you to join me on Thursday nights at 10:30 p.m. ET on Daystar Television for my weekly broadcast, On The Living Edge!