If We Don’t Change Our Direction Soon, We’ll End Up Where We’re Going
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What’s the Benefit of Changing - What’s the Cost of Not Changing?
Title Quote - Prof. Irwin Corey
VPH – BAC/Jan 2007
I. God Wants/Commands Us to Change and Rewards/Judges our Efforts to Transform Ourselves?
Phil 2:12-13; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Thes 4:3, 7 (For this is God’s will, your sanctification)
II. The Change Process
1. Identify a fruit/trait/character aspect that God wants you to possess
o Is it Biblical? God’s priority? Will propel your walk a major step forward?
o See fruits of the Spirit; Peter’s list of fruit; Leadership characteristics; Needs Evaluation Survey
2. Make sure you really are intent on changing in this particular area
o Articulating why you want to change can help build resolve and motivation.
o Envision; think about the consequences if you don’t change in this area.
3. Decide to believe - Dead to sin, Alive to God
Ro 6:11 Likewise reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in you 2Pe I:4-5; I Thess 4:1-7)
o New creature vs. old nature focused on satisfying your temp needs/desires (significance, security, pleasure, possessions)
o Sin still alive and appealing, but its power and authority has been broken. (Rom 8:2)
o Your choice - Walking according to the flesh (temporal desires) vs. God’s word. (Rom 8:12-13)
4. Assess why you don’t possess the desired trait now
o Patterns modeled; Conditioned responses; Habits; memories
o Identify desires you have that work against you
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. 15 men when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death
5. Dislodge old thinking; kill destructive desires
o Romans 7:23; 8:5-7; 12:1-2; 2 Cor 10:3-5
o Take it off – Eph 4:22 that you put off concerning the former manner of life, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts and be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
o Crucify Desires Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and desires/lusts.
6. Put on the new trait(s) that God wants by…
John 17.-17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Eph 4:22 that you put off concerning the former manner of life, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts and be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Romans 12:2 Do not b conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
o Imagine and Ingrain the correct attitudes and behavior by thinking and prayer
Joshua 1:8…thou meditate…for the purpose of obeying; Phil 4:8 - think on these things
o Value blessing (reward) of God above all else - Rom 6:18, 22
Col 3:1-2 – Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth
o Value intimacy with God (Eph 4:17-18)
o Value the excitement of God working through you/Joy
o Desire God’s word - Ps 19:10 More to be desired than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
o List; think about the bad consequences too
If you’re not actively pushing to progress in your sanctification you are pursuing your lusts and ungodly desires which results in…
Unfruitfulness Mr 4:19 cares this world, deceitfulness of riches, desire for other things enter in, choke the word, which becomes unfruitful; Lu 8:14 choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Living like a slave as opposed to a free and empowered child of God - Titus 3:1-3 – For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures.
Disharmony Jas 4:1 – Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members
Abandonment by God Ps 81:12 I gave them up to their own hearts' desire: they walked in their own counsels. (cf Ro 1:24)
God’s Wrath Eph 2:3...in lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath
Death (loss) James 1:15 – Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to son; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death
Marred relationship with God/Unfit for service to God Gal 5:19 - Now the outworkings of the desire for the temporal are obvious: self-centered gratification of needs and wants, random indulgence of impure and sexual thoughts, being unfit for approaching and serving God
Loss of Reward/Inheritance Ga 5:19 Now the outworkings of the desire for the temporal are obvious: self-centered gratification of needs and wants…just as I have told you in times past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
7. Admit sin and deal with it properly
o Admit and confess sin - lJo I.-8-9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive & cleanse us from all unrighteousness
o Exit/Abstain from them (accountability; grade yourself)
Ro 6:19-21; 8:13 For if ye live according to the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members
8. Don’t slip back, but do the new thing…to the point of shedding blood
o Abstain (hold back) 1 Pet 2:11 … as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (Heb 12:3)
o Heb 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin. Ro 8:18
o Be mentally tough, objective driven, reward motivated, obedient, smart, self-remade, & different 1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15...be holy
o Remember that accomplishing change in a specific area is your service to God. Ro 12:1-2 which is your reasonable service (to God)
9. Be prepared for Satan’s schemes to hold you back
10. Expect God to work through others & trials to produce in you godly character and actions Rom 8:29, 32
1. How do you know when God wants you to work on changing a particular trait?
2. What makes change so difficult?
3. When is change easy?
4. Why were Peter and Paul able to make such dramatic changes in their lives?
5. Can you think of a major change that you’ve made in your life? How did that come about?
6. How has accountability helped you in the change process? Which steps?
7. Is there anything to be gained from failure from making a change…hoping to do well in an area, but not succeeding?
8. When one changes their behavior in a certain area, is it usually permanent?