There is an old saying that goes, there are three kinds of people: those who make change happen, those we watch change happen and those who wonder, “What just happened?” The Bible tells us that God never changes, but it also shows us that He causes change to happen all around Him. As I teach in my online Future Coaching course God initiates change through relationship and communication. Principles alone will never produce lasting change. All change, that leads us to our God given purpose, starts with encountering God and His voice. Abraham, Moses, David and every other major agent of generational change heard God’s voice. Thousands of people have experience the power of communion and communication with God through this online resource at www.bobhazlett.org/training.
In the previous blog I shared that Abraham in the Bible is an example of how God initiates change in our lives. I want to share with you two things Abraham needed to effect lasting change and can help you make change in any area of your life.
SOMETHING HAS TO MAKE YOU GO!
Motivation is emotional. God told Abraham to “go”! Change is not only an intellectual decision or an informed choice. Something motivates the change before we make a choice. The decision to change occurs when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing. Likewise when the reward of change outweighs the cost of not changing, we gladly embrace it. Even God was motivated by emotion when He decided to change the world. God so LOVED the Word that He gave His Son. Love made Him go! Emotions alone can lead to making improper change, for sure. However, decisions made without passion will lead to short-lived modification. Think about it, every major life change has great emotion involved from, choosing a vocation, marry a spouse, having a child, and planning the end a career. If you don’t feel it, you will never fulfill it!
THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING TO SHOW!
As we see Abraham’s life, sometimes we start on the path to change without knowing exactly where we are going. God told him to “Go” but did not tell him what direction to start walking. He said, “…to a place I will show you.” The truth is, if God told us exactly what we had to go through to get us where He is taking us, we would never go! Sometimes direction does not come until we start moving. The question is, what if I have no idea how to start the change? Let me give you two thoughts; make incremental change and make imitational change. Sometimes the best thing you can do when you don’t know what to do is do something different than what you are doing. Small changes lead to big changes. Secondly, don’t be afraid to imitate the change you see in others. In the first Module of Future Coaching, I talk about how God created the world and then ask man to join Him. Man created change in the world by imitating what God did. The apostle Paul said, “follow me as I follow Christ.” When you see other people experience the change you want in your life, do what they are doing, eventually it will lead you to a unique expression of change in your life. Changing one thing in your life can lead to changing everything!
Planning equals progress only when you take action. You really can’t have a future without a plan. Stated Biblically, “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord…to give you a future…” Jeremiah 29:11. The difficulty is how do you plan if you don’t know exactly where you will end up. The simple answer is if you plan for nothing, you will end up in the middle of nowhere! God did two things for Abraham; He removed the obstacles for His forward progress and he build on his past success. Look at what could potentially trip you up in the future and strengthen that area. If you feel you are headed for great financial wealth, learn to steward your money well. If your vocation or calling will require time away from home, strengthen your family relationships so they will endure. If your purpose is going to create a physical demand on your body develop a healthy mind and body. Another thing is find the “bright spot” in your past and leverage it for your future. Abram was going to have a big family so God taught him how to take care of his relatives including his nephew Lot. He made some mistakes along the way, but eventually was qualified to be “the Father of many Nations.” You don’t have to stay stuck. God is initiating lasting change today!
Are you ready for a change? Try these actions steps.
- GO: Write down the first three things that come to your mind that you would like to see change in your life.
- INCREMENT: Write one thing you can do today in each of these areas to start momentum.
- IMITATE: Think of someone, in each of these areas, who has matured in or mastered it. Watch what they do, learn from their success, and follow them as they follow Christ.