Life Change

Sometimes I wish I could manufacture life change. I day-dream of a formula, or a series of well-timed maneuvers, or a set of input points, and think that it would be nice if you just hit these things hard enough, threw enough energy, or talent, or money in their direction that things would happen.


You see, I'm a results kind of person. I take great pleasure in seeing the positive results of my efforts. They don't need to be quantifiable, but they need to be visible, at least to me. I don't care if others know, I don't care if I'm appreciated, but I do care if I have made a difference. And in 'my line of work' that means life change towards Christ. Or at least, it does to me. I suppose other pastors may use other measuring rods; whatever. But even if I were not a pastor, those would be the results I sought more than anything else. 

Unfortunately, there is a subtle and dangerous form of idolatry at work here. I am privileged to labor in the Kingdom of God. I am privileged to be a part of Jesus' work in the hearts of His children. And while this is a calling I gladly embrace, it is not a job my talent, or energy, or resources (money or otherwise) can accomplish. I will till and water where, when, and as God calls, but He will cause growth. 

Yet even as I know this truth I find it difficult to work in submission; I would rather work in control. 

And then I catch a glimpse of what we would be like if life change really could be manufactured. 

I go to a conference and see what happens when one gives oneself over to the pursuit of manufactured life change. Substance giving way to style as the reaction becomes the goal. Depth replaced by popular appeal as engagement becomes the end. 


I see an advertisement and realize that the ability to manufacture would be a terribly misused power. Freedom giving way to marketing as life change becomes a tool. Individuals replaced by ideal users as target market dynamics become a physical reality. 

And then I mourn. I mourn over the fact that while life change cannot be manufactured it can be faked. It can be pushed so hard that some, in desperation they hardly recognize, attempt to sell what cannot be bought and are inevitably disappointed with the results and left bereft, having giving up much to gain nothing. 

And then I worship. I worship over the fact that the Spirit of God still comes among us, like the wind, like a fire, to accomplish the often unremarked miracle of true change in the hearts of even those who have nothing left to hope for, let alone sell, giving fullness in place of brokenness. 


May you know the only source of true life: Jesus Christ. May you come to understand that all you hope for is but a vague shadow of the reality that he holds. 


adriel said...

Amen! Thanks a lot for this post, Andrew.

Andrew said...

Your Welcome :)