Duration: 365 days
Today’s Bible Reading: Romans 12:1–21
When you boil life down to the nubbies, the name of the game is change. Those who flex with the times refuse to be rigid, resist the mold, and reject the rut—ah, those are the souls distinctively used by God. To them, change is a challenge, a fresh breeze that flows through the room of routine and blows away the stale air of sameness.
Stimulating and invigorating as change may be—it is never easy. Before you get all jazzed about some quick and easy change you plan to carry out, better read that sentence again, pal. Changes are especially tough when it comes to certain habits that haunt and harm us. That kind of change is excruciating—but it isn’t impossible …
The flesh dies a slow, bitter, bloody death—kicking and struggling all the way down. “Putting off” the clothes of the old man (the old, habitual lifestyle) will not be complete until you are determined to “put on” the garment of the new man (the new, fresh, Christian lifestyle). The tailor’s name is Change, and he is a master at fitting your frame. But the process will be painful … and costly.
Change—real change—takes place slowly. In first gear, not overdrive. Far too many Christians get discouraged and give up. Like ice skating or mastering a musical instrument or learning to water ski, certain techniques have to be discovered and developed in the daily discipline of living. Breaking habit patterns you established during the passing of years cannot occur in a few brief days. Remember that. “Instant” change is as rare as it is phony.
God did not give us His Word to satisfy our curiosity; He gave it to change our lives. Can you name a couple of specific changes God has implemented in your life during the past six or eight months? Has He been allowed, for example, to change your attitude toward someone … or an area of stubbornness … or a deep-seated habit that has hurt your home and hindered your relationship with others for a long, long time … or a pattern of discourtesy in your driving … or a profane tongue … or cheating … or laziness? …
The tailor’s real name is the Holy Spirit. You can count on Him to dispose of your old threadbare wardrobe as quickly as He outfits you with the new. By the way, He’s also on call twenty-four hours a day when you have the urge to slip into the old duds “just one more time.” If you ask Him, He’ll help you remember what you looked like on the day you first walked into His shop. His has a mirror with memories—the Bible.
To Take Away
- What changes has the Holy Spirit made in your life?
- What areas of your life still need to be changed?
- How might you begin to “put off your old self” and “put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:22, 24)?
Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.