4 Keys to Changing Your Life

How’s everybody doing with your New Year’s resolutions?  They’re hard to keep! Most people have already given up just days into the new year!  Someone remarked in making resolutions “to set the bar high so you can easily walk under them!” It’s not easy to change your life for the better. We’re all creatures of habit and routine. Almost 3 thousand years ago the prophet Jeremiah asked, “Can the Ethiopian change the color of his skin, or the leopard his spots? Can we do good, if we are accustomed to doing evil?” (Jeremiah 13:23 NLT) I’m glad that God answered with a resounding, “Yes!” The Bible is saturated with accounts of people who radically changed their lives for the better. I’ve found over the years that there are 4 necessary keys in bringing about lasting change in our lives. First, we need desire. Do we really want to change? And how badly do we want it? I remember pushing a heavy 7 man blocking sled across the football field with our coach shouting, “How bad do you want it boys? How bad do you want to win?” It’s not great English but them message is clear: change takes sacrifice, work and persistence. If you want it enough, you’ll pay the price.  You’ll do whatever it takes with all that you’ve got! God says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart!” (Jeremiah 29:13 NLT) Second, we need a plan for change. We need to set specific, measurable and realistic goals for moving us toward the changes we desire.  Coaches not only instill the desire for winning, they construct a game plan to win! Most changes we want to happen in our lives fail because we had no plan outlining the specific steps necessary to get where we want to be. One of the most important yet often forgotten part of your plan is accountability. Tell someone about the change you’re making, your plan to get there – and then ask if they will check in on you regularly asking about your progress and if you are sticking to your plan! Accountability is huge in effecting change. A plaque hung over the mantel of the doorway to a half-way house for recovering addicts read, “We do together what we can’t do alone!” Ecclesiastes 4:9 reads, “Two are better than one and a threefold cord is not easily broken.” Third, we need power to facilitate change. Unfortunately, our own “will-power” may get us started on the way, but often it’s too weak for dramatic change. We need power outside ourselves – the power of God!  The Apostle Paul, who experienced dramatic changes in his life wrote, “I can do all things in Christ who makes me strong!” (Philippians 4:13 NLT) Real and lasting change takes a power beyond human strength! It takes Jesus Christ, knowing Him personally as Lord and Savior of your life!  Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me!” (Galatians 2:20) With the power of Christ living in us, nothing is impossible! Faith based recovery programs have by far the greatest success rates for real and lasting change because they teach their clients to depend on God’s power and not their own strength to change. Last, we need to make the decision to begin! We must be daring enough to take the first step in working our plan.  It’s takes a conscious decision of our will to say, “Yes Lord, with Your help and in Your power, I will change!” This can be both risky and hard. This is where we try to talk ourselves out of it all. “I’ll start my diet…Monday! I’ll start working out when it’s more convenient!”  Nike has it right: “Just do it!” A patented slogan that comes right out of scripture: “Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT) Everybody knows the phrase, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life!” Even Mary Poppins (in her new movie) tells us, “Today or never! That’s my motto!” The change you want to happen in your life is possible when you desire it, develop a plan for it, trust God for His power to accomplish it, and then just do it! Go ahead, go for it! Author Mary Lamb reminds us, “One year from now you will wish that you started today!”