I am not talking about “The Force” from Star Wars, but a force that affects us all. There is not a single person that has not been influenced by this power. It’s everywhere. From the beginning of time this power has shaped people, animals, the land, even the whole earth and the solar system. Some look forward to it. Some try to hide from it. Some are petrified of it. Some run after it. It is a force that is essential to our spiritual growth.
It is this spiritual growth that we have been and are continuing to focus on as we are right in the middle of the More Like Jesus campaign. This spiritual growth emphasis encourages us to embrace this force. Without this force we could not follow the command in 2 Peter 3:18:
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. NIV
Without this force we could not possibly move on in maturity as Hebrews 6:1 exhorts us:
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, NIV
Ok, I know your mental wheels are turning, and you’re thinking “What is this force? Ok, I get it; it’s the Sunday school answer, ‘Jesus,’ right?” Nope, Jesus is always a part of our spiritual growth, and as we have been challenged over these past few weeks, we know to be more like Him. We need to Abide in Jesus as John 15:1-11 says, we need to be Alive in Jesus as John 12:24-26 challenges, we need to Know Jesus as John 3:1-15 encourages, and we See Jesus as we will learn this Sunday when we explore John 1:35-51. But that’s not the force I am talking about.
This force is a power that exists in our universe, but it is also something that if we embrace it as God is at work on us, it will only enhance the experience and allows us to grow and mature. Our embracing this phenomenon allows us to grow and mature in faith.
Ephesians 4:14-15 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, ESV
What this force is…is change. Yep CHANGE. If we don’t or won’t change, or if we run from, avoid or neglect to change, we will not grow. Change is not always easy. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it takes some real work. Sometimes it is no fun. But as James 1 says, as we endure the discipline or training of this trail we will grow, building endurance. (If you are not sure what James 1 says open you Bible and read it!)
Now I could talk a lot about change and how it’s tough and yet worth while and if we were chatting over a beverage we could both share stories of how we resisted change and rode the waves of change. We have all experienced both. But the challenge I would like to encourage you with is to have the attitude of the Apostle Paul…
Philippians 3:13-16 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Do you see the embracing of change? It’s in the words, ‘straining towards’ and ‘press on.’ Paul knows he needs to change/mature so instead of running from it, he fully embraces it and I believe he enthusiastically went for it! And we should do the same.
Let’s change together and strain towards being more like Jesus and let’s press on in the areas of growth God is pointing out to us and embrace the change.
Embracing Change with you,
P.S. A lot more information about the campaign is on our web site http://www.cypresschurch.net. Why not check it out?