How Change Happens

Michael Beck

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Change happens when we let God’s Word do its work in our life.

What is the work of the Word of God?

1.) To establish us in good doctrine

2.) To convict and correct the errors of our way

3.) To instruct us in the righteous ways of God

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16,17)

The pace of change in our life depends on our willingness to examine our ways in the light of God’s Word.

I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. (Psalm 119:59,60)

Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. (Lamentations 3:40)

Change begins with the reception of conviction from the Word of God.

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psalm 119:130)

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life (Proverbs 6:23)

Godly change is impossible without the cleansing of the water of the Word.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psalm 119:9)

Before we can be instructed in the way we should go, God must cleanse us from our unrighteousness thoughts and ways. He can only do this when we are willing to confess the sin which His Word would reprove us of.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)

God clearing us from guilt (i.e., not imputing iniquity to us) depends on us being without guile (i.e., self-deception.)

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalm 32:1-5)

Only as we let the Word of God expose any darkness in our life, are we poised to be instructed in a new way of righteousness.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. (Psalm 32:8,9)

Deceit (guile) has us believing we are well when we’re sick; okay when we’re undone; safe when we’re in danger; righteous when we’re wicked. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. (1 Samuel 15:13)

Where there is deceit there is denial, not confession, of sin. Holding fast deceit underlies backsliding. Change for the better is impossible where there is deceit.

Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD … lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? (Jeremiah 8:5-7,9)

Our relationship with God is only as good as our relationship with His Word. An antagonistic relationship with God is manifested by an antagonistic relationship with His Word.

To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. (Jeremiah 6:10)

Sin is a personal offense toward God. The first step in true repentance is the contrite admission that we have sinned against God.

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee (Luke 15:18)

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD… (2 Samuel 12:13)

When convicted of sin by the Word of God, the humble bow their head and confess: “Guilty, as charged.” By doing so they place themselves in position to change. The proud, on the other hand, resist correction and become offended by the light which reproves darkness. Because they won’t acknowledge where they’ve been wrong in the past, there’s little hope for change in their future.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

Walking in guile involves lying to ourselves about ourselves. If the Word of God is to have its proper effect in our life we must put off all guile/deceit. Where we are guilty of sin, we must let ourselves be convicted of sin.

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:1,2)

The Word of God does not coddle us. It is a sword that slays evil. It has our number and would awaken us to our need.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:12,13)

We can expect help from God when we’re humble. We can expect resistance from God when we’re proud.

Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6)

Without a proper reckoning of sin we cannot dwell with God.

Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD. (Psalm 106:5-7)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.