A Change of Character
It is easy to talk to God about behavioral issues. Lord, help me be a better steward of my money. Lord, help me loose weight. Lord, help me find a job, be healed from a disease, or locate the right house. These requests, though valid, all deal with our exterior life. We are asking God to fix our circumstances and the reason for our asking is not to do God’s will. Frankly, the reason for asking, is to improve our life. We want to be happy and healthy and well thought of.
God might honor one or two of these requests, but his answer will probably not be for the reason you think. He is not intent on easing our circumstances. His desire is that you see him as being able to provide for you. He is someone you can trust no matter what your situation. This quick response often happens with young believers.
As we mature in our faith God’s response often changes. It changes because he wants us to change as well. God moves from a god who fulfills our desires to a god who is concerned about our needs, needs we might not even be aware of. God knows that our attitudes are more important than our behavior. In fact, if we have Christ-like attitudes we will exhibit Christ-like behavior. It is from the heart that lasting change occurs.
So, how does my inside change? Do I do the work or does God? The answer is both. I have my part. It is to recognize the attitude that needs to change. If I am unwilling to admit I have a problem with selfishness God seems to wait until I recognize it. He is not a pushy God. Once I recognize my need I can ask for God’s help to change me into the nature of his Son. I must want what God offers.
I have some longstanding issues. One of them is with pride. I often ask God for humility. I ask not expecting him to remove all my pride overnight. I am still uncovering issues of pride. I want to grow in humility and I know God wants it as well. So I ask. And as circumstances arise I know it is his response to my request. He is giving me another situation where I have the choice to act prideful or with humility. It is God’s invitation to me to train into the character I say I want.
In partnership with God I grow into the image of his Son.