As a Chaplain in a prison, I work with prisoners who are focused (well most of them) on change. It is heartwarming to see them struggle to become better and more socially acceptable members of society. It reminds me a bit of so many of our Old Testament people who also faced change and challenges. Think about these: Noah, Moses, Daniel, Joseph, Jonah, Esther, David……we could go on and on – and why? Because change is what builds our character, changes the world as it changes us and changed them. Imagine where we would be or not be if Noah simply said, “Nahh, I don’t think I am up to changing my life and spending years building a giant boat only to be ridiculed by my neighbors.” Noah’s changes repopulated the earth. And with his change to please God and the challenges that ensued while building and floating after the rains, his change and challenges continued and began big time when the water subsided and he walked on to dry earth. Once again, he had to change his life style of houseboat living and face the challenges of his new world – over and over again.
And do we even need to mention Moses. Oh my, change after change. Challenge after challenge.
We could and many have written books and much music around this theme. And what a perfect theme to envelope during this Lenten Season. Remember this oldie but goodie – –
It went like this: “There’s an old ache feel a-rollin’ down the tracks that says
your loving daddy ain’t comin’ back. I’m movin’ on.”
Probably, each of us has the opportunity to move on. Sometimes we feel we must relocate do to economic conditions, or with old doors closing. When you get that feeling of moving on, know that with God’s help, it is always moving onto new opportunities, new experiences, and something good coming into your new life. So, when we move on, let’s always know that we can always move onto something better with God’s help.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
I read this quote the other day as I was preparing this message – “I see it as putting on a new set of tires and rolling around the country, in a whole new way. So, if someone says, ‘I’m going to retire,” say “I’m going to re—tire; put on a new set of tires and experience life in a whole new way.’”
I saw this in the comics and saw something that related to prayer.
“This family in the comic section of the newspaper has a mother speaking to her little boy. She is saying, “Winkey, don’t forget to say your prayers so you will go to heaven.”
Winkey looks at his mother and says, ‘What do I have to say to get to go to Disneyland?’
Maybe you want to go to an entirely different place in your life—something new for you that is going to move you into a whole new experience in which you seek new good in your life. Perhaps you want to move on into a new state of spirituality where you may experience new health of body and peace of mind. Perhaps you may want to move into a new state in life where you are filled with happiness and the joy of living. Perhaps you are desiring a new state of prosperity and good, that would give you security and fill your life with soul satisfaction. Maybe you want this change just to enjoy something different and fulfilling.
We all have to move into that spiritual awareness of God that will take away fear and bring us Divine good.
Sometimes, we think we are too old to do something new, but with God, we can say in total truth—“I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm as I spring forth with a mighty faith to do the work that ought to be done by me.”
Always be ready to move on into a new experience and a new spiritual awareness. Be ever-ready to experience life in a whole new way. Be ready to change, to shift perspective, to keep “a rollin down that track” to becoming one with Christ.
And none of us are not alone.
For God will give God’s angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalms 91:11
If you are troubled about anything or any condition, ask yourself “Who is in charge?”
If we had only our human powers to rely upon, if everything depended upon us alone, we would have reason to feel anxious and worried. But who is in charge? Let us remind ourselves that God is in charge of our lives, our directions, and our future.
If you look around or you see every appearance is distressing, if you are faced with a situation that you do not know how to meet or handle, say to yourself, “God is in charge.”
Let us give thanks continually that God is at work in the situation and everything involving our lives, and that God can be relied upon to bring about right answers and good solutions.
What we cannot do – God is powerful enough to do. Let us trust God to guide us, to bless us midst of current difficulties, and to reveal to us the ways of our highest good. Let God control our changes, our path, and let Him support the challenges and the resolutions that go with that.
Sometimes, if you are like me, you do not always experience that zeal and enthusiasm. We sometimes have a little bit of a down time during difficulties. When life’s challenges are facing us, we wonder, “Can I move on? Can I do it again? Can I get to where I want to go? Can I do what I want to do? Can I experience all I want to experience?”
Now, let’s think about this. As we travel down the road way, as we move into change, “keep a rollin,” toward that new way, we might be experiencing something seemingly blocking our way on that road we want to move along. Traffic may be blocking our travelling, a lot like the blocks we build within us. Interstate traffic construction is a lot like the blocks that occur inside us. We may find that we are blocked by what we could call “orange barrel disease.” Do you know what “orange barrel disease” is? Haven’t you noticed all those orange barrels that pop up on the highway to get you to slow down or stop? How often are those orange barrels right in your way?
I think, sometimes, that is what happens in our lives–a little orange barrel or something is blocking our way. Something is creating a detour and hindering us from going where WE WANT TO GO. Sometimes, even those orange barrels require us to change – change direction to find another new way to our destination. And that can then lead to more challenges (of time, energy, cost, etc.).
So, sometimes, when we want to move onto a new experience in life, a new state of health, happiness, wholeness, or whatever it is we desire, we find out that things are blocking our way. But when we find ourselves there, we have to know that there is always a way, and this way will be shown to us by God.
Jesus Christ had to face many roadblocks in His life and many experiences which were of the lesser good. But He always knew the truth. He knew He could experience the full blessings of God if he used the key to moving on. He spoke to this in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:7-8) where He said, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
This is a powerful statement. It says ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened. Then He says that everyone who asks has received, everyone who has sought has found, and everyone who has knocked has had things open to them. Do we realize that the resolutions to the challenges involved with change have already occurred; we just have to accept.
But this always occurs according to our spiritual consciousness. We have been asking, we have been seeking, we have been knocking, and the doors have opened and the good has come to us, according to the power of God. God’s law says that the thoughts we are holding in mind produce after their kind in our world.
Maybe we have been knocking on the wrong door for too long, ignoring doors that are now open. We have to realize that we do have the power to change things and move on into a whole new state of spirituality.
Life is energy and God has given us the power to direct that energy through our thinking. Right thinking is the clue. And that alone is a change for many of us. We must “think right” by thinking God thoughts. God has already put them there, we just have to bring it into our consciousness.
There was a cartoon of Frank & Ernest. Frank is in a room with two big computers. He is busy nailing a poster on the wall that says “THINK.”
One computer turns to another and says, “See, they have to remind themselves constantly.”
We do. We have to remind ourselves, constantly, to think–not just to go along with the thought processes we have been involved with, but, all of a sudden, to think, rethink, and find out what is going on in our lives. We have to think about what we want to or need to change to bring about our sanctification, our blessing.
And like a computer, we too, have to reboot.
God gives you the power to rethink those thoughts, to eliminate those which are no longer productive, and to rethink the power of health and life into your body through prayer.
We can rethink the whole idea of wholeness in our prayers. We begin to rethink our whole mission in life, because we dare to rethink, to think in a different way, and to not accept the old outdated ways of thinking; we move on into a state of spiritual wholeness that will bless us over and over again during our entire lifetime. This is change and what a beautiful result it brings. It may not be easy; but it will be bountiful.
John 8:12 states, “He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Pray for an intelligent approach to your problems/your changes. Pray for spiritual insight, intuition and understanding that lift you up out of your problems.
Pray for the ability to see your way. Pray for clear shining of God’s light to illumine you, to shine through you, to show you with clarity God’s higher way.
Pray for success in your efforts leading to lasting security and happiness. Pray for physical well-being, and motivation to not sit still.
Pray for something more in your life which only God can give. Pray for inner-revelation of truth, for an inner-quickening of the flame of God’s Spirit.
Pray that your life will be constructive, productive, and worthwhile. Pray that your life will show forth God’s Spirit, that it may below with God’s love, that it may be a life wholly dedicated to God’s truth, only in tune with God’s marvelous will.
We have free-will from God. Each one of us has to recognize that we are living in a state of consciousness that is determining whether we have lifetime health and happiness, or whether we have sickness or poverty. It is due in part because we live in a state of mind. The state of mind we live in determines exactly what is going to be produced in our lives over the long-term.
If we do not like the state of mind we are living in, we can move out. We can rethink. We can get away. We can change. We do not have to stay there. We are not stuck where we are.
Jesus urged us to move into a new state, and that new state is going to produce a whole new experience in health, happiness, wholeness, and life for us. We feel that. We know that. We are rethinking our whole way in our journey through life.
We need to discover that we can find a more satisfying and more rewarding life if we will begin to follow the declaration of Jesus Christ when He said, “Ask, seek, and knock.”
So what do you have to do if you are going to change, move on and experience a whole new state of spiritual awareness? The first thing is to ask. And always ask in a state of prayer, knowing that it is yours by Divine right (because He said we will receive). This is so important. You have to ask in a time of prayer, a time of sitting in the silence of prayer, just you and the Lord.
In Isaiah 30:15, we find, “For thus said the Lord God, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’”.
We begin in prayer by trusting the Spirit of God to reveal to us, through us, and from all around us what we need to know; the direction our life should be taking.
And as we accept the change and challenges, we ask for God’s guidance; ask for God’s help. That is the first thing you always have to do. Ask in prayer knowing that your good will be provided by God, that the direction will be given from God, that you will know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.
Always, seek God’s guidance on how to”keep a rollin’ down that track, how to maneuver around those orange barrels. You will be Divinely guided. God will guide you, directly, or will send special people to guide your way. You do not know who is going to tell you. You do not know who is going to pop up and give you the right information. You do not know what book is going to fall off the shelf or what is going to fall into your hands. You just have to know that the guidance will come; if you really seek it, you will find it. God will bring it.
Next, we “knock.” Yes knock on that door and also knock over those orange barrels in our consciousness – those worries, fears, stumbling blocks, that negative thinking.
As you do that, you get rid of a lot of things. You have to not only get rid of a lot of material things which block your way, but also those mental emotional states of human consciousness which also block your way.
First, always go to God, first, and then to other people as you feel God leading you. No matter whether it is a move you are making in your physical life or a move you are making inside, as a shift in thinking, you have to begin by asking, you have to begin by seeking, and you have to begin by knocking. As we do that, it is amazing how things just start to fall in place, maybe slowly but fall in place they will. Answers open up, answers come and in so many surprising ways. We may smile at this process and thank God profusely.
Life’s punishment for non-movement is stagnation So, the next time someone asks you, “What’s going on in your life?” you can tell them, “With God’s help, I’m moving on to something wonderful. I’m moving on to something new and glorious, to an amazing change.” When you know that truth for yourself, you will move onto it very quickly.
“God wants to change us so much that it intrigues others.” F Chan
“Jesus Christ reveals, not an embarrassed God, not a confused God, not a God who stands apart from the problems, but One who stands in the thick of the whole thing with man.” –Oswald Chamber
Let us pray,
Holy Father, thank You for always being here and guiding us through all the changes we have and will be making. We pray they will lead us closer to You and, thusly, create a healthy wholesome, and satisfying life.
All of this we affirm, in the name and through the power of the living, loving presence of and in the name of Jesus Christ. . . Amen.
God bless you as you move on and create powerful changes in your life. —Something good is going to happen to you!