The Bible is built on the premise that you need to change. And that, though left to yourself you cannot, by the Spirit of God you can change! If you are in Christ, God has changes planned for your life. You are not stuck in the rut forever but– IN CHRIST – everything changes!!
Change in the Future – We shall be changed when He appears in the end.
Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
Change in the Present – We can change right now because He dwells in us.
Colossians 3:8-10 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Ephesians 4:22-24 …that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in [the likeness of] God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [he is] a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Dr. Wayne Mack, Biblical counselor and author, teaches that commitment to change requires that you A-C-C-E-P-T
A-Acknowledge personal responsibility for thoughts and actions.
People will not be able to change as long as they excuse, blame, rationalize, or defend their sinful behavior. We must help them to understand that regardless of their circumstances. If they are Christians, they can respond biblically through the power of the Holy Spirit.
C-Choose to look at circumstances in the past and present from a biblical point of view.
Human wisdom and feelings often hinder people from looking at things the way God wants them to. They need to interpret their circumstances through the lens of Scripture rather than through their own opinions and emotions.
C-Commit to eliminate whatever hinders biblical change.
Romans 13:14 says, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” If a person has a problem with lust, that person must commit to destroy seductive materials, to stop watching television programs or movies with sexual content, and to avoid places that encourage temptation. A person must be willing to remove any obstruction to biblical change.
E-Exert energy toward the goal.
Change is not an automatic overnight occurrence; it is hard work. The counselee will not make progress if there is no willingness to put effort into changing.
P-Persevere in obedience.
Some people are ready to quit after two or three weeks if they do not see substantial progress. Therefore, counselees need to be reminded of the truth of Hebrews 10:36: “You have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Change takes time, so counselees need to know that the counselor will meet with them for at least six or seven weeks before evaluating their progress.
T- Trust God for the strength and resources to change.
Paul says in Philippians 2:12-13, ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” It is true, people who want to make biblical changes in their lives must work, but they must work trusting in Christ to provide the strength and resources necessary to make those changes. Without Him, living the Christian life and making godly changes is not only difficult, it is impossible. But when we look away from ourselves and trust Him, He enables us to do the impossible. He enables us to put off the old self, which is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to put on the new self, which is being renewed in true righteousness and holiness. As people commit themselves to obey Christ completely, they can be confident that the mighty power of God will accomplish His work of change in their lives!