Things that have |changed| my life

Posted on March 23, 2008 by

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As I have struggled through this amazing journey called being a Christian I have found an unquenchable thirst for something to spontaneously change my life, something to awaken a spirit of passion and unrivaled loyalty deep in my chest. Here’s what I’ve found.

Conferences –

The typical “mountaintop” experience. In high school there was a lot of hype about conferences that will “change your life” and they did… for about a week. the change that they harbored was dependent upon the atmosphere that they created. As long as I could stay connected to a group of thousands of people all thirsting after the same thing and making commitments together and keeping an eye on each other then my life was truly changed. I could ride the effects of the experiences for a week or so because you still had those commitments fresh in my mind and every time I saw my youth group I would be reminded of them. but after a while new experiences, the daily ones, began to take up that space in my life. So conferences didn’t change my life.

Music –

Music truly speaks to the soul and is a right and good response to God. but as far as the life changing ability it is severely limited if not ineffective. Music has moved my heart more than almost anything else, so much so that I study it in college. but when I look back at how it has affected my life, I can say it really hasn’t. Music is a response for me, and so when I connect with music it is only because I have already experienced the emotion that it is trying to convey. so the deeply moving pieces of music that can bring me to tears or motivate me to rise to action are simply reminders of things already in my life that i may have forgotten or let go dim.

To be fair there is an effect of music on the mood that you can use to change what emotion you are experiencing. Major keys and upbeat songs tend to bring forth happiness and contentment, while minor keys and slow tempos can calm and soothe or depress. There are a great many degrees to which music can affect your mood.

music hasn’t changed my life.

Books –

Most recently i have been trying to read books to change my life, and it has been to no avail. Reading books is a great way to gain knowledge, and to expand what your wisdom can encompass. but that is as far as it goes. This is actually the catalyst for this post. I have read a large number of books on the emerging church, and one of their biggest points is that we need to be living our faith and showing Christ to others through our actions and deeds not just what doctrines we blindly cling to. but what has this done for me, it has made me a hypocrite. Because now i see that this is true, i have come to the realization that James was right when he said “faith without deeds is dead” but what power do these books have to change my life, none. They cannot change my daily routine or my habits. Heck, I can’t even do that. I have become so engrossed with who i am that i can’t even hope to change what time i get up in the morning.

books haven’t changed my Life

God –

I have come to realize, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit for sure, that God is the only thing that can change my life. “He who is in me is stronger than he who is in the world.” although my human nature calls for stability and comfort, the Holy Spirit is calling for Constant change and reformation of my being. (I can’t tell you how excited i am)

The Word of God moves us to the Knowledge that we need. Sure books are a great way to help put into today’s vernacular what it is that God wants from us. But in the end it is outlined in the scriptures. But that in and of itself isn’t enough, knowing does little more than condemn us for not acting. and so I have begun to try and trust in the Holy Spirit to empower me to go beyond my nature and accept God’s nature. Truly, it is the only thing that i can think of to do. but the most effective thing that i have found is to speak my requests. James says in Chapter 1 “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you… But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.” and then in Chapter 4 “You do not Have because YOU DO NOT ASK”

The really hard part is making sure that my trust is in God alone. I so do not want to trust in Him alone.

Just this past week, wednesday to be precise, i had to go to the hospital for the second time that week. The first time was due to a week of abdominal pain. The second time was because i had a rare side effect to one of the medications that they gave me to manage the abdominal issues. The side effect consisted of

first, my face muscles began twitching and my mouth began to contort into a slightly strange position (an elvis lip on top and bottom)

then my entire lower half of my face began to constrict.

then my neck started to lock up, pulling my head down and to the left, into my shoulder.

then i started to have contractions in my neck and back and they started to get pretty painful and to cut off my air supply a little.

I tell you all of this to make the point that i had no control over my body, i couldn’t even close my mouth. So my only real option was to trust in God to take care of my reaction, through whatever means he deemed fit be it miraculous healing or through the wisdom of doctors. but i only really trusted that the doctors would have a medicine to take care of it. When i realized this i was ashamed that i didn’t even have enough faith to trust in God in a moment when He was all i had left.

So i have started praying that God would grant me the strength to be faithful

So now i have a new perspective when i sing along with andrew peterson “give me faith to be strong, give me strength to be faithful.”

God Has Changed, And Is Changing, My Life

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Posted in: Theology