Change can have a dramatic effect on people. It can make someone who is usually complacent and courteous outright aggressive and agitated. However, as we know, change is unavoidable. Therefore, it’s vital we learn how to indentify our knee-jerk reactions and respond properly and faithfully to the them:
Confusion: When we face change, we typically encounter some type of confusion in the beginning. Perhaps it is a new computer software program at work we have to learn, a new company culture we must adapt to, or fluctuations to our income we must adjust to, the list is endless. However, when we face this change and perhaps have moments of confusion, it’s important to remember it’s only temporary. In time, we will adjust and have a better understanding. So, it’s important to keep calm, take deep breathes, and continue on without allowing the change and confusion to cause us too much stress – realizing God can use these change moments to sharpen and refine areas in our life.
Control: When we don’t understand something, we also feel a lack of control. For me, I unfortunately have realized I like having a sense of control, although I realize this is something ultimately unattainable. In fact, it’s probably one of the greatest faith challenges in my life. For when I try to control a situation, or an outcome, like executing on a plan/goal, there is a fine line I walk in trusting God and abiding in Him while working diligently for Him and not for myself and my own vision. This requires daily, sometimes hourly surrender and prayer to maintain focus on Christ, and to seek His will and ways, while allowing plenty of room and flexibility for Him to work.
Conclusion: Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him is a powerful reminder for me. We have goals, plans and projects – just like Nehemiah building the wall. We also have distractions, detractors and difficulties that will come our way threatening to set our project and plans off course. This is when we not get in a panic, but trust God. He promises to give us wisdom. So, rather than scurrying to manipulate outcomes and others, we submit to God our plans and our outcomes, maintain integrity, and avoid making the goal our god – but rather let our God make the goal.
Application: “Live & Learn” – Matthew 5:16
Faithfully responding to change and working towards goals and plans without running ahead of God, but simply trusting God is tough, but it is possible. Simply look at Moses, Noah, Nehemiah, Abraham, David, etc. So many examples of people with big goals and plans, God used for His plans and purposes. The same is true for us. God knows we have goals and commitments and wants to help us accomplish them well. When we trust and surrender to Him, He can use those situations in a way that bring Him honor and glory, and roll into His bigger plans of spreading the gospel, and refining our character and faith – all while offering a platform for others see our good deeds and glorify our Father.