The evidence of life
"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not
the same river and he's not the same man." - Heraclitus
I have made it a habit to always call my kids each night when
I am away ministering so they can say their prayers with me over the phone. Just
a few months ago, when I prayed with my second youngest son Jacob, who just
turned 13 (see http://www.firepowerint.com/family.htm), he would greet me with
his normal high voice. But within a very short time, his voice began to change
and is now taking on a deep bass tone. He changed! What happened? Nothing
really, apart from the normal progress of life, and in Jacob's case, the rapid
advance of puberty with its exponential growth. My wife, Heather, is a little
dismayed at not having any 'little' children anymore, but that's life and that's
ON THE MOVE!
The evidence for life is change. Movement characterises life!
Death is defined by rigidity. Nothing much changes in the cemetery! Here lies
the paradox of the human soul. We love to see life develop and flourish, but our
inner nature abhors the necessary change involved. Our natural bodies lose their
flexibility as we grow older. Physical exercise and stretching can delay this
process, but inevitably nature takes its course. We do however have the power to
resist the hardening of our soul. The key to retaining mental and spiritual
flexibility is to follow the exhortation of Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:22,
"...I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save
Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist who made his fortune by
inventing dynamite and other explosives used for weapons. When his brother died,
a newspaper accidentally printed Alfred's obituary instead. It described him as
a man who had become rich by enabling people to kill each other in unprecedented
numbers. Deeply shaken, he resolved to use his fortune to award accomplishments
that benefited humanity, hence The Nobel Prize. Nobel had the rare opportunity
towards the end of his life to re-evaluate it and live long enough to do
something about it.
"KNOWLEDGE WILL INCREASE..."
Daniel 12:4 says one sign of the end of the age is that
"...knowledge will increase."Knowledge in most fields today is
doubling every five years. Any system or method that old should be brought in
for an examination, overhaul, and possibly the last rites! If what you are
doing is not working, don't look for somebody or something to blame, be willing
to change! Refuse to let the word 'impossible' stop you. If those people who
have changed the world had left every 'impossible' task undone, we would still
be living in the dark ages.
About 100 years ago, German experts predicted that trains
travelling at 25 mph would cause such severe nosebleeds that the passengers
would suffocate going through tunnels. American experts added that we would need
more asylums because people would go mad when they saw the first trains. When
ships were first made of iron, experts insisted that they would never float and
that the iron would wreak havoc with the compass readings. In 1797, New Jersey
farmers denounced the first cast iron plough, insisting it would poison the land
and stimulate weeds. These so-called experts were bound by the possible, but
"...with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE!
Bob Gass said recently: "More of us are persuaded into
believing too little than believing too much! Vision is essential for survival.
It's spawned by faith, sustained by hope, sparked by imagination, and
strengthened by God's Word. It's greater than sight, deeper than a dream,
broader than an idea. It encompasses things outside the realm of the
predictable, the safe and the expected. No wonder we would perish without
it!" A poet wrote, "Beware of those who stand aloof, and greet each
venture with reproof. The world would stop if things were run by those who say,
'It can't be done.'" If God's given you a vision - pursue it with all
Romans 12:2 says; "And do not be conformed to this
world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what
is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." The "perfect
will of God" is that, as much as we can in this life, we become like Jesus.
For most of us this will involve a lot of change.
"STANDING ON THE PROMISES"
We are often quick to acknowledge the need for change in
others but our attitude really is, "I'm in favour for change -just don't
change me!" Change is a challenge for most of us, but where there is no
challenge there is no change, and where there is no change there is no life! I
heard it said recently, "some people are kind, polite and
sweet-spirited-until you try to sit in their seat at church." and "A
lot of church members who are singing "Standing on the Promises" are
just sitting on the premises." We are not here to just fill the time; we
are here to make a difference. That means change.
WHEN YOU'RE THROUGH, YOU'RE THROUGH!
The key to longevity in life and ministry is to never stop
asking, "Is there a better way?" When you stop asking this question, it won't
be long before you get in a rut, which I once heard described as a grave with
the ends kicked out! Some people allow their minds to become like concrete,
thoroughly mixed up and permanently set. Your principles should be set in
concrete but not your methods, because when you're through changing, you're
Comedian Jerry Lewis joked that his best wedding gift was a
film of the entire marriage ceremony. He said that when things got really bad at
home, he'd go into a room, close the door, run the film backwards, and walk out
a free man! Now, I doubt that you will be able to do that or even read your
obituary in the newspaper. You can, however, make a choice to change. And when
that change is successful, you'll look back and call it growth. If you're too
rigid, you'll break. Learn to be more flexible!