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God Wants to Change My Life?

Sure. So do you. What's the problem?

What God Wants Most of All for You (8)

It’s what you want, anyway!
Well, what if He does? Isn’t that what you want?

I mean, after all, aren’t you striving for a changed life? You change your clothes each day. Change your menu, change the music you listen to, topics for conversations, projects you work on, goals you pursue.

Goodness. You’re all about change!

It seems to me you might be interested in learning about change as God understands the idea, since you know He exists but presently prefer another god – your mind/god – to Him.

You’ve listened to your mind/god as it counsels you to change this, that, or the other, always in pursuit of your idea of what’s best for you. If God, Whom you know, is Who He claims to be – all-wise, all-good, all-loving, and all-powerful, among many other things – then it might not be a bad idea to listen to His thinking about something so fundamental and so important to you as change?

But as much as God has to say on this subject, you need to understand one thing:

God is not so much interested in changing you as He is in seeing you change yourself.

No tyrant
God is no tyrant. He doesn’t come into your life and immediately start pushing you around, shoving edicts and demands at you, and threatening to make your life miserable unless you do things His way.

Honestly, I don’t know where people come up with such stupid ideas about God. If they’d just have a look for themselves, rather than draw conclusions from misguided exemplars or misinformed friends, they’d be a lot better off in their understanding of God.

Make no mistake: God thinks we all need to change. But He doesn’t force change on us. Rather, He works to make us want to change, so that whatever changes come into our lives in the direction of God’s view of change, come because we want them to.

We choose God’s changes, we’re not forced into them.

How we change
Change is a function of many factors, as you know. Change involves desires, for example. We desire something or some condition we do not now possess or experience, so we change our behavior in order to achieve that which we desire. No regrets there.

Change also involves how we think about things. We might desire to have a new car, for example, but as we think about it, we realize that would probably mean going into debt, giving up a reliable and familiar vehicle, taking on higher insurance rates, and so on. So as we think about it, our mind challenges our desires, so that our desire to buy a new car is not so passionate, say, as it was before we started thinking about it.

By the way, advertisers hate it when you stop to think about the passions they work so hard to stir up in you. Just so you know.

In this case we might not change because change might not be in our best interests, might distract us from the course for the good life we’re seeking.

But how did your mind come up with such an idea, when you want that new car so badly, after all?

Whenever we’re thinking about change of any kind – and, let’s face it, some changes we don’t have to think about too long, as for example, Which shirt shall I wear today? – we’re tapping into our bank of priorities, those default values that we have set up in our lives to make decision-making easier and more consistent.

So if you’re thinking about a new car, because you have begun to desire one, then, almost automatically, your thoughts and desires engage your settled priorities, which might include “NO DEBT! PERIOD!” or some such thing. Of course, if such really is your priority – one of the default values guarded and at the ready in your conscience – then your thinking and desires will get in line, and you’ll change, or not, accordingly.

An inward thing
All of which is just to illustrate what you already know, namely, that change is first of all an inward thing. It involves our affections, thoughts, and values – those intangible, but oh so human, components each of us carries around all the time.

Change comes from within, and most of us work very hard to get our “within” in order so that the changes we make – or not – will be in line with the vision of the good life we are committed to pursuing. The life our mind/god has mapped out for us.

Your mind/god wants you to change. Sometimes. And you’re always drawing on your mind/god’s priorities, affections, and ideas when it comes to the decisions you make about change.

But what if your mind/god, being finite, fallible, and – you’ll admit – not immune to folly, let’s you down? What if those values, affections, and ideas actually sabotage your desire to have a good life? What then?

God wants you to change. But He wants you to change from within, by making sure your mind, heart, and conscience are tuned to His thinking, desires, and values.

Eternal inward stuff, not changeable inward stuff.

Which, multitudes will tell you, once you’ve begun to understand Gods thoughts, affections, and values, turn out to be lovelier, wiser, and more desirable than what they might have come up with on their own.

God wants us to change. And that’s not a bad thing. Not at all.

But even change is not what God wants most of all for you.

Ask yourself: How do I know the decisions I make and the changes I pursue are based on the best priorities, the clearest thinking, and the most reliable affections?

T. M. Moore
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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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