I have often contemplated the dynamic of change and growth, as all growth requires change. In any area I desire growth, change must occur. Where I remain the same, I consciously or subconsciously refuse change. To accept that all growth requires change, is to open the door to an important Kingdom spiritual truth. The Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing, not remaining stagnant, yet many of us remain stuck in the ‘rut of sameness’ that is contrary to an advancing Kingdom. Choice determines destination.
Several years ago I clearly heard, “Anything growing will change – be open, be flexible, be willing to change.” This profound truth was dropped in my spirit, and its relevance to my calling has become clear in recent years. Without an awareness of this growth criteria, I would likely resist much of the transition that consumes my life today. My purpose is to advance the Kingdom in all areas of my life, and to do so I must embrace change (in me).
Growth’s requirement of change is a true phenomenon in both the natural and spiritual sphere; whether a pubescent child, a major corporation, a church, or a limb on a tree, or me – growth requires change!
When our lives become stagnant, we can be assured that somewhere along the line we have resisted some form of change. The rut of sameness is the greatest evidence of ‘change’ resistance. Scripture teaches the ‘power’ of resistance to change – “The traditions of men make the word of God to no affect.” Said differently, our own preconceived notions, paradigms, self-appointed positions, traditional thoughts and mindsets disable us from hearing God speak. Why? Because WE have already determined our position on the subject! This is dangerous territory because it retards the advancing Kingdom in us. God may have great things planned, but cannot provide because we aren’t open to receiving. And nothing retards like the religious spirit that relegates us to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!
Spiritual growth can only come to those ‘open’ to recognizing the limitations of their own mindsets – seeing beyond their own (traditions) opinions. Ironically, within the same vessel, extreme growth can come in one arena while stagnancy comes in another. Holding fast to our traditional thoughts is often our greatest enemy to moving forward (advancing). The Kingdom (within us) is forcefully advancing, but are we violently opposing our traditional thoughts to advance with it? Often the answer is no, and our testimony reveals it! Honesty with ourselves opens the door, while denial slams it shut.
God can ‘grow us’ if we are willing to change, but He will not violate our free-will. Traditional mindsets inhibit spiritual growth just as an openness of heart frees it to grow. Those besieged by guilt, something to hide, and shame cannot move beyond themselves; remaining stuck in the morass of ‘no forward movement,’ stagnancy, and other forms of death while still living. The Kingdom of God (within) wants to forcefully advance us, but we must grant Him permission with an open and honest heart. Truth sets us free; a lie retains us. “Above all else, to thine own self be true” – Shakespeare.
Honesty with ourselves can only come in brokenness and humility; the place where genuine growth begins. The saddest among us are those who see no need for change. The saddest parts of our own lives are the areas we are blindest to. Where we are stagnant is our place of greatest need – the place where God wants to provide something new. An honest heart will explode the Kingdom in this heretofore unconquered territory – a new life in a new arena will breath life into our whole being. Change will permeate throughout; great growth will occur. The Kingdom will advance (on earth as it is in heaven)! Lord, let me embrace change.