We continue our journey considering three of the most important points from the book of Acts as we try to write the next chapter in our history of serving God in the world. Last week we talked about the essential role of the Holy Spirit (to be filled, we must yield).
The reality is, you can’t talk about the book of Acts and the early church and not talk about the Holy Spirit. And I don’t think you can talk about the book of Acts and not talk about life change (transformation), either.
Now some people falsely believe that God is not a God of change. Nothing could be further from the truth. While Scripture teaches that God does not change, I believe that’s referring to God’s character. God could be trusted yesterday, God can be trusted today, and God can be trusted tomorrow. But God’s actions are anything but predictable!
You only have to look at the earth (i.e. the seasons) to know that God hard wired change into creation. And look at the human body. I understand that the human body’s skin replaces itself every month, the stomach lining every 5 days, the liver every 6 weeks, the skeleton every 3 months, cheek cells 3 times a day. Our bodies are in a constant state of change. That’s why one clinical definition of death is your body stops changing! Change is good; change is necessary!
What prevents life change, I believe, is complacency. In my own life, I fear complacency (being satisfied; unconcerned; apathetic). How about it, husbands and wives? Don’t we have a strong tendency to fall into ruts in the way we relate to each other? Isn’t that also true in our relationshipp with God, as well as our work and school?
Sign seen in Canada (during sptringtime melting/re-freezing): “Take care which rut you choose. You will be in it for the next 25 miles.”
Complacency prevents and kills ongoing transformation. In life: There’s no place for complacency!
In Acts 10.1—11.18 we discover that Peter had a defining moment that forever changed not only his own life but also the future direction of the church and the worldwide mission of the church. It leads me to ask, "When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
In weightlifing, there’s a principle called the confusion principle that basically says every once in a while you have to shake things up in order to get your muscles out of the ruts that your routine naturally creates. In what areas of your life have you grown complacent? What do you need to do this week to shake things up?
What would it look like in your life, and in our church, if we shook things up? What if we stopped saying, "If it ain’t broke … don’t fix it!" and started saying, "If it ain’t broke … break it!" What if we stopped saying, "We’ve never done it that way before!" and started saying, "You know, we’ve never done it that way before, but let’s not let that stop us!" What if we stopped saying, "We can’t afford it!" and started saying, "I don’t know where the money is going to come from, but if God is leading us, let’s go for it; God will provide!"
O God, you are always doing a new thing! Help us not to miss out on what you are doing by being stuck in the ruts we have created. Help us to do whatever it takes to shake things up in our lives and in our church! Amen.