Situations may be arising, or circumstances you now face may be screaming out at you to change. It may be due to friction with someone close or a situation that requires a different perspective or approach.
The bottom line is if you don’t move on and change, things may become problematic. Or on the other hand you know that certain changes will totally enrich your life.
God literally broke me yesterday and said ‘change!’ We have three small children. One is really easy to work with, one moderately difficult and there is one that really stretches me always! That little someone has truly lived up to her name from birth. Her name means “The Lord is gracious.” God is teaching me that through her.
Yesterday, she completely lost control with me as I urged her to put on certain clothing; she is three. For me, any clothes will do, but for her it’s utterly grieving to be prescribed to, as from the past few months. It reached a tipping point as she screamed at me to leave her alone as I persisted in trying to have her put on my choice for her clothes!
It wasn’t pleasant. Is God saying I need to change? As I spent time with Him, I think he was. It’s not the first time I’ve been prescriptive and upset people. What seems a one-off, isolated event can actually be a clue to the nine tenths of the iceberg of our attitudes and lives under the water!
To change what’s behind the issues, those hidden drivers, needs honesty with detection, acknowledgement, a commitment to a new attitude and way of thinking and then to develop a habitual change. Who’s in for that, for some area in your life?
Anyway, I was deeply insulted and frustrated by what happened with my little girl, but I woke up this morning feeling like I need to be more mindful that she is different to our other children.
I need to change. A voice is screaming out to me. My wife promptly agreed! I am sure someone close to you will bear witness to the need you have to change too.
Change is a process
As mentioned, change is a not a one-off flicking of a switch in our mind, but a process that has a starting point.
Sometimes we refuse to allow change like God’s people who wandered in circles in the desert missing their promised land. The Holy Spirit was sent to empower us, we need not be in denial.
Let’s start the change today
Okay, I hope you are reading this article and feeling like a change is ripe and is clearly due.
Practically, where do you start? Psalm chapter 51 outlines a process for David in the bible.
Read it and let God’s spirit empower and guide you afresh. David had committed adultery, but turns back to God.
1. Firstly, David said ‘against God I have sinned’. We need to acknowledge God’s standards and keep our eyes on him. God calls disobedience sin or rebellion toward him.
You can’t move on in life if everything is relative, if truth is relative. We need a marker in the sand, a starting point. God wants truth in the inner part of our being.
Against God we sin first and foremost rather than the person we offended alone. We need to take responsibility before God and ask for his forgiveness.
2. Confess our sin to God like David and recognise it is God who is faithful and right. The spirit of God will help us to say yes to God and no to sin.
How hard it is to change in our own strength. But, grief followed by tears of repentance leads to life and restoration. I apologised to my little girl and have made changes. Her voice counts. I am not saying everything goes and I will follow her every whim. I also expect she needs to learn to be flexible and overcome her tantrums, when she doesn’t get her way, but I’m committed to change.
3. Lastly, David said ‘create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me. Cast me not away from your presence’. He valued the spirit’s presence and saw a restoration of joy in his salvation. I thank God I put my little girl to bed last night, the one that sorely tests my patience in many areas, and we both smiled and hugged each other.
I felt different since our recent incident and have been acting differently because God has changed my heart. I feel the difference now; something has changed in my heart and mind. The heart is central to all change. God can help to change it! He can create it new.
4. I made effort to speak to her in her love language too. After turning to God I made a special effort to buy her favourite donut and spend special time with her. She told mum privately, “Daddy loves me and bought me this donut.”
What area do you need to change?
Experiences can break us or crush us. Jesus is the stone the builder rejected. He promised a crushing when we resist him and continue to grieve him. Let God’s spirit show you what area it is he wants you to yield. And don’t become obsessed with the offending party, despite the injustice of the situation.
Once again, I felt God give me this message for this article. It is simple, but I sense it is what some people who need to hear. Jesus said ‘remain in the vine’. Take care.
Mark Rusic was born in Melbourne and has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. He became a missionary to many, suffering hardship and poverty on Madura Island in Indonesia, in 1990 for about four years. He worked as a pastor-life coach with Hope International Ministries from 2002 to May 2023, playing a key role in raising up leaders and elders for the local Melbourne Hope church, which lead today. Mark has also been active in conducting yearly trips to remote Indigenous communities, bringing teams for training and outreach, which he initiated from 2015. He also established a salt and light ministry to empower saints of influence in the marketplace from 2017.
Mark is also an artist and an author and has written two books which are both a collection of his own paintings, photography, and poetry. These include ‘Iconic Melbourne of Australia’ and ‘Iconic Animals of Australia- With a voice to release your giant potential within,’ which are available now on booktopia.com.au and at leading book retailers. He has been counted among some of Australia’s best authors on several occasions through Dymocks since 2014 and continues to be a motivational speaker in various community groups, organisations, and churches.
He is currently pioneering his itinerant ministry to bless Indigenous people and empower the body of Christ, while working as an artist, author and speaker.