The Burden of Change

Day 16

“Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in matters too great or in things too wonderful for me.”

– Psalm 131:1-3

Many people refuse to face the Truth in their lives because they think that if they admit that their actions are frowned upon by an all-powerful Creator, they would have to change who they are, their inward selves…but that kind of change has never been the job of humanity. Deep, inward change is really only made possible through Christ’s sacrifice and intimacy with the Holy Spirit. There are some things you just can’t will into existence. It’s the Lord’s responsibility to change us from the inside out, not ours. This is why so many have a hard time admitting to sin in the first place. They know they couldn’t bear the responsibility of changing their sinful impulses, so why bother trying? Might as well just accept sin for what it is and move on. And in a way they’re right. That is logic and reason. Without God, they have nothing but that.

Today, we see the natural progression of this acceptance-logic: tolerance of sin, giving birth to celebration of it (as Ted Shuttlesworth Jr. pointed out). If only people would recognize that it’s Christ’s responsibility to change them–He actually bore their burden on the Cross!–then perhaps their sins would be easier to confess before the Lord.

This is why it’s so important for us to understand what behaviors we’re not able to change by sheer willpower. When urges creep up to try to make us act against what we know the Word says, recognize that sin-impulse for what it is! It’s something humanity has no power over, and the enemy wants us to wear ourselves out trying to overcome it so that we throw our hands up and say, “What’s the use?”

But we won’t wear out when we understand that the burden of change falls on Christ, because He took it on the Cross. He said, “Come to me all who are weary and overburdened and you will find rest for your souls.” We get so overburdened trying to overcome, or even just “live with” our shortcomings. But our sense of duty and responsibility should lie not in changing ourselves or just living with it.

Our duty lies in coming to Christ, accepting the Truth for what it is, committing to that quiet time alone with Him, and letting Him into our hearts to make the change as we find rest and peace in Him. If a month goes by, or a year goes by, or God-forbid years go by, and it doesn’t seem like those sinful impulses have subsided, then you’ve neglected to give Him that consistent, quality time you need.

Remove all distractions from your quiet time and submit to His still, small voice.

Pursue your purpose in Him,

Anthony B.