“Lord I know I need to change but it’s hard.”
“Lord I know I need to change but it’s not my fault.”
“Lord I know I need to change but I don’t know how.”
As followers of Christ when we reach the point of being “sick and tired” knowing that we need to change something about our lives it’s usually brought about by the convicting power the Holy Spirit. Once we’re aware of God’s calling us to change there’s only one question we need to answer. “Am I willing to do what is necessary to bring about this change as the Lord leads?”
This blog is an adaptation of a sermon I wrote several years ago with Isaiah 6:1 – 9 as my focal passage. The prophet Isaiah had reached a point in his life where being inactive or ignoring the truth of God was no longer an option for his life. He had reached a state of brokenness in which there was no return. In essence he did become “sick and tired” of his own sinful ways and that of his people.
A few years back I dealt with the young man who had reached a place of brokenness in his life much like Isaiah. He was sick and tired of living a life far from God. Consumed with guilt and shame he knew he needed to change but was seemingly unable to move beyond the circumstances. As I met with him he stated, “I know the sinful things (behaviors) I do are wrong but I just can’t help myself.” At that moment it wasn't that he couldn't change but that he was unwilling to make the changes that God desired for his life. That young man left my office that day without taking the necessary steps he needed to take in order to bring real change to his life.
There are four things all of us need to do at some point in order to experience the change that God has directed for our lives.
The first step to experiencing real change in our life is to have a personal encounter with God. This is exactly what happened with the prophet Isaiah in chapter 6:1-4. The prophet saw the Lord in His heavenly tabernacle; the throne room of God and in all His glory. It was through this experience that Isaiah saw his own depravity along with that of the nation of Israel. When standing in the presence of the holiness of God the contrast between his life and that of God’s became extremely apparent. The repetitious words “holy, holy, holy” of the angelic beings drive home the point of God’s holiness and Isaiah’s unholiness. He is broken and sensitive to his own filth and that of his people.
Only when we have a close personal encounter with the risen Christ can we begin to see who we really are as a people. Much like the people of Israel America has become a depraved nation wallowing in the filth of sensuality and hedonistic philosophies. As Christians we are not immune to the sinful attitudes and behaviors of the world around us. This leads us to our second step.
To experience real and lasting change in our lives we need to daily reassess the life we live. Note Isaiah 6:5.
(ESV) 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Like Isaiah we should daily reassess our own lives as we come into the presence of Christ through the reading of His Word. And as we pray we should welcome the convicting power of the Holy Spirit in order that we might be found spiritually in tune with the mind of Christ.
The third step for experiencing real change is to clean up our act today. Isaiah 6:6 – 7 the prophet states one of the Seraphim touches his lips with a burning coal. This represents the cleansing work of God through the intermediary work of one of His holy ones. Symbolically this is what Christ Jesus has done for us through His sacrificial atoning blood. Another way of looking at this is that it signifies the removal of guilt and sin through the cleansing touch of God.
The fourth step is not necessarily a step but evidence that real change has taken place in our hearts. Like Isaiah if we’re serious about being “sick and tired” we will call out to God not only for change but that He will then send us as His messengers of change.
Isaiah 6:8-9a (ESV) And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” 9 And he said, “Go, and say to this people: ..."