There is perhaps no more sure sign of God’s work in a soul than when it utters sincerely, “Leave me not unchanged.”
When you get into ministry no one tells you an essential truth: people do not want to change. You walk into your first church / para-church job looking like Bon0 – rocking a pair of rose colored glasses. You imagine that a perfectly crafted sermon, a perfectly-executed event, perfectly-orchestrated emotional musical interlude, or perfectly-timed cup of water in Jesus’ name will somehow unlock a soul and set it free.
You imagine incorrectly.
What stands between your efforts and a individual’s breakthrough transformation is nothing more or less than the stubborn resistance of that individual.Bottom line: People do not want to change.
What people do want os help managing the consequences of their chosen path. If you let them, these nice, kind, deluded people will set the tone for your work. They’ll want to put you in a box by limiting you to affirming them and helping clean up their messes. The insecure servant will do it rather than risk losing the recalcitrant.
But mopping up messes does not manufacture change.
Change or even the genuine desire to change is nothing short of a miraculous work of the Spirit. Only God can put a crowbar to the hinges and lift the prison door free. Only God can inspire a heart to crave the sweet air of freedom.
Only God can put a crowbar to the hinges of a stubborn soul and lift the prison door free.
Without the Sprit, people can say that they want to change. But they really just want to alter or cover the visible tells that betray their true, invisible self. Advertising is filled with products and procedures designed to improve your image (with varying prospects of success).
No matter how clever or expensive, these methods do not bring real change because the person still believes the fundamental lie of the unredeemed soul: “I am good.” Change can only begin when a look to an external measure illuminates the heart to confirm that: “In me dwells no good thing.”
Without the Spirit’s influence, a person does not want to change. They approach life with an attitude that says, “Love me as I am.”
In contrast, there is perhaps no more sure sign of God’s work in a soul than when it utters sincerely, “Leave me not unchanged.”