How and Why God changes us – His chosen methods!

 

God has a specific goal and plan for each one of us. There are certain goals that He has for all of us. The main goal for all of us is that we become like Him in character.

 

What is character?

 

Character is our habitual thoughts and feelings. This is a great description and definition of character:

 

Even the thoughts must be brought into subjection to the will of God, and the feelings under the control of reason and religion. Our imagination was not given us to be allowed to run riot and have its own way, without any effort at restraint and discipline. If the thoughts are wrong, the feelings will be wrong; and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character. {Ellen White, Heavenly Places page 164.2}

 

God tells us the same thing in Scripture:

 

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5.

 

Why does God want to change us?

 

There are many reasons why God has a program and a plan to change us:

 

  1. We are not naturally nice people! God tells us the unpleasant truth about ourselves:

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Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

3:13 Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips:

3:14 Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness:

3:15 Their feet [are] swift to shed blood:

3:16 Destruction and misery [are] in their ways:

3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:

3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

2. We are deceived about our true condition:

Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

3. We bring no credit to the family name of God and will self-destruct if left to ourselves.

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

4. We are led by our feelings, and not by the decision of the mind – having lost the power of self-control. This makes us miserable! This is not pleasing to God, our Creator, to have us powerless and unhappy.

 

For these and other reasons, God made a plan to change us.

 

 

What is God's plan to change us?

 

God has a plan to change us, however He will do nothing against our will. The biggest problem God has with His plan, is we generally do not want to be changed. It is our tendency to tell God: “Mind your own business!” There are four main reasons that we generally think in this way:

a) For starters – we see no need for improvement or change – usually. This is especially true the younger we are. If you want to know something ask an 18 year old. They know everything!

b) We do not know or believe God is good.

c) We do not know or believe God has our best interest at heart.

d) We do not know or believe God can really do anything or has the ability to really benefit us!

 

So the first hurdle God has is to get our attention and to get us to know Him and have confidence in Him. He does this as a lover of our souls. He woos us with His matchless charms and cords of love. All the blessings and true enjoyment in life comes from Him. He speaks to us and reveals Himself to us through the ministry of His Representative on earth – The Holy Spirit.

 

We are told how God seeks to win us by trying to reveal our need of Him to us:

 

God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: "God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people." Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. . . . Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation.

God proves His people in this world. This is the fitting-up place to appear in His presence. Here, in this world, in these last days, persons will show what power affects their hearts and controls their actions. If it is the power of divine truth, it will lead to good works. It will elevate the receiver, and make him noble hearted and generous, like His divine Lord. But if evil angels control the heart, it will be seen in various ways. The fruit will be selfishness, covetousness, pride, and evil passions.” {Ellen G. White Lift Him Up page 375.paragraphs 2 and3}

 

This gives us some insight why Peter says in his epistle:

 

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

4:16 Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

4:17 For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?

4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

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Knowing what God is about when He brings or allows your actions and choices to get you into trouble or allows the devil to give you trouble – you can say: “Jesus I choose to trust you in this too!”

 

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

 

 
The BIBLE is the book of “Basic Instructions Before Living Eternally”.