An insight from the world of bumper-sticker wisdom:

“If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

I spoke with a few people this week who were experiencing significant distress. Although each had had meaningful personal interactions with the Lord during previous ministry sessions, they were sharing their frustration that daily life remained fundamentally confusing and chaotic. Essentially they were saying, “Yes, it is so good to connect with Jesus; but why hasn’t anything changed in my life?”

To each I asked this simple question: “What have you changed in your life as a result of your times with the Lord?” Blank stares followed. I sensed a common belief that life should just change, should just get better, solely because they had been with Jesus. I assured them, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

John 8 records an intense scene involving Jesus, some Jewish leaders, and a woman caught in adultery. The dynamics of the moment focus mostly on Jesus and the reactions of the men who brought the woman to Him. However, verses 10 and 11 involve only Jesus and the woman: “Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she replied. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’

The obviously guilty woman had just experienced extraordinary grace in a powerful interaction with Jesus. However, Jesus sent her on her way with the clear instruction to intentionally change things in her life because “if nothing changes, nothing changes.”  Even after this awesome moment with Jesus, if she did not choose to leave her life of sin, life would remain confusing and chaotic and she would end up at His feet again another day.

Are you stuck in same cycles of life? Then change something. Take some positive action, even though it is uncomfortable; then take the time to reflect on why it was so hard, why it felt so bad to do what you just did. Once you identify the fear (or other belief attached to that behavior), ask the Lord what He wants you to know or learn about that hindering fear. There is so much the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us.

Grace should inspire change.
Forgiveness should instigate change.
Truth should give a direction for change.

But trust me, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

Pastor Jim