In about seven weeks, we will say goodbye to 2020 and usher in 2021. It has been quite a year and to be truthful, it seems some of 2020 is going to bleed over into 2021. I continue to stay optimistic about the end of the pandemic and look forward to the opportunity to interact in groups once again. I truly miss the social gatherings of church, sporting events, and concerts. I miss the freedom to plan trips to international locations and to churches who desire revival.
The pandemic and its end to what is “normal” in my life, has drawn me to the prophetic books of the Old Testament where we read of captivity and exile of God’s people. I am reminded of the length of time of this exile and captivity and how the “normal” became a “new normal” under the scrutiny and rule of a people not in alignment with the tenants and beliefs of God’s people. God used this exile and captivity to call His people back to Himself. We witness in the prophecies a call for people to turn back and to repent.
What if God is using this pandemic to call us back to repentance and our focus on Jesus? What if we are being called to make changes because our “normal” had gotten far away from God? I was recently reading A. W. Tozer’s book Rut, Rot, or Revival, and he wrote, “Change is one of the ingredients of Christianity. If people could not change, the gospel would be absolutely meaningless” (Page 33).
Change is too often a bad word in our vernacular. Within the church, we witness the struggle when a “sacred cow” tradition is challenged as needing an update or to be put out of its misery. We see the battle and division a call for change can make. In my own personal life, I have recently been convicted concerning my own disdain for change when I look at the plethora of fitness magazines, fitness books, and workout gear I have purchased over the years with the intent to get healthier. Yet, I still find myself out of shape, eating way too much junk food, and feeling aches and pains of tightening joints, muscles, and ligaments. What’s the issue? I don’t want to make the necessary changes to see the results I desire. I have not willingly made time in my schedule for workouts, meal planning, and meal preparation. I have tried to “shoe-horn” these activities into an already full schedule without success. Something has to CHANGE.
Change is the story of our coming to Christ. We have to “die to self, take up our cross, and follow him.” Tozer later writes, “Genuinely converted people, as the Old Methodists said, had a radical repentance, which eventuated in a changed life. Then there came a consciousness of forgiveness of sins and a spiritual rebirth” (Page 35). As we enter 2021, what changes need to be made in your life? Where do you need to confess sin and seek newness of life? Where do you need to take a time audit of your life to see what needs to change for you to be a healthier and holier person?
I hope to share my changes with you in the next Adventure Journal as I look to 2021 as a new year of opportunity and innovation. Would you be willing to share areas where you will seek change in your life? Send your thoughts to me: email@example.com or 618-830-6670.