Pastor’s Pen: God wants us to change for the better

Rev Ivan McIlhinney.
Rev Ivan McIlhinney.

By Rev Ivan McIlhinney

Would you like a change? A change is as good as a rest. Or maybe you’re comfortable and fairly secure as you are and a change is the last thing you want.

I grew up in a country place in the post-war years and the world has changed almost beyond recognition in my lifetime.

Much of the revolutionary change of the last half century has been driven my modern technology. But there is also the rapid pace of social and moral change which is leaving Christians and the Church feeling marginalised and in a very different relationship with wider society than was the case only a short time ago.

How do we develop appropriate strategies for this new context? How do we cope with change?

The consolation is that we have a changeless God. Malachi speaks on behalf of God and says: “I the Lord do not change.” (Mal. 3 v 6.)

And in the New Testament we read that: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13 v 8.)

So although we are surrounded by overwhelming change, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never changes; the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ remains the same for ever.

The challenge is that the changeless God constantly demands change from us.

Psalm 55 v 19 (AV) reads: “Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.”

The God of the Bible is immutable, but He requires action, movement, repentance and change for the better from us - because at our best we are still always out of harmony with His perfect will and purpose.

Did He not bring His people out of Egypt, with its tombs, monuments and oppressive slavery, to a new promised land and a fresh future?

Did He not send His Son to die and rise again that His Salvation might reach to the ends of the earth?

Does that same God not shake heaven and earth that a new heaven and a new earth might become our dream?

We may feel that we have already seen far too much change and much of it not an improvement, but God may be calling us to change so that His Kingdom may come and His Will may be done on earth as it is perfectly done in heaven.