What is Your Change Breaker?

For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us (Acts 6:14).

 

Vacationing in Myrtle Beach, I was catching some rays at the pool when a couple strolled by. His ebony skin struck a vivid contrast against her blonde hair and freckled sunburn. Years ago interracial relationships were shunned by many and yet, today they’re common. I thought about the opposition that similar couples must have taken a few decades back to pave the way for the freedom others now have. This couple at the pool probably had no idea what others previously endured to be together in a society that dictated a different normalcy. What is now normal was not always so.

        Who defines normal anyway?

        Thirty years ago, couples that went against the cultural mindset were change breakers. They weren’t afraid to make a u-turn or go out on a stormy day without an umbrella. In an approval hungry society, they didn’t lay their foundation on other’s opinions.  They decided to take a chance to make a change.

        Later the same day, my family and I headed down to Broadway at the Beach, the local day-tripper trap. John had just given Garrett a hundred-dollar bill for spending money and it started a fire in his wallet. When he saw a four-dollar hackie sack he wanted, he flashed the cash.

        John saw the hesitation on the cashier’s face that didn’t look too happy about breaking a large bill for a small purchase. “Put away your money, Garrett,” John insisted as he reached in his pocket.

        Change is easier to make when the bill is smaller.

        Change in custom is the same way. Often we’re afraid to break tradition for a small change. It’s not worth busting up our beliefs. We posture our opinions with fragile theories like, “I like things status quo,” “I don’t want to rock the boat,” or “things are fine the way they are.”

        We have to trash the accepted wisdom of our day if our opinions are based on culturally inspired notions. If wisdom is not founded on the gospel, it’s a false foundation.

        Too often we build walls of resistance to protect our beliefs. We’re creatures of comfort in a regime of resistance. We’ve got to be careful that we don’t allow others to dictate our beliefs to the point that we can’t embrace change.

        Traditions of men are rigid castles of comfort that dictate a culture. When difference invades the palace of conformity, we often draw the mote without investigating the legitimacy of the foreigner. The Pharisees built white-washed tombs; their pride was in their heritage of rules and conformity.

        Change comes from the Hebrew word, allasso, which means to exchange one thing for another, to transform. Jesus challenged the thinking of His culture. He confronted the teachers of the law who dictated the doctrine of their day and imposed their legalistic views on the people. In Matthew 23:13, He says, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

        Ouch!

        As a creature of habit, I don’t like change. When the Lord began dealing with my husband about a huge change—selling our house—I was quick to tell John that God hadn’t said nuthin to me. I soon found out when God speaks and there’s no response, He keeps talking until someone listens. The unction to list our house would not leave John alone…hence, the sign in our yard.

        Sigh.

        I know that God is challenging me to embrace a change factor and push past my woman-made barriers that cement my ideals.

        Often when God is speaking to us, His voice goes against the grain of our own thinking and comfort; He challenges our normalcy; if we’re too rigid, we resist the spirit in our quest for comfort. We stay in our resort of resistance, never embracing the change that God wants for us. We die in our cocoon.

        I realized that my rituals have become my resort. I’ve turned into a vigilante with my viewpoint so when I saw the cashier break the hundred-dollar bill for a four dollar purchase, I decided to tear down my haven of habits. I’ve decided to embrace change. I may not know what new things are on the horizon, but that’s okay. Just like a butterfly breaks out of his cocoon to explore his new life, I know God is able to help me spread my own wings and fly.

 

Prayer: Lord, I want to receive all that You have planned for me. Help me to recognize when You are directing changes in my life. I pray that I’ll have the faith to surrender my thoughts and attitudes that oppose Your will. Help me trust You especially when the journey of life doesn’t make sense and I can’t see the whole picture. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Scriptures to Ponder:

  • The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God (Hebrews 7:18-19).
  • His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed? (Job 9:4).
  • Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
  • “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! (Acts 7:51).
  • What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith (Phillipians 3:8-9).

 

Questions to Ponder:

  • Why do you think it is hard for some people to change their beliefs?
  • Do you embrace or resist change? How do you feel about change?
  • Have you ever let go of a major shift in your thinking?
  • What caused you to change your mind? Was it easy or difficult?
  • Do you sense that God is currently directing any changes in your life?
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16 Responses to What is Your Change Breaker?

  1. Sue Votaw August 6, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Good job, Christy. Yes, we all hate change, but it is oh so necessary if we are to be conformed to the image of Christ. Fortunately, God knows exactly when and how to introduce each one of us to the change we need. You are a powerful influence to bring about that change in women’s lives.

    Blessings in selling your house and moving.

  2. Christy Johnson August 6, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    Thank you Sue!

  3. mavious August 6, 2009 at 10:23 am #

    Christy, Met you in July at Broken Arrow Christian Women’s luncheon. We all were totally blessed by your gift of decorating and appreciated you sharing your touching testimony. You were still our conversation of blessings at our prayer connection and planning meeting yesterday . May you and yours be richly blessed as you consider your CHANGE of moving. Thanks for all you are doing for our Lord.

  4. Carol C August 6, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    Thank you Christy for expressing what God is teaching you right now in your circumstances. I love the way you think and ponder and learn. Do you know yet where you will be moving to? Are you having a garage sale? smile The Lord has gone before you and is with you now to give you strength along with your wonderful humor. Love you!

  5. Christy Johnson August 6, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    Mavious, I loved your group! Broken Arrow was fun!

    Carol…we have a showing on Saturday. We’ll start looking whenever we get an offer. Prob closer to downtown and Garrett’s school. I love the historical areas!

    If I have a garage sale, the Dumpster Diva will let everyone know:)

  6. Karol Crow August 6, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    Hey, count me in on that garage sale! And even though you didn’t ask, I can come help…Karol

  7. Christy Johnson August 6, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    Garage sales are a blast! It’s great girl time and I love getting to know my neigbors and bond with strangers:)

  8. Marta Ruffin August 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    Bravo! God’s blessings on your new abode my dear friend. My favorite scripture in the bible is that ” the world will know us by our love”, nothing else! As long as we show God’s unchanging, perfect love in everything we do, it’s ok. We know that everything on this side of heaven is constantly changing, temporary, & is slipping away. The only things that will last are the things done for our Christ. We just need to make sure with any & all changes, that we stay true to God’s word.

    Love
    Marta

  9. Kimberly August 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    Let’s just some up everything I thought with the word–Wow! Incredibly written and so true. I am so proud of you change is hard enough let alone unknown change! You go, Christy!

    Much love,
    Kim

  10. Christy Johnson August 6, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    ok, just so ya’ll know how incredible God is. I met Kimberly, the commenter above, in the check out line at Walmart. How cool is that? God totally hooked us up. So we’re standing there chit chatting and she tells me that she has a journalism degree and I say, “Wow, I wish I had that. I’m a wanna-be writer with a degree in Finance.” So what does she do? She lays her hand on me right there in the check out line and transfers her anointing onto me.

    She is an editor too, so guess what? She’s getting some new work and I got a new friend!

  11. Kimberly August 9, 2009 at 1:35 am #

    I just read your comment! You are too fun and such a breath of fresh air. You are kind of like summer, to me, after one has had a long harsh winter season. Truly you are a blessing and quite a delight. I am so thankful to have met you. It’s neat that Charles has a new friend in John, too.

    Love to you blessing,
    Kim

  12. Linda from McPherson August 9, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Your stories are always inspiring. You are so right about change and what a great way to think about it.

  13. Barbara Spillman August 9, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    thanks for your article on change Christy. As always, your article speaks to me, and the timing is always perfect. While there have been times I really welcome change, as I’ve always been the type of person that hates being stuck in a rut, any kind of rut, and the need for change prompts me forward;
    there have also been some life changes, whether brought on by self, or an unavoidable circumstance, that have been more difficult to embrace. It is in those times, I have asked God (after venting and being frustrated) what he’s trying to teach me in that change. Sometimes I am amazed down the road at the good the unwelcome change has brought about in my life.
    Right now, I’m going through more of a time where I’m seeking change, a new direction where God wants me to go. I know it won’t be without obstacles, but I want to be willing to move forward in whatever God wants me to do.
    thank you for your encouragement. you are such a blessing!

  14. Darla Muralt August 10, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    Amazing that you share about change, we just arrive home from vacation, hubby and I both have a 2-3 day bout with the flu (can’t remember when I had it last!) Our lab delivers her 3 black and 4 chocolate puppies (they are in my study, no room at the inn. Its too hot outside) And my precious 25 yr old baby boy is home from 2 back to back tours in Iraq and Kuwait. I have to plan a trip to North Dakota soooon to my stay with 92 year old grandmother who’s just been in the hospital 3 times in one month! Did I mention my dryer broke and I’ve been hanging laundry on the line for 3 weeks?
    Whew! I think I can relate a little to the agony of change.
    I think I’m still in the AHHHH stage of it all. :o)
    Change is inevitiable. I should know after living 38 years of my 48 young in the Military following my dad and hubby around.
    You would think that would make all this easier…nope! Have you detected my whine yet Christy?
    As always your words of wisdom and precious eternal perspective sprinkles sweet drops of God’s purpose in my heart.
    And my laundry? Well, it smells just heavenly. Love you much and miss you. Darla

  15. Amber H August 16, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    Glory to God 🙂 Your articles are such a blessing and always on time. May your annointing keep flowing and the blessings of God keep you going!

    Sis in Christ,
    Amber

  16. D&quot August 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Christy,
    I love the smell of cardboard and the
    popping of bubble wrap. The fragrance
    of change is in the air. Adorn yourself
    with a tape gun (mine is hot pink) set
    your mind on things above, lift up your
    hands and sing “I am FREEEEE to move,
    I am free to move for You, I am free!”
    I’m “MOVED” with compassion as I
    read your thoughts. My heart has been
    “CHANGED” forever! As you wrap up
    your things, God will unwrap your future.
    Boxes of blessings,
    Lampmover 🙂

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