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Thursday, July 29, 2010

How do I change? (Part 1 of 2)

You may have noticed that I haven't posted in a while. My bad.

You just got cut off on your way to work and a seemingly unavoidable anger boils out. Now you’re angry and you want people to know it. Reacting you yell, mutter to yourself, or tell the other driver he is number one. Either way your heart is overflowing and it’s not pretty.

How about this...

You're in line at the grocery store and an attractive girl is right in front of you. She is wearing what must be her 15 year old sister’s clothes and you notice. Reacting you stare, or more "respectably" covertly look in passing glances. Maybe you don't stare but you think about her in an unloving way. How about this. You judge the girl for how she dresses.

One more...

You get home after a long day of work/classes and you’re ready to crash in your bedroom. But now your little sister barges in the room and is rambling on and on about a squirrel in the backyard that attacked a bird. Reacting you push her, yell, or make snide comments about how you hope the squirrel ate the bird. Your heart is on display. The canvas is stretched and you reveal what really resides inside.

James 1:14-15 says "...each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."

This verse reveals our problem in a very upsetting way. The verse is an indictment of each one of us when we sin against the Lord. See instead of blaming the person who cut you off, the immodest girl or the inconsiderate sister this verse blames you. Our problem isn't people tempting us to sin but our own desires. Our desires to be respected on the road, for sex and personal space tempt us. Now these desires are not always wrong desires but look at what happened in every situation described above. Something either threatened our desires (1st and 3rd example) or offered a sinful solution to fulfill them (2nd example). Instead of turning to God's desires for us we sinfully elevate our own. Our circumstances reveal what we really value in our hearts.

So if our fundamental problem is what is already in our hearts how are we to change? There are two important things to know. First, if you are not a Christian you can't change the heart. Second, if you are a Christian you can't change the heart. They are both true but in different ways.

If you’re not a Christian then you have no hope of change. The issue with humanity is that we are sinful. We all have filth in our hearts! I do! And so do you. This sin was by our choice and we choose it again and again everyday. Our sin is so deep that Romans 3:10 and 11 says that "None is righteous, no, not one..." and goes on to say "no one seeks for God." We are all sinners and none of us even want God. Furthermore, Romans 8:8 says "Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." What an unpopular view of humanity. In our sin we cannot please God. Sin is so deep in our hearts that we are dead. We don't even desire life in Christ. No matter how good of a person we think we are God has a completely different opinion of us. And He is right.

So how does one who doesn't believe in God change? Well you need a heart transplant. And Christ is ready to give it to you! Romans 8 goes on to say that if we have the spirit of God in us he will give life to our dead bodies. How do we receive the spirit? Galatians 3: 14 "so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith." Faith in Christ! Faith that he never sinned. Faith that you do. Faith that He took your punishment for sin by dying in your place. Faith that he raised from the dead showing that the Father approved of his death for you. And this means that His spirit with His desires now reside in you with your sinful heart.

I want to encourage you right now. Our sin being so deep that we don't even seek God can seem like a very discouraging truth. But I think God wants to encourage you right now with those very words. If you have any desire to know God. Any desire to believe in Jesus. Any desire for Him at all. It is not your own desire but Christ already at work in you. If you have actually worked your way through this long post and find yourself desiring this real meaningful change then God is at work in you. Please don't take that lightly. Please message me or talk to a Christian you know and let them know that Christ is calling you. Hear the call and respond.

Next week I will explain how we as Christians can practically change. I hope if you’re not a Christian right now that next week you would be and you would read with a heart that wants to please Him.

If you have any questions, comments or just want to talk but don't feel comfortable doing it here please email me at

Shane Kohout

1 comment:

  1. this is a great post, but it begs the question... Where is part 2?!

    The world wants to know!