ďThat was a life changing experience!Ē Have you ever heard or said those words? I sure have. What do they mean? Sometimes they seem to mean that there was a strong emotional experience. But the fact is that, though I can remember the experience with very strong feelings, my life has been unaffected. I still speak, understand, and think in the same ways and therefore behave and live the same unchanged life.
So! Whatís the big deal? Jesus is my savior and I live a good life, Iím not a drunk, Iím faithful to my wife, I belong to a good Bible believing church, I even tithe. Do you have a list of why your life is good? Why do I constantly and persistently think I am ok because I am better than someone else?
When I was a boy growing up in Ohio, with Mom and Dad and my brothers and sisters, at different times we would back up to the woodwork around the door from the kitchen to the basement, and someone would make a pencil mark on the woodwork behind us to measure how tall we had grown. Sometimes our name would be written on the line and maybe a date. As I got older this became progressively less satisfying as my baby brother (10 years my junior) began to catch and then pass me by. It ends up now that my mark will be the closest to the ground. I was comparing myself to my brothers and sisters and since I was the oldest I had a head start on them, so for a time I was the leader. But as time and genetics did their work the comparison changed. Something happened or should I say stopped happening along the way about the time I turned 17. I may have been in my 40s before I stopped feeling inferior because I could walk under a 5í 8Ē anything and not muss my hair.
Should I compare myself with others to decide if I need to have a change of life? An important fact is; if I do that, I am selective of whom I compare myself too. I also make excuses for my short comings.
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. II Cor. 10:12
What is my hope? Do I have a hope? Why should I hope for more than having my sins forgiven and going to heaven? Isnít that wonderful? These questions are very significant in thinking about getting my life changed. When I back up to the door jam, am I hoping to catch up with someone, or am I just happy that I am still ahead of others?
Our Father has a better hope for us.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Rom. 8:29
For me this is sacred ground. I see a need to take off my shoes and bow down in the presence of this verse. My flesh shudders in fear when I think about backing up to this wall. This is the hope that Our Father has for us. Is this wonderfully terrifying for you? Godís intention is for me to be like Jesus. There is no question now about needing a life changing experience. I absolutely must find what will change my life!
In this desperate need, I am finding some help and I am hopeful that as I continue along this way more will be revealed to me. In Romans 12:2, I am powerfully encouraged to be transformed (changed) by the renewing of my mind so I can prove the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. I went to a menís meeting some years ago and there was a meeting where Proverbs 9:1 was read and the question was asked. ďWhat are the pillars of wisdom?Ē Many good answers were given and it was a very inspiring meeting. But I was left with a little different question. What are the seven pillars? I asked brothers that I look up to about this; I prayed and meditated on this question. By the grace of God, I found an answer. I am not sure it is absolutely the one right answer. But I am sure it came by the grace of God, because it has proven to effect change in my life toward being conformed to the image of Jesus. After I found the answer that satisfied me in Godís Word, I memorized it then, every night as I was in bed and frequently through the day I repeated it to myself. As I do this I am always seeing how I miss the mark and then have a need to pray for more grace to be conformed to the Word of God. Little by little my mind is being changed (renewed, made new). My words, thoughts and understanding are being changed.
Someone has mentioned that I have not said what I found the seven pillars to be. That is correct and at this time I will refrain from sharing that with you, because I hope that your curiosity is a little aroused. If so, may I recommend the method I ended up using to find my answer. Pray and ask God for wisdom in this area. He is faithful. James says,
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.Ē
Then work with the answer to see if God will use it in your life to bring about change.
I sure have not made some brand new discovery here. The Word of God is full of strong words about meditation and hiding Godís Word in our hearts. All I have done is experience that these things are true. Praise God. I hope this little article can help someone take these things more seriously and experience more of the tremendous love and grace of God.