Changing From the Inside Out

My administrator here in North America sent this to me a year ago and I couldn’t resist sticking it up on line as a picture for a New Year’s blog.

Often at New Years or just before we make a series of resolutions – decisions that we mentally think we need to make to bring change into our lives in the new year. Afterall, if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten. Poor English but true nonetheless.

Often immediately after the new year has begun the resolutions have been forgotten and nothing has changed and it will be the same old – same old for another 365 days and another year and another… And soon life has passed us by and nothing has changed. Sad!

Here’s the problem – you are attempting to make change happen from the outside in – making decisions about your lifestyle and then deciding that by an act of the will you are going to actually change things in your life. I think this is called being self-deceived. Doesn’t work. Never has. Didn’t in the past – won’t in the future.

Excuse me, it was your will that got you into the mess that you now want to change. And your will (the decision area in your soul) and the will of your flesh -yes, there are two wills that fight againt God’s will in your life – cannot be changed by simply making a decision and winding up some extra ‘will power’. It never lasts. Within several weeks you will be right back doing what you have always done. You set yourself up for an immediate failure.

Instead, we need to understand that true and lasting change can only happen when it starts on the inside and is empowered by the Holy Spirit. We need to give God permission to search our hearts and point out to us the things that need to change. Because He is pointing them out there will be the grace – the power and ability – to bring those changes about should we decide to say “yes” and cooperate with the Lord in His work of remaking us into His own image. Then, as the attitudes and values on the inside – in our heart – change we will see lasting and permanent change happen on the outside – weight loss, quitting smoking, freedom from alcohol, becoming debt free, having a better prayer life, being a more powerful witness for Jesus, whatever your desire is as a believer.

Life change only and always happens by the power of the Holy Spirit. This new year stop doing things under your own power and by an act of your will. Instead, give yourself totally over to the Lord and let Him make the repairs and changes that He desires.

Of course, if you are already perfect then you don’t need to make any changes and I apologize for wasting a few precious moments of your time.

2 replies
  1. Linda Hanna
    Linda Hanna says:

    Happy New Year, Ralph!! Such a good word for all of us. Only God can make a pig into a sheep. I tried for years to change my spots to no avail. As soon as the will power ran out, I was back where I started. It was almost a relief the day I gave up and trusted the Holy Spirit to finish the work that He had begun in me. Praise God! I’m not yet where I should be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be. George and I miss you! We enjoy hearing of the work that God is doing in your life as you go into all the world and make disciples. We keep you in our prayers and in our heart. Kyle keeps us updated on your travels. Tell Bob we said “hi!”. As you can see, our email has changed. Keep in touch.

  2. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi Linda,
    Thanks for your note and so good to hear from you. I know a little of your testimony and God has done an amazing work in you and you are a tremendous testimony to the power of God changing lives. And, I look forward to God bringing to completion the good work that He has begun in each of us. Blessings to you in the New Year and I look forward to seeing you and George again – maybe in February as I am, once again, at the Apostolic Roundtable.


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