Grace to Change
by Taffi Dollar | 18 April 2018
Periodically, we must examine and identify areas of our lives where we need to make changes. This allows us to consider situations from a new perspective. We can actually limit what God can do for us if we do not allow His Word to transform us. Some things that happen in our lives are the result of wrong-believing, and shining the light of change in these areas helps us to believe correctly and get good results. We no longer have to stay the same; we have been empowered to rise to new levels. We do this by spending time in the Word, which frees us and destroys strongholds that previously kept us in bondage. Therefore, change should be a way of life for believers.
- Through His grace, God empowers us to enact change where it is needed.
- We have received the grace to change what we need to change in our lives.
- And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).
- But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like. But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience) (James 1:22-25, AMPC).
- The Word of God is our spiritual mirror.
- The salvation experience is an event, but renewing the mind is a continuous and ongoing process.
- Change should be part of our lifestyle.
- We must avoid wrong-thinking in leadership because it limits gender roles to stereotypes. We are all equal in Christ.
- Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
- And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us…And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed (Acts 16:14, 15, 40).
- In the Bible, God used women who showed biblical leadership qualities. He placed His grace on their lives.
- Lydia was graced with a gift that extended into Paul’s ministry. As a result of this gift, lives were changed.
- Change removes inequalities and recognizes everyone’s identity in Christ.
- She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust] (Proverbs 31:16-18, AMPC).
- This is significant because, in the time this was written, women were expected to be subservient. They were seen as inferior, not equipped to lead, and not called by God.
- This Scripture refers to a woman who was in business and was entrusted with prudent leadership.
- When God made man and woman, He gave both of them the ability to complement each other.
- And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).
- Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7, AMPC).
- We are speaking spirits.
- When God created mankind, He gave them articulation, the ability to communicate with Him, and the intelligence for His service.
- And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18).
- The word “help” has been used to describe God as our help. It also means strength, to rescue. The woman rescued the man from being alone.
- The word “meet” means a helper that corresponds to man, one that opposes him when necessary. This role can be one that prevents the man from acting rashly through questioning and discussing.
- This shows the wisdom of having another perspective in a relationship.
- The Scriptures teach us that traditional, male-dominated gender roles can be backward.
- And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh…And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the Lord gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. And the Lord discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet (Judges 4:8, 9, 14, 15).
- In this relationship, Deborah was the leader and Barak supported her.
- Everything that God spoke came to pass, but only because they were both open to the grace that was on both of their lives.
- There are several things we can do to allow grace to enact change in our homes, our churches, and ourselves.
- We can open doors of opportunity to women and allow them to operate in their particular grace gift.
- We can converse and allow teachable moments. When conversations turn toward the old ways of doing things, we must combat that mentality and share kingdom-based mindsets.
- We can use our gifts without being embarrassed or ashamed. We do not need to be concerned about others’ approval.
- We can find ways to serve and lead together. We do not have to compete or try to outshine each other.
- God loves us all. Men and women both need the opportunity to operate in their respective graces.
- For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us(Ephesians 2:14).
James 1:22-25, AMPC
2 Corinthians 5:17
Acts 16:14, 15, 40
Proverbs 31:16-18, AMPC
Genesis 2:7, AMPC
Judges 4:8, 9, 14, 15