Stretch Your Stuff

Abundant LifefreedomKeith NIx

Is this your story or are you holding onto what is wrong instead of letting it go? It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve experienced. It doesn’t matter what it is about you that is crippled. This man’s story can be your yours. I choose for it to be mine. I hope you will also. The choice is simple but not always easy. It is the decision between “strutting your stuff” or stretching it. It is the decision between being pitiful or powerful.

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Change?! Really?

Keith NIx

“Really? Do I have to change? But I don’t like change. It makes me uncomfortable and uneasy and (_____.)”  You fill in the blank.  The answer is “Yes.” Change is inevitable! Sadly, many view it as something to fear or hate; spending much of their energy doing all they can to avoid it. But change is necessary for everything living and growing. Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” How are you doing with the change in your life? Are you embracing it or resisting it?

Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” How are you doing with the change in your life? Click To Tweet

Why do so many resist change? The answer is quite simple – change often hurts! Leadership expert Sam Chand says it this way, “Growth equals change; change equals loss; loss equals pain; so inevitably, growth equals pain.” It is the rare bird who welcomes anything that might hurt a little. And we all know that change always hurts at least a little. Most are content with what makes them comfortable, and all change requires the toll of discomfort be paid.

Most are content with what makes them comfortable, and all change requires the toll of discomfort to be paid. Click To Tweet

Remember in elementary science when you studied the marvelous yet mysterious transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly? While very few are attracted to a caterpillar, almost everyone is in love with the butterfly. Of course, a butterfly is a different insect from the old caterpillar, right? Not entirely. The butterfly is, in reality, the caterpillar reborn through the unusual and seemingly magical process called “metamorphosis”.

Metamorphosis is the radical change from one image into another. I have never yet interviewed a caterpillar turned butterfly, but I imagine that the process may be a bit uncomfortable at times. It certainly seems lonely and includes a dark period in which the transformation takes place. But God works some of His greatest wonders undercover and out of sight. the Bible teaches that God uses this same process in those who belong to Him. The root of metamorphosis is a Greek word

The Bible teaches that God uses this same process in those who belong to Him. The root of metamorphosis is a Greek word metamorphoo which is used four times in the New Testament writings. It is used twice regarding Jesus [Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2.] The word translated transfigured in these verses speaks of the transformation Jesus allowed a few of His disciple to witness. For a brief period, He wore the glory that He had with God before His humbling himself in the incarnation. And what glory it was! John later wrote, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

The other uses of metamorphoo are in reference to the followers of Jesus. In Romans 12:2 the word is used when Paul says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” It appears again in II Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

The plan of God for your life is not primarily about getting you to Heaven one day! Click To Tweet
The plan of God for your life is not primarily about getting you to Heaven one day! The good plan God has for us includes the radical change of transformation from the fallen image and identity of this world into the glorious image and identity of Jesus! This is what Romans 8:29 is talking about, “…He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” Wow! Think about this! Our destiny is to be like Jesus! This transformation began when we first accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior.[ 2 Cor. 5:17] It will be completed one day in the future when “we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” and “we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” [1 Corinthians 15:51,52, I John 3:2]

Wow! Think about this! Our destiny is to be like Jesus! Click To Tweet

In between this beginning and end, we must learn to yield to God’s process of change in our everyday lives. God is leading us from one degree to higher dimensions of glory. His dream will not be fulfilled for us until His image is in us. Sadly, many in the church today are content with what makes them comfortable. They don’t want metamorphosis; they want to believe that they have already arrived or will someday arrive. But they do not want the uncomfortable seasons that are required for glorious change to take place.

Sadly, many in the church today are content with what makes them comfortable. Click To Tweet

We are creatures of habit. We find our security in the routine of common, nonchallenging situations. Some of us are not secure except when we feel in control. Fearful, selfish living has robbed many of the generous, adventurous spirit modeled by Jesus and the early church. Religiosity has caused many to live earthbound lives when God has called us to soar by Spirit power through life.
But I encourage you to embrace the change! Don’t “draw back…but…believe.” Hebrews 10:39. 2017 is the year of the Open Door! New dimensions and the fulfillment of God’s promises await you! Don’t give up but keep moving forward. God is changing us from the image we now bear to another image. He is getting us into shape so that the promises can become real in our lives. Just as the butterfly is a caterpillar who has reached destiny, your destiny is awaiting you. Keep yielding to the working of God’s Word and Spirit in you, endure the lonely days and dark nights, struggle with Holy Spirit determination, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h your wings to soar!


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