The Secret To Real Change
This past week I got to spend a lot of time with a new friend. Her story is horrific and I won’t share all the gory details with you but let’s just say she has been through more trauma at the age of 26 than most people could ever imagine experiencing in a lifetime. Right now she is seeking treatment for an addiction to heroin and alcohol and taking steps to change her life. We’ve had a lot of late night talks and discussions about the future and how things can change for the better. I couldn’t help but think about how the content of these conversations might benefit you and me. I needed the reminder and still need it every day, on what it takes to really change the course of life. Now understand I’m kinda notorious for being a straight shooter. It can be a little much for people sometimes and I’m learning to reel it in but let’s be real, there are times when things are just black and white, no mater how you spin it.
Because let’s face it, addiction is addiction. Whether it’s food, sex, work, busyness, shopping, alcohol or heroin, bondage is bondage. If we want things to change in our lives then we have to confront what we are slaves to and wake up to the freedom that’s available. Because if the son has set us free, we are free indeed (John 8:36).
So what’s the secret to real change in our lives? Today, I’m going to walk you through what I told my friend and give you insight as to why this secret is so necessary to facilitate change in the long run. I hope you’ll stay with me no matter how tough it gets. So here we go, grab some coffee and a pen and paper if you need it.
Real change boils down to one very simple but extremely humbling thing:
The truth is you won’t change until your desperate enough to do so. No one likes the word desperation and we have the tendency to view it as being undignified and lowly. While desperation certainly can be that way, it really depends on what you’re hungering for. Biblical desperation viewed through the eyes of the cross, always leads to a restoration and transformation. Desperation is the driving force behind the miraculous and its’ power is evident all through scripture. The woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8:43-48 was willing to do whatever it took to get to Jesus. She pushed through crowds and confronted her fears in order to get one touch from him. Desperation for healing was her driver. She chose to come out of hiding and hopelessness and the result was peace and a completely new life.
Everyone’s desperation point is different but it’s something we all need to confront in ourselves if we expect to make changes that last. Start by asking yourself two questions:
1. What do I want to change about my life or what do I want to be different about the current circumstances I exist in?
2. Am I desperate enough for that change to do whatever it takes to make it happen?
The answers to these two questions will give you clarity and if the answer to number two is an emphatic YES then get ready to be set free. But also understand that God will test your heart. Desperation proves itself in several ways. It’s the best motivator I’ve found to date and you must EMBRACE it. True desperation will force you to do FIVE things over and over again, which I’m listing below. If you find yourself in a low place and tempted to go back to old patterns check your desperation level and these five truths.
Desperation will allow you to:
1. Confront your pride and ego. Be willing to admit you don’t have all the answers and it’s unnecessary to defend or promote yourself. For a time, you don’t get to offer your own opinion, suggestions or “one up” story, until the fruit of your life allows you to do so. Listen and respond with “O.K, I chew on that” instead of “I know, I know but ________.” Humble yourself and own up to the fact that you do not really “know” or things would be different.
2. Inconvenience yourself and shift your priorities in order to be around knowledge, wisdom and people that are willing to give their time to mentor you. If an activity isn’t taking you closer towards the desired change you want then it needs to go. Period.
3. Say NO to sandbags, old behavior patterns and people that drain the life out of you. If you want drastic change then you will need to make drastic changes when it comes to unhealthy relationships and co-dependent people. Have ZERO tolerance for abusive relationships. Get out and stay out.
4. Pursue personal growth opportunities no matter the cost. What are you doing to nourish your soul and increases your skill set? If we understand that how we think determines the course of our lives then what are we doing to change the way we think? What are we reading, watching and listening to? Typically, what we invest in and spend our money on determines our priorities. If your priority is change and personal growth then you will invest in books, teaching, seminars, conferences, and retreats to make that happen.
5. Totally surrender your life to the leading of the Holy Spirit and an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. This is not about a generalized belief in God nor a moral, legalistic, go through the motions type mentality. Change comes from desperation for his presence, his touch, and his voice. When this is at your center, no power of hell can touch you. Desperation for HIM as your driving focus solves all problems.
The truly hungry will always find something to eat. The good news is that you can have as much of God as you really want. And you can have as much change as you really want as well.
Are you desperate for it?