The Scariest Word in the English Language

by Paul List:

Fall is here, and with it a lot of change!

Change is the scariest word in the English language. When things change in our life, we tend to panic, get upset, throw up walls or even go into denial. Our nature is to keep things the way they always have been. We like consistency. We like knowing what a certain place will look like, certain songs played a certain way, food that always tastes the same. We do not like change because it brings fear of the unknown. We ask questions like what if the change is for the worst instead of for the best. Will my favorite food taste different if it is made with different ingredients? Will my ears ever stop cringing to the new way of playing that old time favorite song?

But Christianity is all about change. At the very root of the Gospel is a change from our being spiritually born dead to being born again by the Holy Spirit. This change brings us to reconciliation to the Father. We are justified by the blood of Jesus. We walk now by the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. Our very worldview is eternal now instead of temporal. We see things differently, we act differently, and we like things that glorify God instead of things that glorify us. We are reborn, new creatures. We now live for Him, knowing our salvation is secure for eternity in heaven. We live to know God and make Him known.

The world knows that to come to Christ means change is inevitable. Coming to Christ will by default change every aspect of their lives. Nothing in the life of a born-again child of God will remain untouched. This is why people reject the Gospel. People naturally love sin. It is all they know. When presented with the Gospel, our natural reaction is rejection. People love sin and hate the light. It is not our flattery that will persuade people to repent of sin and turn to God. We are asking people to do a very un-natural thing; reject their very sin nature and accept the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is a supernatural event, that cannot be devised, built, or brought on by anything mankind can do. This is a supernatural action done completely by God. 

Yet, Christ calls His church to tell the world about Him. He calls us to make disciples, and teach them of all that He has commanded. This supernatural change of spirit from dead to alive comes from hearing that good news from the church. We are His chosen instrument. This is not a duty to be taken lightly! A hammer is useless if it sits in the tool box. It only drives the nail home if swung with purpose, intentionally, and surely. We must swing the mighty hammer of the Gospel with faith that God is working His glorious purposes behind the scenes. He works beyond our vision of the natural world and is constantly at work in the hearts of those around you and around me.  He is ever preparing souls like the gardener prepares the soil. All we need to do is our part. All we need to do is speak the Gospel truth! Then real, eternal, glorious change will erupt from that once dead garden, and a new life, an eternal life shall be born!

Paul wrote to the church in Galatia about the sowing and reaping we are called to do in Galatians 6:7-10

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Change is scary. But denying our call to tell the world the good news and disobeying the Savior’s call is even scarier. Be the instrument of change God has called you to be. Do not let change deter you, but count on it instead! Count on God to do what He said He would do. By His grace some of those who you share the Gospel with will experience change on a level they never even imagined was possible!


Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

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