Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
"The change we need."
This slogan accompanied the presidential campaign of the newly elected 44th president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama.
No doubt, many throughout the world watched the Inauguration Day festivities this past week as President Obama took the oath of office and was sworn in as America's first black president.
But what sort of "change" will come as a result of a new world leader is yet to be determined. Citizens from both sides of the political fence will be watching closely as poetic rhetoric is turned into action that will either help or hinder a great nation.
Will this "change" move America toward what is good or continue us on the pathway to moral decline? Time will soon tell. But I do hope that the President's words from his inauguration address will ring true in the days and years ahead:
"At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents. So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans."
A restoration to the ideals upon which our nation was founded would take great change—most definitely! If this is the new administration's intent, then the task will be formidable over the next four years and it will take Herculean effort.
I don't envy President Obama and the decisions he must make, but I sincerely hope that positive change does take place not only in America but across the globe. And I pledge to do my part. No, I am not running for public office any time soon (if ever!), but I can surely focus on change on a smaller scale in my own life.
As believers, the most important change we need is to be conformed to Christ. To reflect his image. To be transformed from the inside out. When we yield our lives to the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be changed. When we fill our hearts and our minds with Truth found only in God's Word, we will be changed. When we live out what we believe in Christian love, we will be changed.
History was made this week in America, but we must all remember that man (a new president, you or me or anyone else) is not the solution. Only God can change us and be "the change we need" in the world's most powerful nation and in our lives. He alone is worthy of our worship and our praise.
"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Intersecting Faith & Life:
How can we open up our lives to "the change we need" today? Perhaps starting with the mouth. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (Ephesians 4:29). See if you can make it through one day without speaking destructively about anyone or anything.