- Kenny Luck Founder, Every Man Ministries
- 2014 6 Jun
There’s an “F” after the “SHI” and before the “T” and, yes, I did it on purpose. I am exchanging the secular phrase for a sacred principle, the silly for the serious, and if I pressed your buttons then mission accomplished. What remains are the two words every believer must consider if they claim to be a follower of Jesus – holy and shift. See for yourself.
“If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!” - 2 Corinthians 5:17 NCV
That’s some major shift going down. Oops did it again. Key word here? Everything. God says he wants all of you versus parts of you. Get that. Life with God requires change in God if the relationship is working the way he designed. God himself is telling me in strong, simple terms that when he is at the center of my life I don’t get to pick and choose my changes of life and lifestyle. It’s positional.
“Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?” - Luke 6:46 NIV
By contrast, if we do call him “Lord, Lord” we will be moving, exchanging, changing, or adjusting our ways for God’s ways on a regular basis. Why? Because when you are connected to Christ shift happens (of the holy sort). The red letters of Jesus in your Bible clearly state one unequivocal fact: change is ground zero of the spiritual life. We dispute this reality of spiritual life internally because personal change is often emotionally uncomfortable for us and requires new character we don’t presently have. Or we flat out disagree with God because we don’t want to give up that attitude or behavior. The result is self styled Christianity, patterned around our comforts, where we live out of spiritual and non-spiritual boxes as the context suits us. Both approaches fall short and neither passes muster with God.
“I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship. Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.” - Romans 12:1-2 NCV
Beg? Apparently the Bible assigns an urgency to change. Or, staying with our theme, the shifts need to be hitting the fan starting with your inner life progressively making its way to your outward expression.
A Load of Shift
The moment we decide to commit energy for the purpose of changing or exchanging our ways for God’s ways we are making a HOLY SHIFT. While life in God demands change in God, the consequence of making these shifts in being, believing, or behaving have a massive payoff – God’s blessing. If you are ready to make a major advance, stop a major problem, go to a new level, or experience success in your life with God and people, then buckle up! What are the most critical areas of transformation God desires? You won’t shift your pants, but the biggies include:
Making A Spiritual Shift
Outward change doesn’t last unless inner change is driving it. That’s why the first HOLY SHIFT every person needs to make is in their relationship to God. Specifically, that means we seek to refresh our vision of God to go to our next destination in God. Seeing God clearly for who he really is redefines who we are, how we feel about ourselves, and the way we should think and live. There’s life and then there’s living an eternal life starting right now. That’s the life you were made for – life with God now and forever. Every living person is created by God, for relationship with God, and is purposed to go back to God. That process starts with a “yes” to relationship initially and ongoing where we recognize God, respond to God’s love in Christ, receive his presence into your life, and release yourself to his purposes daily. Say “yes” right now.
Making a Mental Shift
Letting go of the old to win the new always begins with a thought. New behaviors in any area of our lives always reflect new beliefs about those areas. We exchange the stale and stagnant perspectives that leave us the same for newer ones that get us better results. In the battle for change, your mind is going to make the difference and God wants to make sure you win the war between the ears. You can have the “mind of Christ” if you have the Word of Christ (the Bible) as the main ingredient of your mental recipe for living.
Making An Emotional Shift
Let’s face it: we are not good at facing or expressing our feelings. Both men and women hide and mask anger, internalize pressure, deny being hurt, and withdraw in the face of hard truths about themselves. These inabilities at the emotional level create problems and distance in the relationships we treasure most. As fathers, husbands, moms, wives, friends and believers our relationships call for and require emotional health. And when we are emotionally healthy the people connected to us suffer less and develop better. Knowing God involves untangling emotions and growing toward newer, more productive ways of dealing with feelings.
*Kenny Luck, founder and president of Every Man Ministries, is the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church, and has a great deal of experience in leading men through their walk with God. His program Sleeping Giant empowers men to take the experience of a men’s ministry and bring it to their own communities.