Hebrews 13:8 — "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Do you believe God changes? The answers may surprise you: Yes and no. No from the standpoint that God is unwavering and there’s many references throughout scripture of God remaining steadfast and unchanged.
We also see many references to the fact that God chooses to change or better yet shows us what meaningful change looks like so that we might be drawn into a better relationship with Him.
God guides us through this change and gives us the opportunities to seek Him.
Questions one might ask about Biblical Change...
Is change good or bad?
Hosea 4:7 – "The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame."
The purpose of Hosea is to call Israel/Judah to repentance and reveal their faithlessness. God chose a change from prosperity to shame - but the fault falls with the people who turned from God. In chapter 6 of Hosea, you’ll see however, the repentance of Israel.
Exodus 32:12-14 – "Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people."
One of the best ways to handle change is to remain consistent.
There are some things in the world that will seemingly never change: Rush hour traffic; The chaotic rush to buy bread and milk when snow in the forecast, and like clockwork, allergies in the South every spring…
What is Immutability?
Isaiah 46:9-11 – “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it."
Louis Berkhof from theopedia.com defines God’s immutability as “that perfection of God by which He does not change in His being, perfections, purposes, or promises.”
Charles Spurgeon - delivered in 1855:
“Consider what thou owest to his immutability. Though thou hast changed a thousand times, he has not changed once; though thou hast shifted thy intentions, and thy will, yet he has not once swerved from his eternal purpose, but still has held thee fast.”
James 1:17 – "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. Most importantly, God’s love does not change."
It is never-ending –
I Chronicles 16:34 – "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."
It is Inseparable -
Romans 8:38-39 – "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Do you seek guidance from Scripture after Change occurs or do you allow Scripture to lead you through the Change?
James 1:12 - "Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
Jesus says “Follow Me” in Luke 5 - call of Peter, James and John, and Matthew
Are you being called to drop everything and follow Jesus?
Are you being called to offer a lending hand?
Are you called to do the best you can?
Biblical Change in Life
Acknowledge that Change will happen. Beware of the curse of sin:
James 2:10 – "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."
The cure for the curse is Grace:
Justification means the penalty of our sins is taken away: Romans 3:24 – " being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus."
Regeneration is the immediate cleansing of our souls and change in our hearts: Ezekiel 36:26 – "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.This means the literal “rebirth” of our souls; Jack Cottrell likens it to “an operation performed upon the soul.”
Sanctification is the continuation of cleansing: I Corinthians 6:11 – "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."
Coping with unwanted Change
Example of Bad: Jonah 3 – “yet 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown”
This simple action as Jonah obeyed God, caused the temporary stay of punishment of an entire city. Yet, in Chapter 4, we see just how poorly Jonah handles a seemingly positive change.
Fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22-23 - (ok, start singing the song in your head…) Not only can you do these things, you should show these things and exemplify them. Do you think God knew we would have to deal with all of the nasty and terrible things in this world? And He gave us the precious gifts of the Holy Spirit not only to deal with them, but to flourish and live abundantly
Glorifying God through Change
First of all, remember who God is:
Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"
I Samuel 15:29 – "Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”
Look at the context here: Samuel is sent by God to rebuke King Saul for not following His commands (i.e. man is given a choice. God is unflinching and unchanging.)
Second of all, remember who God is! Unchanging, Immutable, All-loving Creator that gives you Grace.