One of my favourite rock songs of the 90’s is by Bruce Hornsby and the Range called ‘that is just the way it is.’ It’s a great song…but it’s a poor life perspective! Those seven words have probably been responsible for the de-railing of more destinies and breakthroughs than any other force on the planet.
One of the greatest ploys of the enemy is to convince us that we are in a rut and that nothing can or will change it. This is clearly not Gods intention. Life is not static or stagnant.
Think about creation for a moment. Even creation as it was birthed in the beginning was not intended to stay that way forever. God built into creation an innate potential to change, to evolve (don’t get freaked with that word!) and to develop. In fact the bible says that the Garden of Eden was ‘good,’ it does not say the garden was perfect! To say the garden was perfect would be to imply that things could never be enhanced or improved upon, yet clearly God didn’t intend for it to remain the same.
Of course it’s true to say that there was no faults or flaws in Gods creation, but it is equally true to note that it was not fully formed or complete. Even creation was not resistant to change or expansion. In fact the power of self-reproduction, growth and advancement was a deliberate part of Gods creative design. Trees and plants were designed to grow and cover the land. Animals and creatures of every kind were each designed in a way to replicate and fill the earth. Creation was imbibed with a cycle of life that was neither static nor fixed. What about Adam? Why did God only create one man and one woman when he could have populated the whole Earth in an instant? The reason is simple. He delegated the power to bring change and development to his creation to mankind. God has engaged us in the process of change.
There was a young pastor who took on a new parish somewhere. As part of his daily duties he noticed the terrible condition of the grounds of the church and set about the task of sorting it out. After several days of hard graft it was transformed from a jungle of overgrown weeds and brambles into a delightful radiant garden. Just then, one of his parishioners came along and remarked piously ‘You’ve done well, Oh how you must have needed the help of the Almighty to transform that garden.’ The pastor thought for a second and retorted ‘that may well be true but then you should have seen it when God had it all to himself!’ Change comes when we co-operate with God, and we have the privilege and responsibility of partnering with God in the process of redeeming all creation.
We don’t have to look at the overgrown weeds in our life or our nation and sigh ‘that’s just the way it is’. Think about David turning up on the 39th day of Goliaths challenge to the people of Israel. When he enquires as to what’s going on he effectively gets this answer ‘there’s nothing we can do David…its just the way it is.’ But David refuses to believe it. Seven other words come into his heart in an instant, ‘its doesn’t have to be this way’. David then set about the task of changing the unchangeable.
You may be facing a personal challenge that looks unchangeable. Let me encourage you, nothing in your life or mine is fully resistant to change. Nothing has to remain the same. Everything must yield to the will of God, and as we co-operate with him in it, we can believe for breakthrough and miracles in areas of our life that we previously thought were set like granite. At a societal level too, we as a church can look at the overgrown weeds of our society and either resign ourselves to the fact that things will only get worse, or we can roll up our sleeves and partner with God to become part of the answer.
Things can and will change as we continue to keep building his kingdom. Every rut becomes an opportunity to break out, and every barrier becomes a potential breakthrough. Nothing can resist Gods progressive plan outworked through his people.
Finally, don’t forget the bible opens with a garden (Gen 2:8) and closes with a city! (Rev 22:3) There is refinement, development and advancement in the plans of God for all creation and we are called to be co-builders with him in this miracle.
By Chris Scott