We began 2012 with a sermon series entitled “Navigating Change.” Little did I know when I began to think about this series near the end of November 2011 just how much change was coming! But God knew all along that the extent of change was far beyond the small glimpse I had.
We are now five months into this year of change, and change continues to happen. Funny how life is like that! The change that comes with graduating from high school in the spring is soon followed by the change of leaving home for college in the fall. Change follows change.
In the late 1800s the Duke of Cambridge said, “Any change, at any time, for any reason, is to be deplored.” You can hate change, you can resist change, you can even try to deny change, but there is no way you can avoid change.
In Jesus we find the blueprint for navigating change well. He walked through change by devoting Himself to the will of God above all. The Son of God went through the greatest change ever when He stepped down from heaven to become man for our salvation. Listen to what Jesus Himself had to say about that seismic change: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). There it is. He came to do the Father’s will. This, then, becomes our goal: In the midst of change we, like Jesus, decide to do the will of God.
Jesus offers us further help with change. He teaches us to ask. One of the discomforts of change is that things are not as we want them. When this happens, Jesus says “Ask and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). Rather than using force to get what you want, ask for it, from God and from others.
The irony about asking is that it is both powerful and powerless. We sense the power when our request is granted; we feel the powerlessness when our request is denied. But, after all, we are committed to the Father’s will. And so we pray “not my will but yours be done” and leave the outcome of our “asks” with God.
Committed to the will of the Father and asking for what we desire … this is the way of the Master.