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When People Start Asking "What's Changed?"

For quite a while now, this has been my daily prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, transform my heart, mind, soul, and strength so that my consecration becomes Your demonstration; that my life becomes Your sanctuary. For the glory of God our Father, amen.

 

In this context, consecration means to give all of your time and/or resources in a way that cannot be changed or recovered to the worship of God. Demonstration means an outward expression of the especially good things about following Christ. Sanctuary is a consecrated place, the most sacred part. (Miriam-Webster Dictionary.)


Be careful what you pray for, and be prepared for it to be answered.


When my life became a demonstration, I was thrilled, but it kind of snuck up on me. I was unprepared for the questions that came. People started asking me regularly, What’s changed? Why are you different?

 

I stuttered around, unsure of what to tell them. How do I put into words everything that's changed?

 

God has been gently reminding me that I need to always be prepared to give an answer for the hope I have, for the changes He's made. I’ve always been a Christian, but what has changed in the last year? I started gardening? Yes, but that’s a result of some other change. What was it?


I was living in miserable comfort, and the Holy Spirit woke me up. I realized I was ignoring a huge part of the Bible, which says Jesus is coming back soon and we need to be prepared. I changed from living like I have all the time in the world to living like things could change tomorrow. I stopped numbing myself out, and I started abiding with Christ. I stopped living like I was entitled to comfort as a child of God, and I started recognizing discomfort as a sign that things are going in the right direction.

 

The entire chapter of I Peter 4 explains it so well. I'll just point out verses 12-16:


Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 


what's changed?
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I know this topic isn't super-cheerful, but we have to understand: God hasn't called us to a life of ease, but a life of going against the grain. We are not citizens of this world, but of heaven, and we can't blend in. We can't escape causing offense. The message of the gospel is offense. The message of the gospel also saves peoples lives for eternity!


I Peter 4:7 says, "The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray."


BE ALERT. Look for opportunities to share your faith. Restrain yourself from being driven by the crippling need for everyone to like you, to be entertained, and to constantly pursue pleasure. Be ready to tell people about the changes they see in you. Live in freedom, and let the ripple effects of the changes in you touch everyone you meet.


My prayer for you today is that you will understand the depth of wonder and joy available to you when you allow Christ to consecrate you to Himself. It's more than praying a prayer, saying you believe. It's diving in deep, embracing "this Christian thing", and letting it transform your life. You will go from a person who may look like life is good to someone who has a deep understanding of what is truly good. Ask God to help you. He will give you the strength to do things that seemed impossible.


Join me. Let Christ consecrate you for His ministry, then let that consecration become a demonstration to all you meet of the power and grace of Jesus, alive in you. Let your life become a sanctuary of praise and worship.


Love, Kimberly


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