Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CHANGE ME, LORD!

I am not against Christian counseling. Many people are responding to the counseling they are getting, and it is healing their lives, marriages and homes. Indeed, counseling has become a major ministry in the church of Jesus Christ. Almost every large congregation in America has at least one full-time counselor on staff and here at Times Square Church, we use a number of counselors.

But I see more and more troubled Christians who don’t respond at all to the counseling they receive. They may be ministered to for weeks, even months, with no results. A pastor or counselor can take them step by step through the Scriptures, showing them the clear truth of God’s Word. He can tell them, “Here is what God says about your problem. He says you’re supposed to do this and this.” He confronts them with the reality that if they don’t forsake their sin, they will incur God’s judgment.

Yet none of this counsel registers. Why? There is a spiritual veil over the eyes of these people. They have a terrible blindness to their own guilt and need to change.

Since I began pastoring, I’ve been caught in the middle of many family feuds and I can testify that few of these wars are ever resolved outside of supernatural intervention. Why? Because everybody wants the other person to change.

One party tells me, “Why is he so stubborn? It’s awful. He needs to change.” Then I hear something similar from the other party: “How can she be so hard-hearted? She knows I’m doing the best I can. Is this what I get for being kind to her?”

It’s always the other person’s fault, the other one who needs to change. That is why I believe no amount of counseling will have an impact until God’s people resolve something. We all have to make this our sincere, daily prayer: “O God, change me.”

We spend far too much time praying, “God, change my circumstances; change my coworkers; change my family situation; change the conditions in my life.” Yet we seldom pray this most important prayer: “Change me, Lord. The real trouble isn’t my spouse, my sibling, my friend. I’m the one who stands in need of prayer.”

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed (changed) by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).