home > Pastor’s Desk > 2022 > October 28th > I AM WHO I AM BUT I AM NOT WHO I USED TO BE BUT I AM NOT YET WHO I WILL BE

I AM WHO I AM BUT I AM NOT WHO I USED TO BE BUT I AM NOT YET WHO I WILL BE

One of the greatest lies that the would-be enemy of all souls attempts to perpetuate is that we are what we are and we can never change. This lie is whispered into the ears of many people’s invisible ears so imperceptibly that they actually think it originated with them. “You were born this way – and you can never change”, “This is who you really are – and you can never change”, “There’s no hope of anything ever changing for better – so you might as well just kill yourself” and so on. But these sly alien voices inside the heads of the vulnerable are lies. People can change. People do change. Some circumstances were always going to be temporary and were always going to change. I know this is true because I am living proof. I am who I am but I am not who I used to be and I am not yet who I will be.

But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and His grace toward me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them,
though it was not I,
but the grace of God that is with me.
First Corinthians 15:10

In the divinely planted paradisical garden the would-be enemy of all souls deceived the First-Woman. “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (Gen. 3:4-5). The heart of the Evil-One’s deception was the distorted and sarcastic claim, “You will be like God.” The First-Woman was strangely enchanted by this deception. I need to interrupt myself at this point because there are several things we need to know about God: God uniquely possesses eternality, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, and immutability. Only God possesses immutability. That is, only God never changes because only He is infinitely perfect. The irony of the Evil-One’s temptation was that the First-Woman was actually created to be like God in many ways – except in the ways that make God unique —

¶ Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds
of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth
and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
¶ So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:26-27

The deception of the Evil-One’s false claim was immediately exposed when Adam and the First-Woman succumbed to their Enemy’s temptation. Not only did they not become like God in every respect, they actually lost some of the attributes they had possessed which did reflect God’s image in them. After this fall from their original innocence, Adam and the First-Woman discovered for themselves that they were not – and never were – immutable (unchangeable) like God is. The truth is that the fall of the original human pair which resulted decay, deterioration, disease, and death – which are all indicators that every human being is subject to change.

But this truth also has a positive element. Even shortly after the Fall of mankind, God changed mankind’s location and then charged them to change their surroundings and then he told Cain that he should have changed his sinful emotions. The power to choose enables the power to change.

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD,
choose this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River,
or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.
But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
…Then Joshua said to the people,
“You are witnesses against yourselves that you
have chosen the LORD, to serve Him.”
And they said, “We are witnesses.”
Joshua 24:15, 22

The apostle Paul is a prime example of the capacity for a person to change – particularly when empowered by the grace of God to do so. He was a religious zealot for Judaism. He was extremely religious. But he then discovered that, despite being religious, his religious devotion to a falsehood could never have made him right with God. When he encountered the Risen Christ, he changed. He changed his mind, his views, his perceptions of God, and he changed his views about non-Jews. As we observe the young apostle Paul we hear him telling his readers that he was –

Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
Second Corinthians 11:5

For I am the least of the apostles,
unworthy to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God.
First Corinthians 15:9

To me, though I am the very least of all the saints,
this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Ephesians 3:8

The apostle Paul seems to have changed over the course of his life from a rather self-confident man to a very humble man. This life-journey was not unique to Paul. In fact, the record of history reveals that most of those people who encounter Christ, either in person or through His Word, embark on a similar journey. While all human-beings have the capacity to change, whenever a person encounters Christ, the capacity to change for the better is supernaturally empowered. And this has been my story and my journey so far (which is not over yet) The apostle Paul attributed his lifetime of positive change to the grace of God working on his heart. The same grace is available to you.

But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and His grace toward me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them,
though it was not I,
but the grace of God that is with me.
First Corinthians 15:10

For those who have been lied to that they are what they are and that they can never change, there is good news. You can change. And if you encounter Jesus in person or through His Word you can change in truly positive ways. And I should know. I have. And you can too. Here is the invitation from Jesus for you to experience previously unbelievable change –   

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Second Corinthians 5:17

You are not yet who you could be. But if you surrender to Christ, history tells us – and I can personally confirm, you can become who you were created by God to be. And perhaps for where you’re at now in your life, this might be the best news you’ve heard today.

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

1 Comment

  1. LYDIA

    Amen to everything you have written above Andrew.

    Reply

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