Why Can’t I Change?
There are a lot of things that we can change. We can change our clothes. We can change jobs. We can change the house we live in. We can relocate to another city. We can change cable companies. We can change our diet. There are so many things that we can change so easily.
Have you noticed that the things that you were praying for last year five years ago 10 years ago regarding your own personal life and growth are the exact same things you were praying for today
Why is it so hard for us to change?
Today I want to take a look at why it’s so hard for us to change. I want to look at some of the reasons why it’s difficult and then give you and I some hope for ways that God can set us free from the habits and addictions and weaknesses we’ve had for years.
1) We can’t change because we are too proud to ask for help
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:5,6
The reason why you can’t change can be put in three words. These words are profound. You’ve said them. Ready. I got this. I’m good. It’s not a problem for me. Everyone struggles with things like this. It’s no big deal. I got this. At the center of those three words are pride and arrogance. I got this is the beginning of the end for you.
Here’s a fact. You cannot learn and grow and change if your attitude in life is always “I got this.”
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
2) We can’t change because the devil knows our weaknesses
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
9 Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:9-11
Let me tell you something. Satan has cookies. He knows what your weaknesses are. He knows the areas of your life that you can’t resist. So he will show you those things over and over and over again. They will show up on the side of your computer. They will walk in front of you in yoga pants down the street. They will shout out to you from Krispy Kreme. They will call to you from BevMo.
How can I change?
1. Learn to set up guardrails in your life
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. I Peter 5:9
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1,2
What guardrails do you have in your life?
Listen I know you don’t want to hear that you might need to make some life changes if you want your heart to change.
No one wants to hear that you may need to change your friend group
No one wants to hear that they have to watch the parties they go to
No one wants to hear that they may have to change their TV habits
The last thing you want to do is have anyone cramp your style. Let me tell you something. Our style needs to be cramped.
2. Lean into God as your power source for change
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. I Peter 5:5-11
What’s the balance between developing discipline and relying on the power of God.
Clearly the church has said “Try harder, do this, do that, go to this seminar and you’ll be okay” Is there anything wrong with that? Where does it break down?
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1