Young, angry people form a mob in the streets. They shout slogans and hold signs crystallizing the changes they want to make into a few memorable words.

A solitary figure lights a candle against the darkness he sees all around. He opens a Bible and perhaps a prayer book and in the dim and flaring lamp of the candle speaks ancient mysteries, unchanged from the time of Moses and David and Jesus.

Who will bring about real change, the protestor or the pray-er?

Both, we can be sure.

With violence one human system can bring down another and set itself up in its place to stand until a stronger group rises up with shouts and signs in the same streets.

Unseen by the human eye and certainly unrecorded by microphone or camera,

  • a heart turns from selfishness to servanthood.
  • A sinner turns around, repenting of his sin.
  • In a flash of grace seen only by spiritual eyes, forgiveness flows from the One who has been wronged to the wrongdoer and a new life begins.
  • Old ways pass away and new ways take their place.
  • A second birth on earth ignites a celebration in heaven. Angels dance and sing because another prodigal has started the long journey home.

These examples are not extreme as they may appear. Political protests affect change that may or may not be good, may or may not be lasting, and may or may not be legitimate. Wars are fought to change borders on a map, to free one people or to enslave another; only a few horrid things are certain in wars—death and destruction.

Prayer changes things in ways that are always good, though not always pleasant. God has chosen to work in league with mankind through spiritual things like, prayer, faith and obedience. These changes can be eternal and God has the legitimate right to make them. He is building a church and we are part of it.

The powers of hell will march against the church inflicting damage and wounding faithful soldiers, but there are things in the church which will remain unchanged by hell’s repeated assaults and the wounded warriors are healed while the battle still rages.

  • The Word of God is fixed and cannot be altered. It is written.
  • The Name of Jesus remains the hope of those who believe and the curse of those who do not. It is powerful.
  • The Father in Heaven remains secure on His throne of majesty. No power can unseat Him. He is unchanging.
  • The Spirit of God goes through the earth at the Father’s bidding, bearing the banner of Christ, convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. The Spirit is moving.
  • The empty cross stands against the moving clouds of a constantly changing cultural parade, unchanged in its message, untarnished in its purity, and undiminished in its power to save—to change hearts. It is finished.

In a time when the world is shaking with seismic change events and the ground beneath us trembles at the violence of the day, we stand on the unchanging Rock of Christ, impervious to the temporary storms of societies rising and falling around us.

We share with Him a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Hebrews 12:26-29

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken-that is, created things-so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
2 Corinthians 5:16-18 17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
James 1:16-18; 5:16
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Lord Jesus, You are my security. Changeless You remain in times of violent and constant change. At the same time, You have sent me into this world as an agent of change. I must preach Your peace into the constant conflict. I must sing Your praise over the noise of the lies wicked people tell. I must demonstrate Your compassion when I would rather shrink back from horrors of victimhood on every street corner. You have called me to shine a holy light into the back alleys where darkness goes unchallenged. You Holy Spirit goes deep into me to make the deep changes I need to be more like You. Change is present where it needs to be present—deep in my heart, and at my fingertips. Change is absent in Your great heart and to the glories of Your Kingdom. Amen.

Change My Heart, O God
Words and Music: Eddie Espinosa

Change my heart, O God, Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God, May I be like You.
You are the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me, This is what I pray.
Change my heart, O God, Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God, May I be like You.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

2 thoughts on “January 28

    1. Thanks, OJ! You, my friend, are an agent of change! Thanks for your dedicated defense of this country and for your faithfulness in prayer. I know the Lord hears you and will answer your prayers. Be blessed today! Steve


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