A Nugget from New Life Network
Scripture for the Day (October 5, 2016)
Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
The first scripture that most theological scholars would quote in answer to our question on whether God ever changes would be Malachi 3:6 which says, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” The reason I even attempt to step into this minefield is that I believe that many people have a misunderstanding of God, which negatively affects their freedom in the Spirit and their daily walk with the Lord.
What exactly does “change not” mean? There is no doubt that there are many attributes of God that will never change. He is God! He is Holy! He is the Creator! He is eternal! Those are the type of things that will never change. The problem comes in when we extend the definition of “change not” from Godly attributes to Godly actions. It is there where we run into this two thousand year tug of war between law and grace.
In Galatians 2 we see this heated disagreement going on where Paul withstood Peter to his face for separating himself from the Gentiles. It was the classic argument of works versus grace, Old Covenant versus New Covenant. Paul was not at all happy with Peter or the Galatians for trying to require the Gentiles to follow Jewish laws and customs. He put it like this:
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Galatians 2:21- 3:5)
The point is this. God does change and those changes are always for the good. Our human nature does not like change but there are examples all through the Bible where God changed His approach and actions. The following are just a few examples:
1. Changed from using floods – And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. (Genesis 9:11)
2. Moses prays for God to change His mind – So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people. (Exodus 32:14, NLT)
3. Changed His mind about Nineveh – And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. (Jonah 3:10)
4. Changed to a New Covenant – But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. (Hebrews 8:6-7, NLT)
I believe that the biggest change of all was when Jesus came to Earth as a baby and died on a cross, even though it was planned from the foundation of the world. My wife wanted to call this devotional, “A Baby Changes Everything.” As a mother or father you understand where she is coming from. The birth of a baby changes things. The death of a son changes things even more. The birth and crucifixion of Jesus was a big change for everybody. My wife believes it even changed the Father. I cannot prove that scripturally, but I think she’s right.
Paul said it best, “Do not frustrate (make void, nullify, ignore, reject, set aside) the grace of God.” We do that when we put God in a religious box that contains a bunch of rules and regulations. It paints a picture of God as a hard hearted tyrant or dictator. God is neither! He is your Father and He loves you!