There is something in the human mind that fears change. Small children cling to their routines. My nine month old granddaughter has several routines she does at our house. We have a routine we do with Grandpa’s hat. We have another we do with taking a walk around the yard and squirting the hose on the garden.
I have a routine for getting ready to go to work or leave the house for church. If I get out of sequence, I may realize half way through the day that I don’t have a belt on or I forgot to shave. I even have a routine for making tacos.
We get comfortable with what becomes “normal.” When Jesus visited the land of the Gadarenes and cast the demons out of the naked wild man in Luke 8:26-39, everyone in that entire region became gripped with fear and begged Jesus to leave their area.
Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Luke 8:35
Even in church, where we are in the change business, we fear any change to our man-made traditions. The seven deadliest words to any Christian or any local church are: We’ve never done it that way before. We desire growth and ministry success as long as it doesn’t require any major changes to our religious routine.
Jesus had a secret weapon to convince the Gadarenes that change was good. He and his ministry team left behind the most powerful weapon against resistance to change – a changed life. Jesus didn’t hold a conference on the deep things of God, he left behind a person who had been famously messed up by the devil and then changed by the power of God. The next time they visited this area, they were welcomed with open arms.
Living out the changes that God is bringing in our personal lives is the most powerful weapon for change in our churches and communities. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine and watch God begin to change the hearts of others around you.
Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you…. Luke 8:39a