Experience True Change

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Photo credit: David Whitlow, courtesy of AFFIRM Films/Provident Films

In War Room, as Elizabeth begins to pray, we see change take place in more than just her marriage and the life of her husband. Elizabeth herself begins to change, as well! At the beginning of the movie, she is angry and frustrated, gets into arguments with her husband when provoked, and doesn’t make the time to spend with her daughter that the little girl longs for. As the movie progresses, she begins to invest more time in her relationship with her daughter and respond to her husband in a gracious and loving manner, showing him respect even when he doesn’t deserve it. Her husband takes note of the difference, and wonders what’s going on. Here’s what happened – as she began spending time with God, she started to become more like Him!

As believers, we are to follow God’s example (Ephesians 5:1). The problem? No matter how hard we try to do this, we end up failing. Why? Because God is perfect and in and of ourselves, we aren’t. Even if we’re doing the best we possibly can, we will still fall short one way or another. The answer? Spending time with God, allowing His love and grace to transform us!

Have you ever found yourself using your mom or dad’s favorite expression, or thinking something was cool that you had previously disliked because your friends at school were into it? The people we spend most of our time with really do influence us. Spend enough time with someone, and they will rub off on you. In the same way, if you’re spending enough time with God, He will begin to rub off on you. You’ll become more like Him without even having to try hard, just by taking time to hang out with Him. You’ll be transformed effortlessly!

If you’re having a hard time living the way that you know you should, don’t give up! Instead of struggling on your own, focus on spending time with God, getting to know Him better, and experience true change in your life!

Make Spending Time with God a Priority

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Photo credit: David Whitlow, courtesy of AFFIRM Films/Provident Films

At one point in the latest Kendrick Brothers movie, War Room, Miss Clara asks Elizabeth about her prayer life. Elizabeth, who is having problems in her marriage, says that she’s busy. Miss Clara comments on the fact that in spite of her busyness and lack of time for prayer, she seems to still have time to fight losing battles with her husband.

How often do we do this – get so caught up in the busyness of our lives that we neglect spending time with God? We have so much going on that we aren’t sure how to get it all done, and praying and reading the Bible are often two of the first things we let slide. Maybe you’re wondering what you’re supposed to do about it – after all, you have certain things you need to get done, and there isn’t much time left over.

The truth of the matter, however, is that we will end up finding time for whatever we consider a priority. If we prioritize spending time with God, chances are we will be able to find time to do it. The cool thing is that instead of taking time away from us, spending time with God can actually help us out in areas in which we’re struggling, including giving us the strength and energy to handle everything else well, and wisdom in how to balance it all!

Still aren’t sure why spending time with God is such a big deal? Here are some more reasons why it’s important to do so.

  • The more you spend time with Him, the more you’ll become like Him. Hang out with someone long enough, and they’ll rub off on you. Spend enough time with God, and you’ll become more like Him!
  • He knows you better than anyone else. Spending time with God is amazing, because no matter what kind of a day you’re having, He knows what you need, and how to help you!
  • You’ll find encouragement in what He has to say to you. There are days when we are in need of encouragement, and His Word is filled with uplifting, encouraging news!
  • God can give you wisdom, and tell you things you need to know, but you need to take time to listen to what He has to say.

How much importance do you place on spending time with God? Begin to make it a priority. Take the time to read God’s Word and talk to Him, and see the difference it will make in your life!

Receive Grace, and Show It Towards Others

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Photo Credit – David Whitlow, courtesy of AFFIRM Films/Provident Films

In War Room, Miss Clara asked Elizabeth, who was struggling in her marriage, if God still loved her husband after all he’d done, and if she still loved him. Elizabeth has to admit that God still loved him, and she said that she had love for him, but that it was buried under tons of frustration. Miss Clara said that in that case, what was needed was for her to show grace towards her husband. Elizabeth wasn’t so sure she wanted to show grace to him – after all, he didn’t deserve it! Miss Clara pointed out how we all desire grace and forgiveness, yet at the same time, we don’t always want them extended to others. She told Elizabeth that God not only gives us grace, but will also help us to give it to others.

When others treat you wrongly, what is your response? Is it difficult for you to forgive them? Do you feel like they aren’t deserving of grace, and a second chance?

Do you know what the amazing thing about grace is? We DON’T deserve it, yet God gives it to us anyways! That’s what grace is – being given the blessings you don’t deserve (if you deserved it, it would be payment you’ve earned, not grace). Grace is what God’s given us, and it is what He desires for us to give to others.

How can you give grace to others – particularly when it is the last thing you want to do? Usually, when we have a hard time showing grace to others, it’s because we don’t really understand or haven’t received it ourselves. You see, God offers grace (undeserved forgiveness, relationship with Him, and blessings) to each one of us, but not everyone accepts it. There are even many believers who are trying to earn God’s love and acceptance instead of just receiving His grace. You can’t give grace to others if you haven’t received it yourself!

The answer? Understand this – you don’t need to try to be good enough to please God. He isn’t counting your mistakes against you! He wants to give you His forgiveness, love, acceptance, goodness, and blessings as free gifts, regardless of anything good or bad that you’ve done. Embrace His grace! The more you begin to do so, the easier it will become to give grace to others!