A Desire to Change
But you have done more evil than all who were before you, for you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molded images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back. – 1 Kings 14:10
Jeroboam had about as good of a start as anyone could have. A man of God came to him during the reign of Solomon at precisely the time when Solomon began to build public altars to other gods for his foreign wives. The man of God made sure Jeroboam understood why 10 of the tribes were going to be stripped away and be under his rulership. Unfortunately, just because he had a good start, it did not ensure he would have a good finish.
In order to keep people from traveling back to the temple in the southern kingdom of Judah to worship God, Jeroboam decided to do the very thing Solomon did to have the kingdom divided in the first place . . . set up altars of worship to foreign gods. Even though he was divinely warned, even having his arm wither in an instant and then restored in an instant, he refused to change. Once Jeroboam got a taste of power, he could not let it go.
I look back over my life on things that were so hard to change. I’m talking about things that seemed impossible to stop doing. Just like Jeroboam, I thought I’d lose the rulership of my own kingdom if I really followed what God was obviously asking me to do. Here’s the thing: I eventually did lose control over my own kingdom, and in the end, it was wonderful.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, I don’t know) for us, God never allows us to see what is on the other side of our obedience to Him. He didn’t show me my wife on the other side of obedience to Him regarding my boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. He didn’t show me the financial blessings on the other side of learning to tithe. He certainly didn’t show me true peace and contentment on the other side of studying and applying His Word to my life. Had He shown me the blessings beforehand, I might would have done them for the rewards and not the rewarder.
So what does a person do when sin has such a hold on them that they just refuse obedience to God? What do they do when they feel that they absolutely can’t let go of what little bit of perceived control they have over their own life? How do you avoid Jeroboam’s fate?
You become poor in spirit. Remember the Sermon on the Mount? Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).
Nothing has transformed my life like the five words “Lord, I’m poor in spirit.” When what I want does not line up with what He wants, I just admit it. I pray to Him, “Lord, if you don’t change my heart, I will not change. I can’t do it on my own.”
I can’t begin to tell you how He honors this prayer. Don’t think that the prayer will “fix” you or your problems instantly. God has never been into instant. But, it will give you a sense of depending on Him like you’ve never had before. Then, over time, you won’t know how He did it, you won’t even know when He did it, but you will discover that He changed you.
You will discover that Jesus is everything He says He is.