This summer our focus is helping us each experience a “rewrite” in our personal relationship with God. A rewrite is more than a cliche or temporary behavior modification – it’s a permanent and inspirational change that begins when we decide to focus our attention on God and embrace what he wants.
Before we can experience a rewrite, we must ask ourselves these questions:
Do I believe in change?
Do I believe people can change?
Do I believe I can change?
In order for God to rewrite our story, we must embrace a life of change.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
God is the author of our story, and therefore he is the one who can rewrite it. This scripture also says that no one can run the race God marks out for them without first being set free from sin!
3 Enemies of Rewrites
Three sins that will kill our rewrite are pride, bitterness and unbelief.
You have been deceived by your own pride because you live in a rock fortress and make your home high in the mountains. ‘Who can ever reach us way up here?’ you ask boastfully.
Obadiah 1:3 (NLT)
Pride creates an identity crisis. There is a battle between who you think you are and what the Bible teaches you are. Pride makes us think we are able to do things by ourselves, like change ourselves and resist temptation by ourselves. As a result, we get stuck in a stand-still. We can’t actually change and we feel frustrated.
So what’s the solution to pride? Take a look at this scripture:
God has given me a special gift, and that is why I have something to say to each one of you. Don’t think that you are better than you really are. You must see yourself just as you are. Decide what you are by the faith God has given each of us.
Romans 12:3 (ERV)
Before you can experience a rewrite you have to admit the truth of who you really are. This doesn’t have to be discouraging; the more honest you are with yourself the more you can be grateful for how much faith God has in you.
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Hebrews 12:15 (NLT)
Bitterness will trouble and corrupt your faith. If you have bitterness in any area of your heart, you will be consumed with what can’t happen instead of what can. You won’t be able to have faith that God can rewrite your story.
And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Mark 6:5-6 (NLT)
Jesus actually couldn’t do any miracles among people who were unbelieving. If you have unbelief in your heart, God actually can’t help you have a rewrite. What areas of unbelief do you need to deal with in your relationship with God?
Are you a blamer?
So how do you know that these 3 sins are controlling your life? You become a blamer. Everything is someone else’s fault; you approach life with a victim mentality instead of taking ownership and responsibility.
I read this story by Keerti from New Delhi, India:
One day all the employees reached the office and they saw a big advice on the door on which it was written: Yesterday the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym.
In the beginning, they all got sad for the death of one of their colleagues, but after a while they started getting curious to know who was that man who hindered the growth of his colleagues and the company itself. The excitement in the gym was such that security agents were ordered to control the crowd within the room. The more people reached the coffin, the more the excitement heated up. Everyone thought: Who is this guy who was hindering my progress? Well, at least he died! One by one the thrilled employees got closer to the coffin, and when they looked inside it they suddenly became speechless. They stood nearby the coffin, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul. There was a mirror inside the coffin: everyone who looked inside it could see himself. There was also a sign next to the mirror that said:
There is only one person who is capable to set limits to your growth: IT IS YOU. You are the only person who can revolutionize your life. You are the only person who can influence your happiness, your realization and your success. You are the only person who can help yourself.
Blaming sometimes feels easier in the moment, but to have a rewrite we have to learn to take responsibility for our own choices. We can no longer blame other people or our circumstances for why we are the way we are. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond.
How do you respond to challenges? Let’s look at a man in the Bible who took responsibility and had faith in the midst of challenging circumstances, instead of blaming God or others around him.
3 Keys to a Rewrite – Learned from Abraham’s Life
Abraham allowed God to rewrite his story. In order to truly appreciate and respect Abraham’s story, think about something you’ve been waiting for, for a long time. At different stages of our lives we are waiting for different things. We wait for the right guy or the right girl, or a baby, or a job promotion, or any number of other things.
Abraham waited until he was 75 for God to promise him a child, and then 25 more years for the baby to be born after God told him he would have one. That’s a lot of waiting, but Abraham remained faithful. What happens to us when we wait for a long time? We often get bitter, proud and unbelieving instead of remaining faithful like Abraham did. Let’s look at 3 keys to a rewrite, taken from the life of Abraham:
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[d] be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Genesis 15:1-6 (NIV)
From this scripture, we can find 3 keys to letting God rewrite our story:
1. Fear (Admitting it)
Abraham was afraid that he wouldn’t get what he really wanted. Instead of stuffing this inside and pretending he didn’t really want a kid, he was honest with God. What fears do you need to express to God?
Abraham made a shift in how he thought about God. It wasn’t just about what he could get from God anymore, but decided to trust God and serve him even if it meant not having kids on his timeline.
So I beg you, brothers and sisters, because of the great mercy God has shown us, offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him—an offering that is only for God and pleasing to him. Considering what he has done, it is only right that you should worship him in this way. Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.
Romans 12:1-2 (ERV)
Do you let God change your thinking? Or do you try to change yourself to think more like the world does around you?
After he admitted his fears and changed his thinking, Abraham made a decision to believe God’s promise about his destiny for him. Do you believe your emotions more than what God says in the Bible?
So, when God told Abraham that he would give him a son who would have many descendants and become a great nation, Abraham believed God even though such a promise just couldn’t come to pass! And because his faith was strong, he didn’t worry about the fact that he was too old to be a father at the age of one hundred, and that Sarah his wife, at ninety, was also much too old to have a baby. But Abraham never doubted. He believed God, for his faith and trust grew ever stronger, and he praised God for this blessing even before it happened. 21 He was completely sure that God was well able to do anything he promised. And because of Abraham’s faith God forgave his sins and declared him “not guilty.” Now this wonderful statement—that he was accepted and approved through his faith—wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was for us, too, assuring us that God will accept us in the same way he accepted Abraham—when we believe the promises of God who brought back Jesus our Lord from the dead.
Romans 4:18-24 (TLB)
Make a decision today to start taking on these 3 keys to a rewrite, and you will experience a transformation in your relationship with God this summer!