The Power to Change

Recently, I came across a old quote from Pastor and Theologian R.C. Sproul, of Ligonier Ministries and Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, FL. In his book, The Prayer of the Lord, he says this:

“I think the greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible. Everyone is looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it—His Word. He alone has the power to change lives for eternity, and that power is focused on the Scriptures.” 

It struck me in that out of all the things churches, ministries, and even individual Christians look to, in seeking power to change their lives, the Bible is (as Dr. Sproul) mentions often the last place one looks for that power. Of course, the obvious question is why? I think one of the main reasons is as Americans, we are often more concerned with our circumstances than with character. For example, when we pray, how much time do we spend on asking God to change the things going on in our lives, as opposed to changing ourselves? Rather than asking God to change our will to be more in line with His, we are often quick to point to our circumstances for the reason(s) why our will isn’t currently aligned with His. “If God would just do this…if He would just change that (or that person, or this circumstance), or if He would just change His mind…then I could be more faithful!”

But it is interesting that when we read the Scriptures and specifically, the places in which we as Christians are being instructed to pray, we are encouraged to pray in ways that make God and His will known to us, as opposed to primarily petitioning the Lord to change our circumstances. Jesus taught the disciples to pray “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  The Apostle Paul, when praying for the church in Ephesus prays “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints; and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:16-19). In both Jesus’ and Paul’s prayers, the request is that the Lord make Himself known to us.

So the question is how does God do that? Through the Bible. It is His Holy Spirt, working through the reading and proclamation of His Word that has the power to change us and to conform us unto Christ’s image. After all, as Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

So it is the power of the Word that brings change to our hearts and lives. God may or may not see fit to change our circumstances when we pray (though I believe the Bible gives us warrant to pray for our circumstances); the real goal for change is our hearts, that we may be made more like Christ. Let us pray for the Lord to give us grace to understand this, and to pray and to seek the power to change through His Holy Word that He has revealed to us. Amen.

Get Connected

Are you interested in finding out more about Riverside Community Church?
- Would you like to get connected?
- We would love to hear from you! Contact Us

Contact Us

Riverside Community Church
Sundays at 10:30 am
311 Old Mill Road
Cartersville, Ga 30120
(470) 315-2344

Riverside Community Church is a mission church of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)