Month: February 2017

Why Does It Matter That God Doesn’t Change?

Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young Write from the Deep podcast Why Does It Matter that God Doesn't Change?

39 – Why Does It Matter That God Doesn’t Change?

Change. For many that’s a four-letter word, especially when they’re in deep places and struggling to cope. But here’s the good news: there’s an anchor you can hold onto, an anchor that is grounded and firm and never changes.

Show Notes

We want to talk about change. Yes, the world changes around us every minute. Just look at technology these days. But people aren’t very consistent either. We feel great one day, fall back the next. Strong one day, then weak the next. Hot then cold. We are subject to emotions which are fickle, and frailty of our body and mind, which are decaying.

The danger is, do we sometimes see God that way? Do we think He might love us less on any given day? Give us less attention? Forget about us? Be angry? Does He get distracted and forget about us, even for a moment? Is He more attentive to those who are more important than we are—which, in our minds far too often, is everyone.

Do we truly value the unchangeable nature of God? Today we’ll focus on just how wonderful it is to serve a God who never changes.

 

What does it mean to be unchanging?

Steadfast. Firmly fixed in place.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“For I the Lord do not change…” Malachi 3:6

 

God will always exist.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.'” Revelation 4:5-8

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:2

 

Because God will always exist, so will His word.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8

“Forever, O Lord, Your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.” Psalm 119:89

 

Because He doesn’t change, His promises will never fail.

“God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19

 

God is perfect the way He is. He doesn’t need to grow or improve.

“As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 18:30

“He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4

 

He doesn’t get tired.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28

 

God’s love is perfect and it won’t fade or end. He doesn’t love us less on any given day.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end…” Lamentations 3:22

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. 4 to Him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. 5 who by His understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. 6 who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. 7 who made the great lights—His love endures forever. 8 the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. 9 the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1-9

 

God’s desire for us, for our interaction and devotion and attention, never wavers.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

 

God’s presence is always with us, and will be forever.

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

 

God’s steadfast love and faithfulness are not dependent on our ability to earn it or love Him or be faithful in return.

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful— for He cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:4

“For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” Psalm 18:31

 

Our best response in the unpredictable, ever-changing world.

  • Focus on God’s perfection, His steadfastness.
  • Live in a place of humility.
  • Recognize, value, and be thankful for the fact that He IS NOT LIKE US.
  • But rather than focusing on feeling bad for our frailty and weakness, glorify God in His strength and rely on Him.

“I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5

 

Links to the hymns. Do yourself a favor. Soak in them for a while.

Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

Great is Thy Faithfulness

O God Our Help in Ages Past

 

We Want to Hear from You!

What do you think is the best facet of God’s unchangeable nature?

 

Tweetables

Why does it matter that God doesn’t change?

Who cares if God doesn’t change? You should! And here’s why.

Please share!
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How Do You Overcome Defeat?

Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young talk about how to overcome defeat on the Write from the Deep Podcast

38 – How Do You Overcome Defeat?

Defeat is never fun. It can bring a host of emotional baggage with it, weighing us down, demoralizing us so much that we doubt our ability to do anything. So how do we keep defeat from undermining us? By seeing it through the eyes of faith. And how do we do that? Get ready to find out!

Show Notes

We need defeat, apparent or real, for God to bring about victory.

Apparent defeats in the Bible:

Exodus, chapter 5
Moses’s first conversation with Pharaoh leads to Pharaoh’s angry order that the Israelites must now produce bricks without being given straw. They’ll have to work far harder and find straw themselves. But ultimately God wanted to lead them out of slavery through a larger, more glorious victory.

Daniel, chapter 3
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are thrown into a blazing furnace when they refuse to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. Yet in this apparent defeat, the men are rescued. God’s victory is so complete that there isn’t even a sign of scorching on their clothes or the smell of fire on them.

 

What does this say to us about how to react in the face of seeming defeat?

  • We want to be different from the world around us.

 

What is the reaction of the world?

  • To exercise doubt, despair, and frustration
  • To build the anger and “victim” muscles
  • To let trust grow flabby and weak

 

What is the reaction of faith?

  • Exercise trust and patience
  • Build the suffering servant muscles
  • Build the endurance and perseverance muscles
  • Let words of truth grow strong and powerful.

 

What if we start to react in the world’s way?

STOP. The second you realize it, stop. Turn around. Focus on God.

The more you do this, the more you train yourself—and your faith—to respond in faith. To lean into God and trust Him with the outcome.

Reacting is an instinct. Responding is a choice. A deliberate action. We want to train ourselves to respond.

Does this mean every defeat you face in the world will be turned to victory? Yes, but the timing is in God’s hands. The question isn’t if you’ll see the victory pulled from defeat, but if you will let God use these opportunities to strengthen you and your faith.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

 

We want to hear from you!

What are some ways God has brought you victory through apparent defeat?

 

Tweetable:

Defeat doesn’t have to defeat you!

 

Please share!
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