NCW 25, November 1995
Q. When I read that yours is a fast changing church, it scares me and others. What people need most of all is security and stability, isn't it?
Our security is in He who never changes. Someone once said: "ALL CHANGE, BUT GOD REMAINS THE SAME." How true that is! If we didn't change, we would be God! And I don't suppose that for one minute either you or I would ever be presumptuous enough to claim divinity.
Change is a sign of progress...of growth. Like a tree climbing towards the sun, so too must we climb upwards towards Christ. A plant that does not grow does not possess the energy to grow flowers and bear fruit. A man who is stagnant cannot produce spiritual fruits.
Yes, we need security and stability of soul -- of the inner life -- but we should not be afraid of outer change. Christ is continually reforming us, molding us into His image. We must not only expect change but welcome it, even if at times the pace of change may exhaust us.
I have a tree in my garden that never seems to grow. It only ever produces about two or three fruits a year. In terms of fruitfulness, it is quite useless. Admittedly, I don't prune or manure it, so it's in large measure my fault.
God wants us to grow, and to make us grow he both nourishes us with spiritual "manure" as well as prunes us back, by limiting us, as we suppose. I have learned, through many rebellions, to see limitation as a blessing. In fact, one of the teachings of this Church is that we voluntarily agreed to self-limitation before we come to this world to challenge the tendency of our otherwise lazy spirits to make the best out of what we have. A person who has everything will be inclined to do nothing, but someone with nothing may well be inspired to action. It is no wonder, I believe, that so many of the world's millionaires started in poverty.
We must make the best of what we have and understand that our situation is deliberately designed by the Lord to progress our souls.
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