Can I Change?

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Many people respond well to Christian counseling as a means of helping to heal marriages and homes. Indeed, counseling has become a major ministry in the church today. But more and more troubled Christians do not respond to the counseling they receive. Why? Because a spiritual veil has settled over their eyes — a blindness to their own guilt and need to change. And that veil must be removed before any change is possible in their lives.

“Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:16-17).

The Bible speaks clearly to all who would obey the Lord: “You cannot be changed if you remain willingly blind to God’s Word.” In verse 16, “turn” means “to reverse course.” In short, Paul is saying, “You must admit that the course you’re taking has brought you to emptiness, ruin, despair.” 

Change is exclusively the work of the Holy Spirit: “How will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?” (2 Corinthians 3:8). We simply cannot change ourselves; only the Spirit of God can conform us to the glorious image of Christ. Paul experienced this kind of change when he was still known as Saul, traveling down the road to Damascus to persecute the Christians there. The Lord intercepted him and created a crisis in order to completely change the course of his life (see Acts 9).

In order to see change, several things must happen. First, you must grow in the knowledge of God’s mercy, which is followed by the assurance that you will not give up, no matter how bad things get. “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:1). And then, you must totally forsake all hidden things in your life: “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (4:2).

God will change you when you submit to his Word and the transforming power of his Spirit. Resign yourself to his will today and allow him to make you an overcomer. Stay in his Word, call on his name diligently, and trust the Holy Spirit to change you.