Malcolm Burleigh - Change

Change...

I want to talk to you about something that we teach about. We like to sing about it. We even celebrate the announcement of it. But few are willing to embrace it. I want to talk to you about change. Change is not only inevitable, it is necessary if we are going to fulfill what God has assigned to us.

It has been said that the only people who are excited about change are wet babies. And even they aren't happy about being changed. You know change isn't change until something changes.

I want you to take your Bible and follow me to 2 Kings, the seventh chapter, verse 3. "Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, 'why sit we here until we die?'

If we say, 'We'll go into the city- the famine is there and we will die and if we stay here we will die. So let's go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.'

Now Scripture doesn't indicate how long these lepers were camped outside of the city gates. There is nothing that points to how long they were in the condition or how they became lepers. However their questioning implies that they had come to a place in their situation where they had come to question the madness of staying where they were.

You see they came to a time, there comes a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud becomes more painful than the risk it takes to blossom. Notice the latter part of verse 3 in our text. "Why sit we here until we die?" In other words, for what reason? For what purpose? What's the cause? What is it accomplishing? These lepers began to ask themselves some hard questions, as must we.

What is it that has me tied to this situation? What is it that is causing me to circle this mountain again? What is the reason behind me holding on to this psychotic relationship? Why am I ignoring the obvious? Why am I struggling? Why am I struggling with deleting his/her phone number out of my phone?

Why do I continue to respond to their email? "Why sit we here until we die?"

Let's look at the word "here." For them, "here" was at the entrance of the city gate, a gate that promised access into shelter and provision. Now they couldn't go in if they wanted to. They were lepers. The gates were locked tight because of the siege and the city was experiencing a famine.

So what were they hoping to receive sitting there at the city gate? Let me tell you something. In baseball, you can't steal second base until you leave first. In other words, change, in order to change you has got to let go. "Why sit we here until we die?"

Where is here for you? Where is here for you? And how long will you stay there? Somebody needs to ask themselves some hard questions, understanding this, you can't move on until you fully let go. "Why sit I here?"

Well, the lepers decided that there was no chance for change as long as they sat or remained where they were.  Only the Lord knows the number of broken hearts and shattered dreams because people refuse and resist change.

Understand this, Saints, understand: fear has a way of paralyzing you. Wherever here is it will paralyze you if you remain there. Fear has a way of robbing you of all hope. If you think it is not yours to possess, you won't! If you can't or if you can live without it, you will. If you believe God has more than what you are enjoying, then I invite you I challenge you to make a change. Something on the inside of us has to rise up and challenge our situation by declaring "Why sit I here until I die?

Jesus, speaking to his disciples, declared one day, here me on this. Here is what he said: "Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Listen to what is being said: you can't become, you can't fully embrace, the call of God upon your life unless you change.

And you will never operate in that calling until you change. The Apostle Paul wrote this in I Corinthians chapter 13, verse 11: "When I was a child I talked like a child. I thought like a child. I reasoned like a child." But when I became… There it is, "when I became a man" when I made that transition, "I put away childish things."

Well, the lepers… the lepers decided to change and do something different in our text. Verse 5 reads at dusk they got up." All some of us need to do is just get up. Get up from your here. Get up and act in your faith. Get up and do something different. Scripture says:"without faith, it's impossible to please God. When you get up and act in faith the Lord will bring about what He has promised.

There are a lot of things that we are not experiencing, a lot of things that God has promised, that we are not enjoying right now because God is waiting on us to make the change, to make the transition. It has been said that the bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you refuse to change.

So if you do not transition in change, whatever begins to turn will and end to what you are doing or an end to who you are. So in verse 5 it says "at dusk they got up."

Now watch God! Watch God in this. Because verse 6 says "For the Lord had caused the Armenians to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army. So that they said to one another, "Look the king of the Israelites has hired the Hittites and the Egyptian king to attack us."

Verse 7 says: "So they got up and they fled in the dusk." When did the lepers get up? They got up at dusk. When did the army flee? The army fled at dusk. See we don't know what God will do when we decide to get up. The Lord uses the smallest acts of faith to confound and to frustrate the plans of the enemy. When the lepers got up in faith the Lord intervened on their behalf.

The Arameans didn't hear the army of the Hittites and the Egyptian king. They heard the faith that was in the leper's feet. God magnified those leper's feet and what the enemy heard was the pounding of their feet. God did that because the lepers decided to get up and do something different. So, who made the change? Who got up and walked? The lepers.

Get up and walk away from wherever "here" is for you. The process of getting up could be the answers to someone's prayers. You see these lepers got desperate for change and desperate people do desperate things. Are you desperate enough to get up and to believe God for change?

You see When the Lord brings you out of wherever here is for you it is not just for you. It is also for the blessing of others. Don't miss that saints. Don't miss that. God's blessing is not just for you it is also for the benefit of others.

Notice in verse 9 and 10: verse 9 says: Then they said to each other, "We are not doing right this is a day of good news and we're keeping it to ourselves." "If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the royal palace. Verse 10: So they went and they called to the city gatekeepers and they told them, "We went to the Armenian camp and not a man was there. Not a sound of anyone, only hitched horses and donkeys and the tents left just as they were."

Listen, the entire situation was transformed. Why? Because, four lepers refused to remain in a place of defeat. They got up. There was great celebration in the city because the lepers decided to initiate change by asking themselves, "Why sit we here until we die?"

Now, they didn't voluntarily give themselves over to become lepers. This disease was thrust upon them. Perhaps you are in your "here" wherever "here" is for you. It is not your doing. But you are there nonetheless. You see, we are not defeated because of who we are. Now hear me on this, we are not defeated because of who we are. We are defeated because of who we refuse to become. I am talking about change.

I have come to ask you, are you ready to leave wherever your "here" is. Verse 5 said: "They got up." I am challenging you today to get up out of your situation. For some of us, it might be a struggle. For others, it is a lot easier. But whether it is a struggle or easy, change needs to take place. There is a greater change that needs to take place and that is when we come to a place that we change the way we think to give our lives to the King of kings and the Lord of Lords.

I want to invite you to change, to give your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. I tell you that when you change it will be one of the greatest changes you have ever made. And the impact upon your life, well it will be difficult to describe. But you will never look back; you will never have a regret for making that change.

I want to lead you into a prayer of changing your situation and surrendering your life over to Jesus Christ. Will you pray with me?

Prayer

Repeat these words after me. "Lord Jesus, I admit that I have sinned. I am a sinner. And I am in need of Your forgiveness. The Word of God says that if I confess my sins before You, You are faithful and just to forgive of my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. God I come to You now. I give you my heart. I give You my life and I ask You to help me to live for You. I ask all of these blessings and promises in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen and amen.

That is a change that is going to transform your entire life!

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