180 degree Turnaround

Can you really change?
After a lion is caged long enough he doesn’t even believe he’s a lion any more. Whatever has confined you in your life can only hold you captive if you allow it to continue to con- fine you. It’s time to break into new dimensions of life and freedom.
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (NAS)

New things have come! With God our change and transformation is a lifelong process that is filled with joy, hope and anticipation of more that he has in store. The mercies of the Lord are new every morning because He is constantly taking us to new places. Expect it! Believe it!

Change is about a shift in culture. You can experience inspiration to change without ever addressing the culture of your life. When this happens inspiration fades and the culture prevails like ruts holding you on a course. Don’t lose hope!

Shifting culture is like steering a ship. At first it appears that not much is going on. Steadily over time there begins to be a noticeable change in scenery. Before you know what happened the course of your life has been altered and you will never be the same.

It begins with a thought that seeds the idea. The idea sustained produces an attitude. The attitude sustained produces an atmosphere of your life. The atmosphere sustained produces a climate and the climate sustained produces a culture. It’s this renewed culture that prevails like ruts holding you on course when temptation tries to take you away.

Galatians 6 speaks of the Law of sowing and reaping. This law isn’t a law God designed to bring a curse. The law of sowing and reaping was designed by God to multiply blessing in your life.

God is in the business of great turn arounds. After all it was a murderer named Saul who turned around after meeting Christ and was given the new name Paul. He then wrote the book of Galatians, which talks about the law of sowing and reaping.

According to Paul people change when they meet Jesus. He’s also the divinely inspired writer of Corinthians referenced earlier 2 Cor 5:17. What we must realize is change is a process, not an event.

Mark Twain said, “It's easy to quit smoking. I've done it hundreds of times.”

Change is one of the most misunderstood concepts in our world. If you’re still struggling in an area of your life it’s a sure sign you’re not yet defeated. Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Keep fighting and keep struggling! You’re making more progress than you might think.

The expression of our transformed lives is the expression to our world that God’s Kingdom has come! The ability to change is the one ability that separates mankind from all other creation. Cows eat grass and will never change their own diet. Birds fly South and will never make alternate vacation plans. Trees bud when Spring-like conditions tell them to do so. People don’t change unless they understand how to address the culture of their lives.


We took a taxi from the hotel to experience the culture of Beijing. Faith and Lexi, ages 9 and 10 were excited to see the Chinese Acrobats performing downtown. At one point of our adventure we found ourselves walking down an alley that was packed with people and laced with more food than a state fair! Some things we recognized and some we did not. A variety of insects on sticks were available as delicacies.
As I approached one booth, observing scorpions in groups of three’s on skewers sticking up I was shocked to see slight movement. I blew on this arranged bouquet of critters and all of them responded with creepy crawling motion. My wife and girls all screamed at this surprising observation. My American friend, Ryan and I had to try this delicious treat. Okay it’s not what I would call delicious but we did try scorpion that evening right there in some back alley in Beijing, China!

Every ethnic group has a culture of its own. There are regional cultures within nations. The Southern United States are known for their hospitality and certain foods like okra, black-eyed peas and fried green tomatoes. There are cultural distinctions within cities, as various parts of any city can become known as the arts district or the business district, etc. Every home in every neighborhood has its own culture. Culture is a progression of thoughts and ideas that lead to attitudes, which produce an influencing atmosphere by which a person, family, city or region becomes known. Thoughts are the seeds of culture.

Thoughts of friendliness produce a culture of friendliness. People who have an atmosphere of friendliness draws people in like Tigger from the Winnie The Pooh series. There are those who have an atmosphere of heaviness like Eeyore whose greeting to Pooh Bear once was, "Good morning, Pooh Bear, if it is a good morning which I doubt." The culture of a person’s life can be understood and addressed if we peel back the layers of attitudes and ideas, which reveal the seeds of thoughts that produced them. Once we understand this process we can initiate the process of change effectively.


Good habits are as easy to form as bad ones. We develop bad habits through continued repetition. In the same way, we are fully capable of filling our lives with good habits.
Our brains are part computer and part chemical factory responding to stimulations and impulses making neurological connections. The brain is a collection of billions of interconnected neurons. Each neuron is a cell that uses biochemical reactions to receive, process and transmit information, integrating experiences with memories. There are even chemical rewards assigned to pleasurable or favorable experiences making these neurological connections on a cellular level. There are also negative chemical releases that occur as a result of neurological connections dealing with fear, stress or other negative emotions.

Habits, patterns and addictions all have the same developmental process. This God-ordained habit-forming mechanism in every person is part of His plan to empower us to our future. The Bible teaches us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds – Rom 12:2. The developmental process of habit-forming is so powerfully fortified with God’s design of chemical release and rewards to our system that God reveals it as a law. The law of sowing and reaping is actually intended to empower you to your God-given destiny as a result of Christ—centred thinking.

The first time a gymnast stands on a balance beam the struggle to balance is obvious with turning, twisting and waving arms. However, with enough practice, that same person can do unimaginable manoeuvres with ease and confidence. Everybody fell down the first time they tried to walk. In life we learn that everything is hard until it’s easy, both good and bad. The first time a person tells a lie their heart races and nervousness abounds. Whatever you keep doing eventually gets easier. Practice makes perfect so be careful what you practice.

The interaction with and the application of God’s Living Word will take us into another dimension of life. It’s not merely the truth that sets us free. It’s knowing the truth that sets us free.
John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

The process of change begins with knowing and practicing fresh thoughts of hope. Thoughts
sustained produce ideas. Ideas sustained produce attitudes that are deeply rooted in our hearts. Attitudes sustained produce an atmosphere about our lives by which we become known. Atmosphere sustained produces a climate that affects the lives of people around us. Climate sustained produces culture that becomes our legacy that lives on.


This article is from the new book 180 Degree turn- around.
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Pastor Lawrence Neisent 
Destiny Church OKC