In sport one change can transform the result. We can probably all remember a sports event where a coach has made a decision that has literally changed the game. Perhaps it has been a strategic move or a change of personnel. It has become a game changer.
In 1980, while working at the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Tim Berners Lee first described the concept of a global system, based on the concept of ‘hypertext’, that would allow researchers anywhere to share information. He also built a prototype called ‘Enquire’.
In 1989, he published a paper called ‘Information Management: A Proposal’ in which he married up hypertext with the Internet, to create a system for sharing and distributing information not just within a company, but globally. He named it the World Wide Web.
During the past few hundred years there have been people who have changed our world – people like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Michael Faraday, Louis Pasteur and latterly, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, have been game changers.
They have changed the way we live.
KING JOSIAH – THE GAME CHANGING KING!
I love the story of King Josiah in the Old Testament (you can read his story in 2 Chronicles 34).
“Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” (2 Kings 23:25)
WHAT MADE JOSIAH A GAME CHANGER?
My wife, Julia and I have been binge watching the Crown on Netflix. We love it! I can only imagine the massive challenges Elizabeth faced becoming Queen at 25 – but imagine becoming King at 8! That’s what happened to Josiah and even at that early age he became a game changer. What made him a game changer?
- He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord
- Followed the ways of his father David, not turning to the right or the left (2 Chronicle. 24:2)
- At 16 – He began to seek the Lord, whilst he was still young
- At 20 – He began to purify and purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles and idols and directed the removal of the altars to the Baals…
As he grew to the grand old age of 26:
- He repaired and restored the temple of the Lord his God
- He re-discovered and read the word of God
- He repented and led his people in repentance and reformation – they returned to their God. They pledged together to obey God again and serve Him
- Celebrated the Passover again (this had not been observed properly since the days of Samuel)
- Provided lambs (30,000) and 3000 cattle for the people to sacrifice
JOSIAH – LOOKING CLOSER
It’s highly unlikely you or I will ever be a king or queen, however you have the potential to change your life or the world around you! So what can we learn from young Josiah?
- He began to seek God
Something caused that young man (16) to start to really seek God.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
Have you discovered how to really seek God?
This becomes even more critical when we want to see something change.
We each need to discover how to do this for ourselves…
“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34:10)
Is it time you began to really seek God….to see and bring about real change in your life?
- He re-discovered God’s Word and read it – this brought a fresh perspective and more importantly a ‘God perspective’
I wonder where do you need this? There really is no substitute for reading God’s Word each day. What does the bible say about the bible?
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) – God’s Word brings change!
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:7-8)
Is it time you picked your bible up again…? The Word of God could literally change your life.
- His heart was responsive to God
“Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 34:27)
God responds when we respond to Him. Truth.
I have discovered that change comes in my life for the better when I respond to what God is asking me to do. I believe we reap what we sow. I’ve discovered that often simple acts of obedience can open the biggest doors and bring answers to prayer and unexpected favour from God.
Let’s be people who are responsive to God. We live in a tough, cynical, hard world – so let’s be people who are soft, malleable, available, and who quickly respond to what God puts on our hearts to do.
- He humbled himself before God
“Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
He tore his clothes and wept. It was genuine. His relationship with God was such that he knew that He had let God down and it broke him.
True repentance brings change. He changed the way he lived and changed the way the people lived.
Idolatry ended on his watch – what needs to end on your watch?!
Game changers live differently from now on.
In what way do you think God wants you to live differently from now on?
What is the Holy Spirit on your case about? (He has probably been on your case for some time!)
Often nothing will change until you change and respond to God…
Sometimes we have to be willing to humble ourselves before God:
- Recognise we’ve messed up
- Not as smart as we thought
- God is God
- Our ‘efforts’ aren’t working
- Don’t have the answers: ‘God I don’t know what to do here!’
- Out of our depth etc.
James promises that if we will humble ourselves before God then He will lift us up…’ (James 4:10)
- He did what was right before God
God loves it when we honour Him. He so blessed that man or that woman! He blessed Israel during Josiah’s reign and withheld the impending judgment.
Doing what is right can be a game changer. It can change your life.
I have a friend who is a builder and he was asked to quote to re-tarmac a major shopping mall. The reason he received the contract was because out of integrity he told them one of the car parks didn’t need doing for two years when they asked him to quote for the lot. God honoured him when he did what was right.
You may be struggling to do what’s right at home, work, college but God honours those who do what’s right.
“Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.” (Psalm 106:3)
- He provided for others needs
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13)
You can change your situation by changing someone else’s.
In my opinion there are few greater joys than blessing someone else. Julia and I often send gifts to people who are struggling, we have in fact helped countless people out down the years from our own pockets. That’s our heart.
God sees (check out my post on this here)
God rewards what is done in secret.
Who can you be generous too? Who can you help?
“This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.” (1 John 3:16-17 MSG)
Who can you just really bless?
It will be a game changer for them and for you!
WHAT COULD BE A GAME CHANGER FOR YOU?
“The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again or doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,”
(Attributed to either Albert Einstein, Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin)
I wonder where you really want to see your life change more than anything else?
What could change your outlook, present, past, future?
Has your heart become calloused, hard, unforgiving, angry, bitter, disappointed, depressed, unexpectant, sad, faithless, bad attitude, prejudiced
‘Above all else guard the heart for it is the well spring of life.’ (Proverbs 4:23)
What could change your relationships
What one thing could change your relationship with your spouse, sibling, parents, work mate, boss, teacher, neighbour, friend?
What could change your home or family life?
Is there disorder, disorganisation, stress, anxiety, pressure?
Is there tension, disharmony, arguments, disagreements, unforgiveness, strife?
Are children running wild and disobediently?
What could be the game changer?
Who is going to take the lead?
Do you need to seek some help? Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or a pastor.
What could change your finances?
Here are some simple suggestions:
- Spend less than you earn
- Having an agreed budget
- Asking the question ‘Do I really need to buy that?’
- Adopting the 80/10/10 budget rule if possible
- Start to give regularly – put God first. He always honours that. Test it.
What could change your perspective on your career/job/ministry/service
“A man came across three masons who were working at chipping chunks of granite from large blocks. The first seemed unhappy at his job, chipping away and frequently looking at his watch. When the man asked what it was that he was doing, the first mason responded, rather curtly, “I’m hammering this stupid rock, and I can’t wait ’til 5 when I can go home.”
”A second mason, seemingly more interested in his work, was hammering diligently and when asked what it was that he was doing, answered, “Well, I’m moulding this block of rock so that it can be used with others to construct a wall. It’s not bad work, but I’ll sure be glad when it’s done.”
”A third mason was hammering at his block fervently, taking time to stand back and admire his work. He chipped off small pieces until he was satisfied that it was the best he could do. When he was questioned about his work he stopped, gazed skyward and proudly proclaimed, “I…am building a cathedral!”
The three men were all doing the same thing and yet all three had different attitudes:
- The first man had a job.
- The second man had a career.
- The third man had a calling.
President JF Kennedy was visiting NASA and saw a janitor mopping up the floor. JFK asked him what his job was at NASA and the gentleman said, “I’m helping send a man to the moon.”
It’s all about perspective.
Changing your perspective can change your life.
Game changer! Can you see the bigger picture?
You might feel you’re only laying bricks but in actual fact you’re building a cathedral.
You might feel you’re only serving on the team – but you’re changing lives – you’re part of His Kingdom – forcefully advancing into the community. Changing lives!
What could change your relationship with God?
Is it time to re-invest in the most important relationship of all?
Is it time to return to your first love and do the things you did at first? (Rev. 2:4-5)
What could change with a little imagination?
‘When we stop living out of imagination and start living out of memory, we start dying.’ (Paul Hallam)
What would happen if you changed your thinking?
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
(Norman Vincent Peale)
COULD YOU BECOME A GAME CHANGER FOR SOMEONE ELSE?
Josiah changed the life of so many in Israel.
What is God asking you to do?
- Introduce that family member or friend to Jesus?
- Send that card, pay that visit, show your appreciation
- Make that call, that conversation,
- Put that thing to bed after all these years
- Say that word ‘sorry’.
- Forgive that mistake, pay that debt
- Start a new ministry that’s never been done before (model)
- Create that opportunity, take that risk, launch them into their destiny and calling?
Josiah was a game changing King. He brought change to his own life and the lives of so many others. What one thing do you think God is asking you to do right now that could potentially change your life or change someone else’ life….
If you’ve enjoyed this post you might like to check out my new book entitled ‘Imagine’ that is all about trusting God here
One recent reviewer said ‘A wonderful story of faith and dedication overcoming all obstacles. Full of practical advise and wise instruction. The book invites the reader to ‘dream dreams’ and to live out vision with tenacity and determination. A good hearty read.’ (Pastor Paul Hallam)