Robert E. Quinn wrote a book titled Deep Change, and I would highly recommend it if you want to be open to new possibilities.
In it, Quinn outlines fundamental behaviors that are consistent with an individual or an organization going through not just surface change, but deep change as well.
The old adage says it’s insanity to think that you can continue to do the same things but expect different results.
Quinn specifies that deep change will adhere to the following characteristics:
- Is major in scope
- Is discontinuous with the past
- Is generally irreversible
- Distorts existing patterns of actions
- Involves taking risks
- Means surrendering control
Change for change’s sake is rarely, if ever, helpful. However, there are traits that tend to identify whether or not a leader is headed in the right direction with his or her life and ministry.
If you find a leader who is open, responsive, teachable and willing to submit to the work of the Spirit, then you will find a leader heading in the right direction. But if you find a leader who is resistant, closed and often rigid, you will discover someone who is in dire need of a fresh move of the Holy Spirit. These traits in a leader’s life determine if he or she is part of the solution or part of the problem.
In Acts 10, Peter was entrenched in a certain way of thinking (like most of us) until a vision from the Lord broke in on his thinking. There is a fine line between spiritual convictions that are timeless and born of the Spirit, and our personal convictions that often have been developed out of our own experiences and perspectives. Peter yielded to the instruction of the angel who appeared to him, although the Lord decided that Peter needed to hear the instruction three times. Don’t you love it!
Cornelius was a God-fearing, generous, devout and prayerful man, but like Peter he was also in need of some adjustments. He was a centurion in an Italian regiment and had earned a stellar reputation, even among the Jews. In a vision, an angel told Cornelius to send for Peter.
When Peter arrived, Cornelius said, ” ‘Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us,’ ” (Acts 10:33, NIV). That openness led to an outpouring of the Spirit on all of those who had gathered and to an explosion of the gospel to the Gentile world. They even got baptized in the Holy Spirit before they got baptized in water. You’ve got to applaud God’s style! He delights in rearranging our protocols.
God isn’t opposed to challenging our practices or our thinking, but He is interested in removing any obstacles that prevent us from being effective. He wants to go deep and bring about change that is transformational. He will instruct, confront, rebuke and even allow us to experience the consequences of our own choices in order to bring us to a place of humility and recognition that we need Him above all else.
Choose today to be moldable clay in the hands of the Master Potter, and get ready for Him to do something that even heaven will celebrate.
By: Glenn Burris Jr., president of The Foursquare Church
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