Laurie Coombs is a passionate writer and speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the hope found in Jesus. She is the author of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness, an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God. Her story was featured in Billy Graham’s film, Heaven, as well as on many other national and regional radio and television programs. She is a contributor to Zondervan’s NIV Bible for Women and writes at LaurieCoombs.org. Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their three daughters.
“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” – John 17:17
“Change is not possible,” says the naysayer. “We will always be the same. You can’t change who you are.”
But God can.
The naysayer is correct. We can’t change ourselves. Though we may be able to change our behavior, we can’t will ourselves into any lasting change.
But the moment we lay our lives down before Jesus, we are new, and God does change us. So, change is possible, but it can only be attained through Jesus.
SO, HOW DO WE CHANGE?
Jesus tells us in John 17:17 that God’s truth leads to transformation. It is His Word that leads us through the process of sanctification, which is a fancy, theological word for being made more like Jesus.
Sanctification is change. Lasting change.
As a baby Christian I remember picking up my Bible, being told it’s what good Christians do, yet I was at a loss. Where do I even begin, I’d wonder. Reading the Bible seemed like such an insurmountable task.
But, I gave it a shot anyway, beginning in Matthew, and just read on from there.
Honestly, it took a while for me to get into it. Yet after a short time, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I actually enjoyed reading God’s Word. And honestly, I didn’t want to put it down. I ate it up. Each and every word began to fill that empty space deep within, and I was ravenous for more.
I began to change, rapidly change, as I read. Paradigms were shattered as I began to see the world––and myself––anew. Each word I read powerfully took hold and transformed me like never before.
It was crazy.
Truly, I experienced the power of God’s Word.
After reading only a short while, I had an intense desire to be a doer of God’s Word. I wanted to be schooled in the ways of God, but then I wanted to do what He commanded (James 1:22). I wanted to be His hands and feet. I wanted to live my new-found faith like I had never seen others do before.
That’s, of course, about the time that God called me to love and forgive Anthony, which provided another lesson on the power of God’s Word. As Anthony and I wrestled through some tough issues throughout our correspondence, we both were centered around scripture.
“Wrestling” is a great word picture of what we did. Truly, nothing was off the table. Nothing went unsaid. We wrestled, and wrestled well. Yet, throughout our wrestling, we both came at it from a Biblical perspective, relying completely on the Word of God.
As I mentioned before, I was transformed throughout this process just as much as Anthony was. And it was truth––scriptural truth as well as a commitment to allowing God to show me how He views the murder and the circumstances leading up to my dad’s death––that lead to this transformation.
And it was the same for Anthony as well. Truly, I watched Anthony transform before my eyes, which was something I prayed for but never thought would happen. It blew my mind to witness the man who murdered my dad come to a place of repentance, humility, and right standing before Jesus.
This is the power of truth. God’s truth, found in His Word, is the answer so many are looking for. [Tweet that] It’s the only answer. And it is this truth that will lead you to the lasting change you’re looking for.