Chapter 3 of the book Floods Upon Dry Ground, is titled “Change or Die”. Pastors Bobby Duncan and James Jones based the chapter on what happened to the four lepers in 2 Kings 7, and how it relates to the church today. The four lepers either had to change their plan of staying where they were, or they were going to die of starvation.
The authors wrote that we often think that other people are the ones that need to change, and we often blame them for failures. Or we might blame the church of which we are a part. They wrote, however, “The hard road is always the one less traveled”, as poet Robert Frost wrote in the poem, The Road Not Taken.
Pastors Duncan and Jones said, “Not all change is good”, especially if it leads to “change without growing”. “The message is not to change for the sake of changing but rather to change for Christ’s sake—for growth in Christ."
“Change is typically challenging, and at times it can be agonizing,” And we are often resistant to change. The authors told the funny story of Barney Fife in the Andy Griffith TV Show, and Barney’s resistance to disposing of Mayberry’s cannon. Barney reminisced to Andy another time he resisted change when the post office went to “slot machine” stamp dispensing, equating these machines to gambling.
Pastors Duncan and Jones wrote that change can bring about “defining moments”. “How we handle these defining moments determines our success or failure, as well as our eternal future.” They gave the example of Faithful Abraham and numerous other Bible heroes who obeyed God—even though the changes sometimes caused them to experience great pain or loss. But, inevitably it brought about new opportunities. The authors wrote, “God always has a purpose for what He allows.”
Back to the story of the four lepers. They acted out of desperation. Their desperation caused them to “do something” different, or else they were going to die the painful death of starvation.
We often don’t feel the urgency to reach others for Christ. I sometimes don’t feel the urgency. The authors said we should, however, consider the urgency of the four lepers to change or die, and apply it to our own lives in the area of evangelism.
In other words, we need to consider who will die, including lost people, even ourselves, and the church as a result of not making changes.