As I began thinking and praying about our time together and what characteristic of God’s character I wanted to focus on, the word that kept coming to my mind was immutable. It’s possible that living with a seminary-trained pastor influenced that, but more likely it is the Lord’s sense of humor. He and I both know I am not that smart, so that’s a pretty big word for me to deal with. But in all honesty, the definition is pretty simple and very clear. It means “unchanging over time” or “unable to be changed.”
Think about some of the changes we have seen in our lifetimes.
There have been changes in the environment, massive changes in technology in just a few decades, changes in the state of the world and the state of “our” world here in the United States after 9/11 with the onslaught of terrorism. And then think about the changes in your personal life in the last 10 years or even in the last few months. In the past few years our family has had graduations from high school and college, weddings, and the births of our darling granddaughters. We’ve also had the changes that affect a family due to deployments, divorce, and death.
But it’s not just circumstances that change. People change. The person I married many years ago is not the person I’m married to today, and he would say the same thing about me. My dad changed in significant ways in the 18 months before he died. My children are not the same people they were in junior high – thank the Lord – and neither am I.
In our ever-changing world we desperately need the stability of something or, more specifically, Someone that never changes.
James 1:17 (NLT) says:
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
I loved looking at how other translations interpreted that last sentence:
- With whom is no variableness;
- With whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning;
- In whose character there is no change at all;
- He is always the same and never makes dark shadows by changing;
- With whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration;
- In whom there is no inconsistency or shifting shadow;
- With whom there is never the slightest variation or shadow of inconsistency.
Hebrews 6:16-20a (NLT) says:
Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
Incredible. God has given both his promise and his oath and they are both unchangeable. He is our refuge and an anchor for our wavering souls.
So, the next time changes start to overwhelm your soul, remember your immutable God.