I will never forget as a teenager attending Soul Survivor, a summer youth event. My friend from school had invited me to come along with their church. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I remember asking myself on my journey to the event whether anything profound would happen. Little did I know what God was about to do. During one of the evening sessions, I experienced God in such a powerful way that cannot be described with words. I knew from that moment, my life would never be the same again. My perspective on God, and my calling, changed dramatically – since then my life is completely different.
A paradigm shift?
The dictionary defines a paradigm shift as ‘an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.’
When you experience a paradigm shift in your life, the evidence is found in how your behaviour, perspectives and decisions change.
A great Biblical example of a paradigm shift is found in Matthew 4. Jesus just began His ministry, and He begins looking for people who are willing to follow Him. Peter, Andrew, James and John were your average fishermen, trying to make a living and do what was right according to society. They weren’t up to anything special when Jesus came along to their boat, and they certainly didn’t expect anything profound would happen when He showed up. But the moment Jesus stepped into their boat, everything changed.
Miracles broke out.
Perspectives were changed.
Lives were transformed.
And the disciples knew that after this moment, their lives would never be the same. This truly was a paradigm shift.
What does it look like to be transformed from the inside out?
In many cases, a paradigm shift will involve an element of surrender, a ‘crossing the line’ moment in response to seeing God’s presence. This will also mean leaving behind your old life because you can’t bring the old into the new; you have to let go of the old things.
When you respond and lean into the shift that God is bringing you into, know that your life will never be the same. Your perspective of God will change. The way you behave and act will also change. The decisions you make will reflect God even more than before.
Ultimately, with a paradigm shift, you don’t need to wait for a big moment to occur; it can be in your everyday, normal life like the disciples. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing; the moment God steps in, everything is going to change.
God chooses to reveal Himself in this way so we may know Him experientially and reflect His life in us.
Paradigm shifts are truly remarkable, and many times it is these moments that shape you and your future. You can encounter God in big-life changing moments but you are also changed by the everyday moments you have with God. So if you haven’t had a paradigm shift in a while, don’t worry! Continue to follow God’s voice, even if it’s just the still small voice. This can be through prayer, reading the word, conversations with others or as you’re going about your daily activities.
God is constantly at work, and He can work powerfully in small, gentle ways as well as the big and powerful ways. Therefore, as exciting as these paradigm shifts are, know that every moment with God can truly be extraordinary.