Refining Life, on Purpose

How to Change Status Quo When Status Quo is Not in Your Favor

Sometimes you have to change status quo when things aren’t moving in the right direction. You may be trying to get out of a rut or predicament. Or you could be needing to get past “we’ve always done it that way.” I think about this a lot, mostly because of a scene in the movie National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets.

In that scene, a desperate Patrick Gates, offers his son, Ben some wisdom. “Cooperation,” he says, “only lasts as long as the status quo is unchanged. As soon as this guy gets to wherever this thing ends… he won’t need you anymore, or… or any of us. “

Ben responds by asking:

“So we find a way to make sure the status quo changes in our favor.”

Now, of course, they ware trying to find a way of being held captive and helping a bad guy win. However, there are many times in life where we might feel victim to virtual “bad guys” and feel like there is no use.


What a terrible feeling. Of course, the universe is not out to get you – and God IS on your side. So let’s explore a couple of tactics to change the status quo when it seems like we’ve lost favor.

It can easily feel like the universe is out to get us. With a little humility, faithful spiritual growth and a reliance on the Holy Spirit, we can seek to change status quo during those trying times.

It can easily feel like the universe is out to get us. With a little humility, faithful spiritual growth and a reliance on the Holy Spirit, we can seek to change status quo during those trying times.

Stay Humble. Intentionally Seek Humility

“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3)

I try to be humble. So humble, in fact, I am pretty proud of my humility. (see what I did there?)

As a person, it’s not always to stay humble when tempted by the constant trappings of pride. When we are going through dark times, it’s hard not to give in to a victim mindset. Why is this happening to me? Can’t someone else do it? When it is ever going to go my way?

They’re all common questions. And they all are centered on our self. Faith, though, is a simple and trusting dependence outside of our own self. We have to become child-like, with no achievements or no accomplishments. We have to think small in order to remember how big and great our God really is.

For me, I seek out something that shows how physically small I am – an ocean, a massive tree, the Grand Canyon – anything that shows I am but a mere speck in God’s greater creation. There’s little as humbling as that.

Spiritual Growth is Favored over Earthly Gain

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money,” (Matthew 6:24)

Like the first passage from Matthew, this one is a pretty commonly used verse. It’s meaning is pretty straight forward. If you are allowing yourself to be consumed and compelled by something other than God, it has mastered you. You are a slave to it.

Money. Fame. Hobbies and collectibles. Career. Entertainment. Drugs… the list is virtually endless. Anything – ANYTHING that detracts you from God, detracts you from your one true master who desires your full devotion.

Sometimes God might be giving you more than you can handle simply because he wants you to remember that you can’t handle it all. But he can.

The Holy Spirit and How It Can Change Status Quo

When you are seeking to change Status Quo, observe God’s working through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In John 14:16, for example, Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter….”  

The nature of the Holy Spirit would be – and is – like Jesus in every way. And Jesus wanted the disciples to know this. Following the Holy Spirit is no different from following Him if he were on earth and walking among us today. However, Spirit’s leadership is invisible rather than physical and visible, as Jesus had been.

Many times in life, I have been prompted in ways I can’t really explain other than to say I was compelled to take action or not take action in a certain way. In some of those times, I don’t have the slightest idea of the impact of what I did. In others, though, I later find that there was a very specific reason why I was compelled as I had been.

It may not always be immediate. It might be weeks, months or years later. Regardless of the timing though, I know those “spirit promptings” are not without cause.

What about you? When have you been prompted by the Holy Spirit and how did it go? What other ways do you have to reverse or change status quo? Share with the rest of us in the comments or on the 1Glories Facebook page.

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.