What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like You are Being Transformed
1. Remember: you are in Christ
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
There is no transformation outside the person of Jesus Christ. This is foundational. Everything hinges on the work and person of Christ. The question remains, where do you stand? Every one who has put his or her faith in Christ alone is a new creation. They can take to the bank that the old has passed away and that the new has come and is here to stay. This is a promise, and our God never relents in his promise to His children. This is an ever-present reality… Live in it… Rejoice in it…Let your faith rest in it…
2. Trust in future grace
We know that grace is a present reality as stated above. However, what about future grace? Will there be enough grace for me to live the Christian life for the years to come? Will I be able to walk in obedience in the days ahead? Let me begin the process of dealing with this issue by asking another question: would God promise a present reality and leave us empty in our hope for the future? John Piper puts it this way: “The biblical role of past grace—especially the cross—is to guarantee the certainty of future grace.”
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all [past grace], how will he not also with him graciously give us all things [future grace]?” Romans 8:32 ESV
When we trust in future grace, it is the motivation for walking in obedience everyday. Once again we can bank on it. Our God is faithful and has truly given us all we need that pertains to life and godliness. And when we trust in this future grace unto obedience, He is highly exalted and glorified through our lives.
3. Pray for your sanctification
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.”
Philippians 4:6 ESV
Honestly, how many of us turn to our great God in prayer as our first response? Maybe we are struggling with a particular sin or a continuing trial. Sure, we have sought God’s forgiveness, but do we pour our heart out to God. Spend time communing with the Lord in His word over your sin. The Psalmist David gives a good example of such discipline. He not only repented but also poured his heart out before God – recounting the mercy of his forgiveness and grace!
4. Be real & harsh with your sin
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” Matthew 5:29 ESV
Its time to get serious about our remaining sin that so easily besets us! The scriptures leave no room for a weak response to sin. Whatever you have to do to remove the temptation or keep yourself from falling prey to its deception again, do it! It’s not worth toying with. Find yourself an accountability partner, set up some parameters for yourself, and walk in obedience as you have been commanded. It’s not rocket science.
5. Work out your own salvation
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
The issue is obedience, and we know from the promises of God’s word that the grace to obey is ours in Christ Jesus. So do it! This is what it means to work out your salvation – to live it out before others in your daily life. Sure the correct theological view is that God wills in you to obey but that’s just it…he wills, so go and obey. God’s grace is not the possibility that you can obey. It is the reality that you can now do what you never could do – obey Him for the sole purpose of His glory…for this is your sanctification.