I’m in the middle.
I bet you’ve been in the middle before too. That frustrating point between God’s revealing of a need for change and a heart that’s struggling to get there. The part in sanctification where you feel exposed—you see your sin and you’re doing all the right, practical things to grow, but the knowledge is taking its sweet time making its way from head to heart. Maybe you’re even frustrated, like me, that you’ve not grown more by this point—that none of your efforts seem to make a difference.
“Why won’t you just change me God?!” He’s sovereign. He could say a word and make my heart feel differently. And yet, in the middle of seeing my sin and feeling my heart change is where my feet still stand.
I’ve listened to the sermons, I’ve prayed and prayed, I’ve studied applicable passages, but I still find myself at the feet of Jesus, begging for his help, asking him to free me.
Free me? Oh, but I’m already free, I remember. The book of Romans tells me this.
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (Romans 6:6 ESV)
I am free. I am free. Friend, if you are in Christ, you are free too.
We are no longer enslaved to our sin. Gone are the shackles of greed, lust, envy, bitterness, hatred, anger—all of it has no more power over us. Oh how quickly I forget.
Nothing is Impossible With God
Yesterday I told my husband it feels impossible to overcome the current struggle I’m facing. I feel tangled in it. I want to change my heart but I don’t know how and I’ve been trying for months. It may feel impossible, but he reminded me that nothing is impossible with God (Mathew 19:26). THIS. This is what that verse is referring to. Found here is not a promise that God will give us anything we ask like some purple genie. The promise of this verse is far more beautiful. It speaks to God’s power to save and sanctify his children.
By the power of the Spirit who raised Jesus Christ from the dead, you and I can change. We can grow in godliness. We can repent of sin and have victory over it.
In our own strength we’d never change, but by the grace of God, believers can and will bear fruit.
Waiting to Grow
Okay, but what do I do now, while I’m stuck in the middle? That’s the question I’ve been pondering. Maybe you are too?
We keep pursuing Christ by all means possible. We chase after him like we’re running a race, because we are (Hebrews 12:1). We keep putting off sin and putting on Christ. We seek godly counsel and accountability from those close to us. Sanctification isn’t an overnight process, though we all wish it were. Each time we take a sinful thought captive before it reaches our heart and plants a seed, each time we repent of our sin and turn toward our Savior, each time we call out to God for help, we inch our way to growth.
In the waiting, pursuing, and wrestling, we gain more of Jesus. And that—the truth that our love for him sinks more deeply into our hearts through it all—that makes it all worth it, doesn’t it?
Take heart, friends. He’s not finished with us yet.