My friend Lydia just wrote a wonderful blog post on how we try to do what only the Spirit can do, and I think it applies so much to how we view spiritual growth, or success in ministry, or even how we set goals for evangelism.
Side point: because it’s already a miracle for someone to be even able to choose to believe in Jesus. I think.
Anyways, we all want – or should want – to become all that God has in mind for us to be. You know, to be fruitful, and effective, and a light to the world, and a great lover (as Mike Woodard puts it). That’s a really tall order, and one that we will continually fall short of until we see Jesus face-to-face (i.e. we die / Jesus comes back).
But the solution isn’t to try harder to be a “good person”, or even a “good Christian”, if that means relying on what you DO being good enough to CHANGE YOU into the person you want to be. Neither will it work if you just pray, “Dear God, take the wheel!”, and then go on living like the Devil. Rather, the solution is to repent (change our mind/will) back to God, and tell Him, “I can’t do it! Change me please, God!”, while backing it up by obeying Him one step at a time, as He enables you.
So the two concepts go hand-in-hand: our (paltry) obedience, and God’s person-changing power. I’ll end with a couple thoughts:
Do you see God as someone who expects more from you, and is severely disappointed?
Or, do you approach God as a humble, little kid who asks the Father for help to grow up?
P.S. This post was written assuming the reader is a Christian