I recently started exercising again. It’s been a while and my age is catching up to my muscles and my waistline. After being fairly athletic as a young man, my life is far too sedentary now. But, developing new exercise habits is tough. It’s hard to start that new routine and then maintain that new routine past early hindrances and temptations to quit.
“Just get started,” I would tell myself. “Just keep going,” “develop some momentum,” I would say. Like the old adage, “a moving car is easier to steer” my goal has been to just keep moving forward. Do a little something every day. Don’t get stuck.
That seems to be my approach whenever there is a new habit I need to develop or a new course my life needs to take. If I can just muster up enough self-discipline to get moving in the right direction and then stay moving over a decent amount of time, I usually see results.
That is, except in the areas of my life that truly matter most.
Self-discipline, force of will, and determination have served me well as long as I am only talking about things like watching less TV or trying to exercise more. But, as hard as I have tried, I can’t seem to make things like anxiety or anger go away through sheer determination. My pride and my insecurity, likewise, seem to cling to the deepest parts of me and won’t let go no matter what I do. I have come to the conclusion that I am unable to bring about true transformation on my own. It’s like my arms are too short to reach that deep and change those things that are at my core.
What are we to do? Do we just give up and say, “Well, this is just how I am—I am just a prideful person—I am just an angry person—I am just an insecure person—I am just a worrier”? Is that the answer?
While the Bible agrees that we are insufficient to bring about true transformation on our own, it in no way encourages us to give up and learn to accept the parts of ourselves that we hate. Resignation is not the answer. God’s grace is.
I think most Christians know that God desires to transform us to be more like Jesus. But, often we think that means nothing more than just swearing a little less, going to church a little more, maybe showing a few more acts of kindness—stuff like that. And, even though God may very well be doing those things in our lives, the power that He has made available to us by His grace is there for a much bigger goal—true transformation. But, if that power is available for us by His grace, how do we tap into that power? How are we to yield to grace and see the transformation we desire? How does it all work?
Join us at Chase Oaks Church for “Momentum,” a 5-week series beginning this weekend. We will talk about how transformation works, and together we will explore how we might all experience better days by the grace of God.