When we are struggling with our obedience to God, one of the first things we do is that we feel miserable about who we are, compared to the wonderful Savior we know. When you really see how much He loves us, it is abhorrent to think of how short we have fallen. Instead of coming to Him as we are, failures of righteousness, we hide behind trees in hopes we can avoid His presence… because His presence is “piercing to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow.” No one wants to feel guilty. So instead of feeling guilty, we accept who we are and figure that we cannot change. After all, the leopard can’t change its spots. Soon after, we begin to be cold to the pleading of the Spirit.
But we are looking at this all wrong. We are the ones trying to change and that is the crux of the problem. It’s like going to change[dot]org, it just doesn’t change anything.
Instead of trying to change our spots, we should come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and the power to change. God created us and He can recreate us too. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. The problem with our understanding of change in Him is that we need to be “in Him.” “In Him” means to be dedicated to Him, walking with Him, and doing what He wants us to do. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.
There is no condemnation because we are walking according to the Spirit of God and not the spirit of ourselves. When we are walking in the Spirit, we are changing because He is working things out in us. That is why we are “His workmanship.”
I know this well because I used to be a different man. My mindset was completely different. But as I spent time with God in His Word, prayer, and witnessing, my character attributes that were so appalling to me started to disappear. I also know this well because I haven’t been the perfect Christian. Many times through the years I forget who created in me a new heart and I fall by the wayside. But instead of wallowing in my failures of righteousness, I come back to God just as I am, a complete failure, so that He can get inside me again and right this ship in me.
He loves for us to come to Him for the change. Too many times we are trying it all ourselves, but He want us to be “His workmanship.”
So if you are struggling with failure with your relationship with Christ and you are in need of change, this is how it all works. The time and energy we spend dedicating our life to Him creates a change in us that only can happen with the Spirit of God. Stop trying to change your spots. Let Him do it instead.