Walking with God isn’t always easy. Many Christians feel disappointed or disillusioned with their spiritual lives, because they’re waiting for salvation someday…when they can experience the abundant life Jesus promised right now.
Pastor Jason Mitchell says it’s vital to remember that vibrant life in Christ does take work. As Paul says, you must “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)
“I love that passage…I think it’s been misunderstood over time. It’s not work for your salvation because it’s clear in the New Testament that it’s by grace we’re saved and not by works. Salvation is grace — pure, unadulterated, unfiltered grace — and yet there’s this idea we need to work out the results of that, to see the results in our life. You can’t be bored with a relationship with God when you wake up each day saying, God I want to see the effects of that salvation live itself out my life!”
While we recognize our salvation only comes through God’s grace, not our own merits, Pastor Mitchell says transformation also takes personal effort and maybe a little grit.
“I think when Paul says ‘work out,’ he’s talking about grit, and I love that word grit. It’s a character trait, tenacity, a resilience, a stick-to-itiveness, that you get up again tomorrow and you go after that thing you want the most in life. It’s grit and grace: where those two things begin to operate in our life that’s where transformation happens.
“Transformation happens at the intersection of our grit and God’s grace: that’s where our hearts are changed.”
If you find yourself feeling bored in your faith walk, or comparing your life to others and wishing you could do bigger things for God, Mitchell says it’s helpful to see each day as a new opportunity to commit to Christ.
“Relationship with God is something we give ourselves to because we believe in the end, it is best, it is right and it is good. We’re going to wake up again tomorrow and choose it again. Like Paul says, “just as you first accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, so continue to follow Him” (Colossians 2:6).
“Accepting Christ Jesus as our Lord–that’s passion; that’s the transformative moment before God at the throes of grace. Then we continue to follow Him – that’s the commitment, to wake up again tomorrow and choose Jesus all over again. That’s how transformation begins to take place in our life.
Jason Mitchell is teaching pastor at LCBC (Lives Changed By Christ) Church, a thriving church with locations throughout Pennsylvania. Through speaking and writing, Jason has influenced thousands of people to pursue Jesus with passion. He gets fired up about finding new and compelling ways to make the message of Christ relevant to people’s everyday lives. He’s the author of No Easy Jesus: How the Toughest Choices Lead to the Greatest Life.Transformation, grit, and grace