As you seek to live your life for the Lord, what keeps you motivated? Do you ever feel frustrated at your progress—or lack thereof? Are you looking in the right places for motivation? Lyle Lange offers some insights:
When Christians look to their own efforts for increasing sanctified living, one of two things will happen. First, their consciences will tell them that they are imperfect. They will see from God’s law how far short they fall of carrying out God’s will, even in their sanctified lives. This will not lead to a greater love for God and a greater zeal to keep his commandments. We cannot love God when we think he is angry with us. It is only when we see we are reconciled to him that we can respond in love to his commandments. Appeals to the Christian’s own efforts at empowering sanctification ultimately lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, and finally despair. Why do people so often feel frustrated in their sanctified lives? It is because they are looking in the wrong place for their motivation. We need to focus on what Christ did for us. Then faith will respond as Christ carries out his work of sanctification in us (Lange, Sanctification, 89).
If you’re feeling frustrated at your sanctification, stop looking at yourself in the mirror. That doesn’t make anything better. Instead, let that self-frustration be yet another reason to keep your focus on Christ.