Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. (Ephesians 4:17 ESV)
Gospel grace changes us. This change is a supernaturally empowered process of transformation that begins and ends with Christ. God’s truth sets us apart from this world in spiritual and practical ways. There are three things to keep in mind that will help you to be consistent as you mature spiritually.
First, remember from whence you came. Jeremiah wrote “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). The gospel of Jesus Christ is the medicine for the sickness of the heart. Having understood this, we can better appreciate the encouragement to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Trusting the Lord means that we turn to him for direction and submit to his leading. It means that we believe what he says about the world around us and how we should conduct ourselves.
Second, be a doer of the word and not a hearer only (James 1:22). We ought to take our example form Ezra who “prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach . . . statutes and judgments” (Ezra 7:10). Failing to actively study God’s word will inevitably result in spiritual complacency and stagnation. God gave us the Scriptures so that we would be complete and equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3: 16-17). This passage implies that apart from God’s word we are incomplete and unequipped for any good work.
Lastly, remember where you are going. We are heirs of an eternal and perfect inheritance. We are blessed children having received God’s mercy. We will be perfect one day. Remembering that God will accomplish what he promises helps us carry through the difficult times. We can rejoice in what is to come even through trials (1 Peter 1:6). This hope helps us persevere in faith.
May you rejoice in the thought of his coming!