Post details: Does God expect instant change and growth from His children?


Permalink 12:01:40 pm, Categories: By Trent, GraceHead counseling, 1628 words   English (US)

Does God expect instant change and growth from His children?

Yesterday I got this anonymous question in my email inbox:

I'm in the adult industry and have recently given my life to Christ. I do not feel like I can turn my life around on my own. I am supporting a family of 5 and my husband can barely contribute since being in a bad car accident. I don't feel like I can instantly turn from this sin without God's help. To quit instantly would put me on the streets without a roof over the heads of my children. My question is, will God help me find another job that will pay enough to take care of my family? I don't think I can turn from this job on my own with my financial burdens, but I worry that my living in sin and being aware of God's law means that I would go to hell if something happened to me tomorrow. Does God give time to his new babies to grow and change their current life, or does he expect instant change from his children, no matter the situation? I hope this made sense. Thank you for your time.

I didn't know quite what to say, but I decided to start a reply trusting that the Lord had something to say to this sister. Here is what I was given to say:


Thank you for the sincere question. You have spoken clearly and candidly. I believe that I understand the situation well enough. But as always, I turn to the Lord for help in answering.

There is a parable that comes to mind. I think I heard this from a taped sermon somewhere. I'll share it with you because I am interested in how it might apply to what you are going through.

In ancient times a King has his eyes set on a maiden to marry. He knows this woman and loves her more than his own life. He seeks to marry her, but she works as an illegal prostitute, and has (by her profession) been found guilty of a serious crime against the kingdom. What will the King do to fix the situation?

The King makes a royal decree and send word throughout the land, hereby granting amnesty to all criminal prostitutes. The maiden that is beloved by the King can hardly believe it, but she accepts the King's proposal to marry and they are joined. The maiden instantly went from criminal prostitute to queen, because of the great love of her King. So, what are the chances that the queen will wander out of the castle and go back to turning tricks on the streets? The chances are pretty slim, but yet one can imagine a return to the streets if old company and doubts and fears introduce the notion or feeling that she really isn't loved, and isn't set free from her crimes ... or that she really is no better off. The danger of returning relates to how steadfast she is in believing that she is loved and believing that she really is a queen and can start acting like one!

Romans 2:4
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Titus 2:11-12
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

The two verses above would be good verses to memorize. His kindness leads us to repentance. His grace teaches us to say "no" to ungodliness. It isn't fear that keeps you improving as you grow, but love and rest. Grace and kindness are catalysts to growth and maturity. You might even say that fear of punishment has a growth inhibiting effect.

1Jo 4:18 - Show Context
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Lets talk a little bit about maturity and failures. Sometimes growth can be frustrating. My experience is like the queen that forgets from time to time that I am loved by the King and goes back to a lifestyle that no longer suits me. But, God's love is undaunted. So, when I catch a glimpse of His eyes I see a love that can save me and take me out of the vexation of sin. And so it goes. We can only start from where we are, and we have so far to go, it does us well to take it one step at a time beginning with the step right in front of us.

God doesn't exasperate believers by expecting them to grow to full maturity instantaneously. He gives us a plate just big enough for us to finish, and has a row of bigger plates to give us when we can handle eating more and more. We didn't get into the deep depravity of sin quickly, so we won't get out of it quickly either. Rather, our growth happens at an ever quickening pace if we submit ourselves to the daily and incremental improvements that He has brought to our attention. Lets not derail the program by refusing to finish the bits on the plate in front of us. Lets encourage one another, to trust the cook and welcome His nourishment into us. What He prepares for us is good and will benefit our lives if we get on with it and simply trust what He has brought us.

Sister, we don't enjoy sin like we used to, do we? It just doesn't suit us. We have tried it, and it is a dry feeling and distasteful to us? Is this not evidence that we have a new identity? We are betrothed to the Lord, and as His beloved bride ... those things simply don't suit us anymore. We don't quit sinning to be worthy to be His bride. Rather, we want to be rid of sin, because we already ARE worthy to be His bride ... as a gift for all those that accept His forgiveness and saving life within them.

I believe that God wants you to quit working in the adult industry. I believe that is why it is on your mind. I believe that the enemy will try to trap you in the rut by making it feel like God isn't there to help, and that He is a harsh and demanding God that might explode if you don't walk on eggshells. If you buy into that lie, then you won't invite His presence and without His presence we are all trapped in our way of life. We simply need Him to guide us and to remind us that we are loved so that we have no fear ... only kindness and grace with which to keep our path on course to maturity.

God has opened the cell door, and rattled the cage but you stay inside for the fear that what lies beyond the open door is something unfamiliar. Have you grown attached to the cell? Doesn't your heart ache for a better life?

Sister, there may be valleys and deserts beyond this job that you will need to walk through. I don't know. It may be really tough. But, if you knew the pastures that He is taking you to, and if you trust in the Good Shepherd, than you will go. Sometimes the oasis is only found after going across a hot desert for a while. Sometimes the quickest way to a mountain top is through a valley. Sometimes God strips us of everything to make us fit for a royal robe and all better things that He wants us to have.

I don't make a habit of telling people what they should do. But you asked me, and I've prayed about it, and now the choice is yours. I don't think it is a resistance because of your husband or kids. I believe the resistance is between doing what YOU want to do or doing what God would want to do through you if you were only willing to let Him.

The Lord is crazy about us and loves us more than we could ever imagine! And sometimes we can show our love for Him by trusting and obeying. If you wait for that to always make perfect financial sense, how long do you think you will need to wait?

The above link is also something that came to mind to share with you. I think it is a balanced perspective on our war against sin and how we eventually turn the tide. There are more fantastic resources on that site if you look around.

Also, consider going to ... I've heard they have a ministry specializing in helping folk escape the adult entertainment world.

I trust that you will finish well. For "faithful is He, who called you, who will also do it" ... and He is the "Author and Finisher of our faith." One day, you will see that you are really acting like a queen, and you will be amazed at the impact of God's love in your life. This little decision in front of you will be all but forgotten as you will have moved on to bigger and better things by then.

1Co 2:9 -
However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"--

Ripening for the harvest,
Trent -

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Comment from: Judah [Visitor] ·
Ah, amen and amen. You answered righteously, Trent!
Permalink 05/27/08 @ 13:04
Comment from: Timothy [Member] ·
Excellent... amen...

Thank you Yahshua.

Permalink 05/27/08 @ 13:36
Comment from: James Jim Trussell [Visitor]
Amen! Thank you Father for this dearly loved sister in the faith. You will be faithful, and you have been faithful!
I look back and remember so many times in my life where I needed Him to push me out of my sin and into His Glory. I know of one time when He instantaneously, miraculously pulled me out of my gross sin. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. What a True and Holy Father, What a beautiful Savior we have in Jesus.

Permalink 05/28/08 @ 13:22
Comment from: terry fuller [Visitor]
Trent, the Spirit gave you beautiful truths to share with this new Christian!
Permalink 05/28/08 @ 16:36
Comment from: lenbenhear [Member] ·
THERE IT IS. Salvation is (initially) in and for *the spirit.* Sanctification and salvation of the soul/personality/character is a heroic process that is accomplished by the grace of GOD and His Refiner's Fire.

EVERY Christian is subject to testings and refining: it's called the growth-crucible of sanctification, ... and we hasten and increase the blessing of the process BY FULLY YIELDING TO GOD in every area of life. What does GOD want from us? ... to live the kind of life and make the kind of choices that bring glory and honor and blessing and Joy TO HIM. ... and the results? ... "JOY UNSPEAKABLE and FULL OF GLORY." (!)
Permalink 05/30/08 @ 02:00
Comment from: Scot [Visitor]
Trent and all involved with,

Amazing Holy Spirit inspired words for a new Christian,

"God has opened the cell door, and rattled the cage but you stay inside for the fear that what lies beyond the open door is something unfamiliar. Have you grown attached to the cell? Doesn't your heart ache for a better life?"

I am compelled to write this comment, after finding this site by Googling "Jesus lives His life through me" to see if the majority of "born again" children believed as I now do.

You see, I have rededicated my life to living for Christ many times after falling neck deep back into sin. Which was mainly, due to frustration caused by trying to live my life without sin in order to be accepted by God. Not realizing that through the atoning blood of Jesus and God's incomparable grace I am already fully accepted by God, and Jesus indwells and wants so desperately to live His life out through me. Living to please God through good deeds, was only wearing me out on a proverbial spiritual treadmill. In my eyes, I was never good enough or spiritual enough to completely charge my emotional battery to a point of not needing to commit to the next spiritual task to re-energize me.

Many Christians are being so viciously deceived by Satan, exactly like I was - "subtly." What I did not realize was my attempts to live for God, the Holy Father, was not out of obedience due to love but stemmed from my carnal flesh to people please and the misunderstanding of living by grace.

I now know:


My heart is so blessed to read the Holy Spirit inspired words from Trent, Timothy, Pam, Terry, and whomever else I am unintentionally omitting. God bless you all and continue in God's grace through unprecedented faith.

God's peace is with you always,

Permalink 05/30/08 @ 13:47
Comment from: Pam [Member]
It's so easy for you to tell someone how to be mature & what choices to make. You lack the maturity and good choices in your own life. You really have no right giving anyone any advice or have no right teaching people on the internet. You can't save the world.
Permalink 06/03/08 @ 22:21
Comment from: pam [Visitor]
I don't know who that Pam is, Trent but it isn't me. I think the Lord gave you just the right words to say. Anyway, you know it isn't me because I'm logging in as a visitor these days.

Permalink 06/03/08 @ 22:30

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