Make yourself completely available to God. Recognize that, when you make every part of yourself and your life available for God to use, you become a force that can impact the world in powerful ways. Do your best to represent Jesus well wherever you go – at work, at home, at a store, at your kids’ schools, etc. Know that, while you can’t predict how God will choose to you, offering yourself to Him is an act of worship that He appreciates.

Remember that you’re a walking billboard for God. When people know that you’re a Christian, they’re watching your life for evidence that your faith is real. Be sure to live a way that brings glory to God. Let others see the transformation that God has done and is still doing in your life.

Keep pursuing perfection, even though you won’t achieve it in this life. Keep growing spiritually more and more each day, so that you resemble Jesus more and more each day. While you can’t actually achieve perfection in our fallen world, you can always keep growing as you keep Jesus’ perfect example of a holy life in mind.

Persevere so you can become more mature. Do your best to stay faithful in everyday decisions, choosing to forgive, exercise self-control, love, etc. – no matter what circumstances you encounter. Welcome God’s discipline when it happens, knowing that will help you grow in maturity. Let God finish His good work in you so you won’t lack anything important in your character or your soul.

Cultivate a sense of community. Build strong relationships with other believers and seek to inspire each other to grow spiritually and be transformed together by God’s presence.

Invite God to empower you. Whenever you feel weary while going through the transformation process, ask God to strengthen you with the grace you need. Remember not to try to live the Christian life on your own strength; doing so is futile. Instead, cooperate with how God is working through you, and make decisions that will put you in places that encourage growth. Keep in mind that transformation isn’t a quick fix; it’s a lifelong journey. Know that God will help you every step of the way, and that the journey is ultimately worthwhile beyond measure.

Adapted from The Beautiful Fight: Surrendering to the Transforming Presence of God Every Day of Your Life, copyright 2007 by Gary Thomas. Published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich.,
Gary Thomas is changing the way Christians look at their faith and family life. The author of several books, including Sacred Marriage, Sacred Parenting, Sacred Pathways, and the Gold Medallion award-winning Authentic Faith, he is an adjunct faculty member at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. His books and ministry focus on spiritual formation: how we can integrate Scripture, church history, and the time-tested wisdom of the Christian classics into our modern experience of faith. Gary’s speaking ministry has led him to speak across the United States, in six different countries, and on numerous national television and radio programs, including Focus on the Family and Family Life Today. He lives with his wife and children in Bellingham, Washington.