Why Won’t He Change Me Faster?

I get the frustrated email all the time. “Wayne, it doesn’t seem like anything is happening in me.” People who go on a journey to learn to live in the love of the Father get impatient when change doesn’t come as fast as they hope for. I understand. Many are used to intellectual change. I hear something. I believe it. And then I should be able to apply it to my life.

But transformation doesn’t work that way. We may know God loves us, but letting him win us into the reality of that love takes time. It may even seem as if nothing is happening and we begin to doubt either God’s love or the process. I’ve watched over many years as people write me frustrated that they don’t seem to be “getting it.”  In fact Brad and I recently did a podcast on what may be the scientific reason Why Transformation Takes Time. If you missed it, you might want to give it a listen.)

I try to tell people to relax in the Father’s affection and to relax in the process of how he changes us. I know it isn’t easy.  We want quick-fixes and be in control. But we can’t rush it. It isn’t ours to do. All we can do is just lean into him each day as much as we are able and set our affections on him. Yes, we’ll make mistakes. Certainly we’ll fee trapped by habit patterns and ways of thinking that don’t seem to change. But what we miss is what’s going on deep down in the core of our lives, beneath the level of us simply trying to act better.

That’s why I tell people to let it unfold the way God wants, even if it takes two or three years to see progress. I know that’s hard, but one day you’ll begin to see that things have been shifting in your life and now you are able to transit circumstances with more freedom that we’ve had before. That’s when you’ll know God is doing the work not you. Like Paul, you’ll end up with nothing to boast about except him and his work in you.

I got this email earlier this week from someone I’ve been in touch with over the past few frustrated years.  Look at what God has done:

I (am now experiencing) what I have been seeking for years.  I can only describe it as heavy warm feeling on my chest that leaves me feeling peaceful and I am left with an excited expectation for what is next to come in my life and that all is well.  I found out I have grown into Fathers reality a lot more than I ever dreamed because when the chips were down and I came to the end of me, grief lost its power, fear had no effect and I was left with a simple faith knowing he is in control. That’s the only way I know how to explain it.  I was growing up all along and didn’t even know it.

I love that. Changing by our own strength is much quicker, but it doesn’t last long and we soon slip back in our old patterns. Transformation works more deeply, helping us think differently from the inside, so that we live differently on the outside.  I hope this email encourages those of you for whom change seems to be moving too slowly. He is at work in you. You’ll see it one day and then you’ll overflow with thanksgiving.

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13 Comments
  1. Elisabeth October 21, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Thank you so much, Wayne, for this article! It really touched my heart and I felt God is reminding me again (as He has been doing in the past) that it’s ok for me to take so much time in this process! He keeps encouraging me but a small still voice inside of me tries to tell me that I am too slow and that all this doesn’t make sense… Thank you, thank you, thank you for your words! He is so good!!

  2. Betty October 21, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Reminds me of a verse in Song of Solomon that I have puzzled over for years. It says to not wake up love till he pleases. I have wondered recently if this means that I need to wait on Him until He reveals and moves me. Wait until He leads, corrects and teaches. He isn’t interested in just affecting my behavior but he wants my whole heart. Anyway, this explanation has meant a lot to me lately.

    Thanks again for all of your posts!!

  3. Paul McLeod October 21, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    IMHO, God is never in a rush about anything. He knows the beginning from the end, exists from eternity past to eternity future, and there is nothing that He doesn’t know. He exists outside of time,
    so there is no hurry and worry or lagging and slacking with Him.

    We are the creatures made of dust, that in our fallen state get all worried and harried, having been raised in the age of instant this and instant that. “But you have need of patience, so that AFTER you have done the will of God you may inherit the promise.” One of so many Biblical truths on learning patience.

    WE know that God disciplines those whom he loves, often in the area of patience. And as long as there is resistance, complaining, and the like, we are telling Him by our attitude and accompanying attitudes, that we are not ready for promotion to a season of maybe more ease. After which will follow as sure as the sun will rise and set, another season of learning patience or something else. Patience, (longsuffering) is a fruit of the spirit. Fruit takes it’s own (sweet?) time to grow.

    There is nothing we can do to hurry it up other than normal care.

    While most certainly fruit takes it’s own time to grow, some takes longer and some maybe not so long. Back to “But you have need of patience, so that AFTER you have done the will of God you may inherit the promise.” It would seem that this verse is saying that the will of God is to pass the patience test as there is a promise awaiting us accordingly.

    “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal 6:9
    Relax, let God do His work in His time. Phil 2:13, Phil 4:5-7. Let us let God work patience in us. Most certainly we cannot work it in our own effort. Sure it’s tough, surely it’s frustrating, BUT, God has also promised that he will not allow us to be tempted (tested?) beyond what we are able. 1 Cor 10:13

    Let us learn to give thanks in time of testing, trial, difficulty and the like. Tribulation works patience, does it not?

  4. Joanne Frazer October 21, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Yep!….Seeing little glimpses & glorying in His awesomeness.
    The words of a n old song come to mind:
    “How marvellous! How wonderful!
    and my song shall ever be
    How marvellous! How wonderful
    is my Saviour’s love for me.” 🙂

  5. Terri Widergren October 21, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Yes, yes, yes!!!! This has been my experience! My healing journey began 8 years ago after listening to your Transitions series on a drive from Seattle, Wa to Oakland, CA and back. That series confirmed and solidified what God had been speaking into my hear. I was concerned I was being deceived and was praying He asking would show me if I was off track, and along came Transitions. What a blessing and so began this roller coaster of a journey!
    What you wrote above about healing from the inside out by God’s revelation and perfect timing is so true. When I was able to surrender my performance tendancies and rest in His acceptance and love, that is when big change started to happen! When I quit striving to do make change happen, when I exchanged self condemnation for curiosity and began embracing the awareness of being loved perfectly right where I’m at in my process it brought such joy and freedom to be me. I have never before experienced such self acceptance – it has been life changing. God is so good. All of the time. Regardless of what circumstances look like. I have learned He uses ALL things and NOTHING is wasted. Thank you for being a voice of hope and offering this Truth for others to be encouraged!

  6. Karon October 22, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I am so frustrated with God’s moving or His lack of I began the living-loved journey in 2008 but then went back and forth with performance. I want Him so much to be “Papa”, to hold me and tell me everything will be okay. Been going through an excruciating trial since Dec. 2014 and thought it was over but unfortunately it only changed and seems much harder. Then my daughter loses her baby today with any early miscarriage, then she becomes so critical they may need to tranfuse her. About a month ago, I returned to The Shack (my disallusionment with God) hoping to find Papa. I’ve had some glimpses but much sorrow. Life has become very unfair in the land of fair play. At least that’s the grid I am seeing through right now. What is good is I have nothing inside me that wants to return to any sort of treadmill of performance-base Christianity. That’s a relief.

    • Wayne Jacobsen October 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      I’m so sorry, Karen. He is with you, even if you can’t see him yet. He has you, your daughter and all this in his hands. I don’t know if we’ll ever understand all of this, but God works great triumph even out of such despicable tragedies. Praying he’ll make himself known to you in a special way in these days. Love to you…

      • Karon Ruiz October 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm

        Thanks Wayne. It was touch and go for awhile and she is now recovering at home. Thanks for your kind words.

    • Terri Widergren October 24, 2016 at 7:54 am

      Dear Karon,

      Just want say my heart is with you. These are heart breaking, awful things you are in the middle of. I can’t even imagine. I hope it is ok to send you my prayer for you and your family.
      Father God, thank you are with them in the midst of this tragedy. May they sense the awareness of Your love and care for them in this place. Thank uou that you dont ask anything more of us than what we can do. You know what challenges, grief and brokeness we endure and I am grateful that you know what we are able to do and it is enough. Be Karon and her family’s strength for each moment, each step in the days ahead, especially when the feelings of not being able to move in their grief comes over them. Thank you that we are not alone in the pit and that You are there, even when we can’t feel or hear you. Thank you how You will bring life out of death, though we can’t see how. Thank you for how You will surround this family with with encouragement and comfort. May It Be so.

  7. Joanne Frazer October 22, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Wow, I’m with you Karon, on the unfair bit! Not wanting to diminish in anyway what you are going through.
    But, as soon as I open my big mouth & say anything about the little glimpses I’m seeing of Papa’s goodness & how He is helping me see things differently, it feels like the enemy picks me up & heaves me against the wall again & I’m like Humpty Dumpty…in pieces all over the room, once again.
    Whether I’ve been unwise in the amount of work I’ve done to help our daughter-in-law, who’s running a dog-grooming business from home & is the Mummy of our gorgeous little 14 month old granddaughter, OR my brain-injured husband has overstretched himself & become a grumpy bear who thinks I’m constantly disagreeing with him, when all I’m trying to do is help him view life more positively, OR I forgot to take my supplements for Adrenal Fatigue at various stages yesterday & therefore had very little sleep last night……it all results in me being in that “shame pit” again with “hairy-legs” stomping all over me.
    Wishing right now, I could just crawl into a peaceful wee cave & hibernate for…. who knows how long? I’ve begun reading “The Soul of Shame” & am liking what I’m finding, except the part where he says we can’t do this “on our own”. There doesn’t seem to be anyone around I feel I can trust…that is, who won’t say to me “You should be doing this” or “But the Bible says…. You just have to claim it” Arrgh!
    I do know that our Father is here with me. Just an awful lot of the time there’s a whole lot of junk clogging up the “air-space” & shame is doing exactly what Curt Thompson says the enemy wants it to do – “corrupt our relationship with God & others” & “disintegrate any & all gifts of vocational vision & creativity. ”
    So often I just want to say, “Stop the world! I want to get off!”

    • Karon Ruiz October 23, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks for your story Joanne. I can really relate. So sorry to hear about your struggle and thanks for reminding me Father is still with us.

  8. Betty October 24, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I can relate to, Joanne. Sometimes I also feel alone. In fact I have felt that just lately. Its hard to find a good friend that really understands. So thankful for Jesus. I also am looking forward to being with all of you after this life has passed. I take comfort in hearing Him say “Behold, I make all things new…”

  9. Jonatan Frias October 24, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Certainly, change the nature is longer than change the behavior; but what we all really want is to experience the nature change… and only God can do it. In his time.
    Furthermore, this change is a faith exercise. We can´t see him working but we can believe it. Amen!

    (Sorry for my English. I´m from Mexico and my English is… you know)

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