Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
While Galatians 6:15 refers specifically to circumcision, I believe it applies to so much more. The important thing is not what we do, but what we become. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do anything, it simply means our focus should not be on external results but on internal ones.
We have been called to do certain things, primarily to trust God, Spread the Gospel, and live a Holy Life. However, the doing of these things does not always guarantee an inward spiritual change. In fact, more often than not, it is our failures that bring us to our knees and softens our hearts to receive the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. It will not work if we fail on purpose though.
There is no special formula. While it is certainly helpful to have explanations or diagrams, if they are Biblically accurate, they will always be vague and generalized. In my experience, every time I think I’ve got it figured out, a situation or trial comes and knocks me flat on my face. Even if my faith is in the Cross, and the sin nature is dormant, the flesh still wants to cling to some religious idea for comfort.
When we get our focus on do’s and don’t’s, we will not be open to the uniqueness of each situation of life. Jesus Christ and His Finished Work is always the answer, but how we apply our faith will need to be different for every trial. Ultimately, success is not determined by whether or not we accomplished some great task, but whether or not we allowed the Holy Spirit to make us more like Christ.
Rom 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.