Spiritual Yet Still Carnal
When you become a Christian you discover that part of you wants to walk ‘in newness of life’ (Romans 6:4 KJV), while another part wants to walk ‘after the flesh.’ (Romans 8:5 KJV) And you would, if it weren’t for God’s Spirit who lives in your divided house and ‘convicts’ you when you do certain things, challenging you with God’s Word (see John 16:7–14). The truth is, your new heart is still living in your old body.
Some people expect that, when they first come to Christ, an instant and radical makeover will transform them. It’ll be like a grub-to-butterfly metamorphosis, so massive that a radiant holy self will fly up effortlessly, after struggling out of the cocoon of fleshly desires. So they try to punch the cocoon out of existence, believing that when it’s gone, they’ll be the kind of dazzling person God could really love.
But God’s love isn’t given out like that. God doesn’t want do-it-yourself righteousness. The Bible says, ‘He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Philippians 1:6 ESV)
Paul writes, ‘My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.’ God alone knows the process it will take for the Christ who saved you to be formed in you! We each travel our own paths at our own pace, but our goal is the same: to bear a greater likeness to our heavenly Father. And getting us there is God’s job—so let Him do it. Your job is to keep walking with Him day by day as He does it.