God Understands You Can’t Change Overnight
By Rick Warren
“Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24 NLT, second edition).
When God helps you grow spiritually, he doesn’t just snap his fingers so that it happens instantly. He does it incrementally. When God wants to make a mushroom, he takes six hours, but when he wants to make an oak tree, he takes 60 years.
Do you want to be a mushroom or an oak tree?
The Holy Spirit will make changes in your life far beyond anything you thought possible, but they’re not going to happen overnight. When Saddleback Church did our “Decade of Destiny,” my prayer was that, through the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God and with support from our small groups, our church would become more mature, more Christlike, and further along in our purpose 10 years from that point. My prayer is the same for you, that in the next decade, you would grow in spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness and purpose.
I want you to be stronger emotionally, physically, spiritually, psychologically, and financially, but you’ve got to be intentional about it. The Bible says, “Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24 NLT, second edition).
This is how we become more like Jesus. We throw off the old things and the old ways that keep us from getting to know Christ and becoming like him, and we put on our new selves with the help of the Holy Spirit. We let God do his work in us — no matter how long it takes.
“As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him” (2 Corinthians 3:18b TLB).
Talk It Over
- Why is it important to have goals?
- What are your goals for the next 10 years of your life?
- How do you want God to work in your life? Pray, and ask him to help you trust as he works in his time to fulfill his purpose for you.
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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