It takes years for us to grow to adulthood, and it takes a full season for fruit to mature and ripen. The same is true for the fruit of the Spirit. The development of Christ-like character cannot be rushed. Spiritual growth, like physical growth, takes time.
Before Christ invades our lives at conversion, he sometimes has to “soften us up” by allowing problems we can’t handle. While some open their lives to Christ the first time he knocks on the door, most of us are resistant and defensive. Our pre-conversion experience is Jesus saying, “Behold! I stand at the door and bomb!”
The moment you open yourself to Christ, God gets a “foothold” in your life. You may think you have surrendered all your life to him, but the truth is, there’s a lot to your life that you aren’t even aware of. You can only give God as much of you as you understand at that moment. That’s okay.
Once Christ is given a foothold, he begins the campaign to take over more and more territory until all of your life is completely his. There will be struggles and battles, but the outcome will never be in doubt. God has promised that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 NIV).
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