Sometimes there’s a lag between the calling and the change. A disparity between the heart and the mind. The spirit loses to the flesh. How long did it take Peter to become the rock upon which the church was built? How long did it take Moses to free Israel from captivity in Egypt?
Peter actually knew Jesus. He walked with, talked with, joked with, drank wine and partied with the Living Word. He knew this guy:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)
After meeting The Word and walking with Him, Peter denied knowing Him to avoid sharing in His fate. Not once. Not twice. But three times.
Our salvation is instant, but our sanctification is not. It’s a process. A daily battle against ourselves to stop living according to our fleshly desires and live according to the law and will of God. To trust God more than we trust ourselves. To let go of the things that we cling to and approach God with open hands instead of a clenched fist. Psalm 1:1-3 says…
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
I look more like Jesus than I used to. I’m more generous, I’m slow(er) to anger, my language is cleaner, I’m more considerate, more peaceful, etc, etc…
I’m not the spitting image though. I doubt Him, not all of my language is clean, I still have anger issues sometimes, I can be greedy and try to hold things for myself instead of giving them away. God’s not done with me yet.
As we walk in the ways of God, He begins to remove more and more of the vestiges of our old life. We begin to look more like Him and less like our former selves. Paul encouraged the believers in Phillipi “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion …”
God ain’t done with me, but one day He will be.