Your nature is a hard thing to change; it takes time…. I have heard of people who have life-changing, miraculous turnarounds, people set free from addiction after a single prayer, relationships saved where both parties "let go, and let God." But it was not like that for me. For all that "I was lost, I am found," it is probably more accurate to say, "I was really lost. I'm a little less so at the moment." And then a little less and a little less again. That to me is the spiritual life. The slow reworking and rebooting the computer at regular intervals, reading the small print of the service manual. It has slowly rebuilt me in a better image. It has taken years, though, and it is not over yet.
That, in my opinion, is a very thoughtful look at the Christian life. Do you know who said that? It wasn't a preacher, theologian, or Christian author. It was Paul Hewson, better known as Bono, the stage name he uses as lead singer of the rock band U2.
I don't really know much about Bono's spiritual life, but what he says there is more accurate, more biblical than what you hear from so many preachers. The Christian life is not over when we accept Christ as our Savior. At that point, the journey has only begun. We are justified in a moment, but God makes us holy over the course of a lifetime. As we consider the stages of our relationship with Christ, we've already talked about what it means to live as if God doesn't exist. Last week, we explored the stage of seeking God. This Sunday, we'll talk about what happens after we first believe, and how we as Christ-followers can grow into His image.