When God makes spiritual changes in one's life they often occur gradually, not instantly, says Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren.
"The Holy Spirit will make changes in your life far beyond anything you thought possible, but they're not going to happen overnight," says Warren in a recent installment of Pastor Rick's Daily Hope.
Warren explains that when Saddleback Church began its "Decade of Destiny" he prayed that with the help of the Holy Spirit and through the Word of God, as well as help from small groups, the church would become more Christ-like over the decade to come.
The Saddleback pastor writes that he hopes for the same for his reading audience. "My prayer is the same for you, that in the next decade, you would grow in spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness and purpose."
Warren, however, reminds readers that they must be purposeful about their goal.
"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)."
Warren adds that becoming more like Jesus involves doing away with " … the old things and the old ways that keep us from getting to know Christ and becoming like him …" and instead to " … put on our new selves with the help of the Holy Spirit" and allow God to do his work — no matter how long it takes.
Warren cites 2 Corinthians 3:18: "As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him."
Such sentiments are shared by Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch.
In an interview with The Christian Post last week, the musician asserted that God's transformation of an individual's heart is often a gradual process.
"When have we seen God do something really quick?" the singer asked. "He does do these 'suddenlies' sometimes, yes, but usually there is a process, and it's a lot longer than any human would take. That's what God does. We have to get to these people [non Believers] and to be Jesus to them and just love them," he said in response to negative reaction to a recent Facebook post in which he discussed how he ministered to transgendered individuals at one of his concerts.
Head added, "The gospel of Christ isn't like fast food. Not everyone has an overnight dramatic conversion like mine. Often times the relationship with God takes hold many years or even a decade or more later.
When you religious people try to force instant repentance and point out people's flaws, you are dismantling what God is trying to do inside of hearts."