It can certainly be disheartening when we finally come to realize that our longed-for transformation doesn’t simply materialize overnight. When you stop to think about it, though, how could being transformed into God’s image be anything but a life-long process? This fact is clearly evident in mature and godly believers, in whose lives work still remains to be done.
Some use the term sanctification to describe this process (a much more accurate use of this word than thinking of it as earning our way toward becoming more righteous, and therefore more acceptable to God).
God has designed the process of transformation to take place in degrees over time. It’s what being changed from “glory to glory” means (2 Corinthians 3:17). And moving from one degree of change to the next makes it that much easier for transformation to progress the way God planned. That’s why we must guard against slipping back into sin when tempted. There’s not a person among us who is immune to falling into sin through the weakness of our flesh.
As we discussed earlier, sin stands at the head of a trail leading in the wrong direction. Once we’ve set ourselves on that badly chosen path, it takes some doing to get back to the place we were before heading there. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to stop and evaluate our progress, even though we may be convinced that we’re moving in the right direction.(2 Corinthians 10:13) In so doing, we place ourselves in the advantageous position of taking every opportunity for God to continue His refining work.
Excerpted from: Free from the Power of Sin: The Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself