Incremental, not accidental

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

A few years ago I was walking through the mall. Someone called my name. “Matthew?”

I turned around and the other person said, “It’s Luke.” It was someone I used to play hockey with twenty years ago. We grabbed a coffee and caught up on old times.

When you spend time with someone every day you don’t always notice how their looks change. Faces and bodies tend to change gradually. But after twenty years, someone can look a lot different than how you remember.

This is often how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. I’ve known people who have started to believe in Christ and have experienced significant change in their lives immediately. But more often than not transformation happens in an incremental process.

I say this to hearten you. We can get discouraged if we don’t see tonnes of life-change right away. We read the Bible or we see what other Christians are doing and we wonder, ‘Why am I so stuck?!’

While it’s true that some people need to take their discipleship more seriously, others need to remember that transformation often takes time. God’s work in you is not accidental; it’s incremental. Over the span of twenty years I’m guessing that there has been (or will be) a lot of significant change in the footsteps of Jesus—things like godly choices, learning, sharing, helping, and growing.

This is the Holy Spirit working in you. 

They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is Christlikeness.

You don’t need to finish the race in one day. You just need to get behind Jesus and take the next step.


–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on January 23, 2023.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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