Time to Change
We were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.
If our inner selves were transformed overnight, major changes would take place in our lives and relationships. We may fear some of these changes. We may be afraid that God will thrust us into a new way of life that we won't be able to handle. We do want new lives, but we know how fierce and tenacious our character defects can be, making us pause at the thought of dealing with them.
As the people of Israel were about to conquer the Promised Land, Moses said to them, "No, do not be afraid of those nations, for the LORD your God is among you, and he is a great and awesome God. The LORD your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, otherwise the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you. But the LORD your God will hand them over to you. He will throw them into complete confusion until they are destroyed" (Deuteronomy 7:21-23).
Israel's entrance into the Promised Land parallels our journey into a new life. Their conquest and removal of the enemy nations is similar to the conquests we have over our character defects. God understands that sudden, dramatic changes would endanger us. He will never expect us to maintain a life completely different from what we know. But he wants us to remember that he is with us. And he will cast out our defects a little at a time so we can handle the changes. We'll then be able to gradually move into a new life, experiencing victory one step at a time.
God could change us in an instant, but often he chooses to change us slowly, one step at a time.