Sometimes the changing seasons appear to engage in a tug of war with each other. Are you glad when you see a robin, the first sign of spring? Yet that robin does not necessarily mean the end of winter weather. Less than a week after I saw a robin this year, winter returned with a vengeance. Some communities in southern Ontario received the same amount of snowfall as a January storm.
I do not know how you feel, but I enjoy the opposite—a heat wave in September. It means one more chance to go canoeing or sailing before cold grips the land. In contrast, skiers rejoice when they can ski in April. Others prefer not to have to deal with shoveling more snow. Whatever your preferences, everyone must accept the fact that summer and winter do not usually end abruptly. From a human viewpoint, there is a tug of war between the seasons.
The same situation occurs spiritually. When a person is saved, he or she accepts Jesus as Lord and Saviour. No longer are we legally guilty of our sins because Jesus took the punishment, which we deserve. Nevertheless the long process of sanctification begins. The new nature in Christ struggles to eradicate and replace the old sin nature. What a tug of war spiritually!
The apostle Paul lamented, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18, 19 NIV).
Paul struggled with sin in his life, just as we do. Thankfully, the Lord continues the painful process of sanctification in believers. He never gave up on Paul. Likewise God will never stop working to make us more like Jesus.