Perhaps, at some point, you’ve seen this written on a bookmarker, a bumper sticker, or even a t-shirt: “Please be patient…God’s not finished with me yet!” The truth of these words is inescapable. Most of us are painfully aware that, try as we might, we will never achieve sinless perfection in this life (1 John 1:8-10).
The overall impact of these words is quite encouraging, as well as comforting. While we are definitely responsible for our spiritual growth, it’s not all up to us. God works to bring about our transformation throughout our earthly lives. At present, we are all works-inprogress and are at different stages of growth & maturity. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:18). This verse reveals that those in Christ are in the process of becoming like Christ with God’s help and by His grace (see also Rom 8:29; 12:2-8).
Because God is the One doing the transforming work, we can take confidence in the fact that, as long as we cooperate with Him, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6). On that great day God will have finished His work and, “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). Until then, know that “it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).
Although God is not finished with us yet, each of us has (by His grace and with His help) achieved some measure of growth and maturity in Christ. “Only let us live up to what we have already attained!” (Phil 3:16 – NIV 1984).