To move forward spiritually is not easy and takes effort. Our own free will and our sinful nature often stand in our way of making progress along our spiritual journey. The changed Saul (Paul) writes about this transformation. Colossians 3:1Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
When we become a believer in Jesus, the Lord wants us to focus on Him and set our sights on things above. Later in Ephesians 4:24 Paul writes, “Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. 
After Saul comes to faith in Jesus, he begins to bear fruit. In his old life he persecuted the church, but now he is proclaiming the message of Jesus just like the Lord said he would. Saul also had free will and when confronted with who Jesus was, he chose to place his faith in Him.
Acts 9:17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength. Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. 20 And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!” 
God’s heart for you and me today is that we would put down our guards, take an honest look at our hearts, and recognize our need for transformation. We need to take off the old and put on the new self. This is what Saul did. Jesus longs for us to call out for restoration. He will remove what is robbing us of the abundant life. He is willing and able to transform us so we can live the new life. Anger, drug issues, or other sins that hold us captive can be overcome as we give ourselves over to the Lord. Although God can heal us instantly of any issue often healing takes time. You may need to take 50 steps, but today God gives you the ability to take one. Why is that? In my own life I found that long term healing means learning to depend on God each day. The Lord is trying to help us develop a new habit of depending on Him. This part of healing is a spiritual component we don’t always think about.
Paul writes in Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
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