Our Lord is speaking here of the change that marks our initial conversion. But this isn’t a change we make just once at the start of our walk with him. We have to be continuously converted all the days of our lives, to continually turn to God as little children.

If we trust in our intelligence instead of in God, we’ll produce consequences for which God will hold us responsible. Whenever our bodies are brought into new conditions by his providence, we have to see that our natural life obeys the dictates of his Spirit. Just because we’ve done it once is no proof that we’ll do it again. The relation of the natural to the spiritual has to be one of continuous conversion. And yet continually converting our natural impulses into spiritual obedience is the one thing we object to.

In every new setting in which God places us, his Spirit remains unchanged and his salvation unaltered. But we have to “put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:24) by undergoing another conversion. God holds us responsible every time we refuse to convert ourselves, because he knows that our reason for refusing is natural willfulness.

Our natural impulses must not rule; God must. The obstacle in our spiritual life is that we have great wedges of obstinacy inside us, places where pride spits at the throne of God and says, “I won’t.” We refuse to be continually converted, deifying independence and willfulness and calling them by the wrong name. We call them “strength,” while God sees them as obstinate weakness. There are whole regions of our lives that we haven’t yet brought into subjection to him. The only way we can make them submit is by continuous conversion. Slowly but surely, we can claim the whole territory for the Spirit of God.

Wisdom from Oswald

The life of Abraham is an illustration of two things: of unreserved surrender to God, and of God’s complete possession of a child of His for His own highest end.
Not Knowing Whither