"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."(2Cor 5:17). When we become Christian the Bible says that "he is a new creature". Most Christians interpret this as meaning that an instant, split second transformation takes place, and, although Salvation does happen in a split second upon the accepting of Jesus Christ as the propitiation (payment) for sin, the "new creature" is a transitional process.
This process is put into motion at the split second transformation that occurs at the moment of Salvation, but it doesn't end there. Just as a physical baby needs time and proper nourishment in order to grow and become strong and mature, so it is with the new Christian. He has been "born again", as Jesus put it in Jn 3:3 " Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Now begins the process of spiritual growth, that, if done right, will result in a strong, healthy and spiritually mature person that will be able to care for others and teach them to teach others ect...
"He must increase and I must decrease."(Jn 3:30) These were the words spoken by John the Baptist as soon as he realized that Jesus has finally come. This is also asked of each one that gives his or her life to the Lord. He must increase as an influence in your life and you, (your personal, selfish desires) must decrease. We also know from Romans 10:17 that faith comes from hearing the word of God and the more you faithfully study the Word the stronger you will become in faith. There is another aspect to this. The Bible says, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."(He 4:12). This does not only apply to those to whom the word is spoken, but it also applies to those who hear it on a daily basis in their quest to gain spiritual strength, growth and maturity through faithful study of God's Word. Things will happen, changes will be asked of you in modification of even long-standing personal viewpoints.
Things that have been hidden for sometimes the whole of a person's life will suddenly be brought to the surface and they will be faced with a choice of either letting go of the problem and trusting that God will see them through no matter how embarrassing or personal the problem might be so great is their love for the Lord, or they will continue to try to hide it and the problem will then take over and stiffle that person's spiritual growth. Some to the point of handicaping their service to God.
The goal is for these things and problems to come to the surface so they can be dealt with and that the victory over them can be won. It is through the process of these victories that we gain spiritual maturity that enables us to be of greater use in the Master's hand. It is not automatic, it is a process. Everyone has to die to self. The tests and trials are different for everyone, but the process is the same. Whatever is standing in the way of you being the best possible witness for the Lord is what will need to change. Only you and God know what those things are.
One thing sure though is that we ALL have these changes that we must go through in order to "be all that we can be" for Jesus, to paraphrase an old military slogan. We, like they, are also embroiled in a war; only ours is for love and the hearts of men everywhere and not for political gain or a search for power and control.
Once having submitted to the breakings and molding that the Lord wants you to go through you will indeed be "a new creature in Christ" and you will be able to look back and see God's plan in your life all along the way. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used." (Heb 10:31-33)
You will have been put through the fires and come out on the other side a strong, healthy and powerful soldier in the army of Jesus Christ able to withstand the lies of the enemy and to fight the good fight of faith. "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Eph 6:13)