The pastor said (among many other things) that "there is no evolution from the flesh to the spirit." I may not have quoted him word for word, but it was something very close to that. At any rate, it reminded me of Galatians chapter 3 where it says:
Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
We can't be righteous on our own. Can't be holy. Can't be perfect. Not by God's standards. No matter how hard we try, (and I have tried VERY hard, many times) flesh can never become spirit. Only by drawing near to God do we become holy - not because WE change, but because HE changes us. We grow and learn to walk in the spirit by loving and seeking God. And we seek God and draw near to him by following Jesus Christ.
Just some thoughts. I frequently struggle with trying to change, so this is very meaningful to me. I try and try, but all I do is frustrate myself every time because I CAN'T change. Then I am reminded some way or another that God changes us - we don't change ourselves. Then I'm good for a while, and then at some point I start drifting back into my old habits again - I stop seeking God as much and start putting more effort into trying to change myself. Again. And then after I'm so frustrated I'm ready to pop, God reminds me (again) that drawing near to him is what's important, and that true, lasting change comes only when I put him first and seek him with all my heart.
You'd think I'd have learned by now. Well, I can be a pretty slow learner sometimes. I'm just thankful that God is so patient with me and loves me enough to put up with my slowness. :)