Look at the verse below.
19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, Galatians 4:19 (NKJV)
The context is Paul writing to believers, new creations, and speaking to them of the need for Christ to be formed in them. How does that make sense? It requires understanding the need to become who we are. We are new creations in that we have a new spirit at conversion. What we don’t receive is a new soul (our mind, will and emotions). What is in our recreated spirit (Jesus nature) needs to be formed and manifest in our soul. That is Paul’s point in Galatians 4:19. He reinforces this in other places.
23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:23-24 (NKJV)
Here Paul is saying that deep within our thought processes we need to align with what we are in our spirit, a new creation created in righteousness and holiness (imparted righteousness). This will be reflected in our behaviour.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
Paul here exhorts us to wholly surrender to Jesus nature in our recreated spirit and reflect in our lifestyle what is good and acceptable in our behaviour.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 (NKJV)
In these passages from Galatians Paul provides more of the how. Walking in the Spirit requires a daily submission and surrender of our desire and will to the Holy Spirit. We can know we are doing that when what is reflected in our behaviour and attitude is the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, etc. When this is what is consistently reflected in our lives we have become who we are. While I don’t believe any of us will ever complete this in our lifetime that certainly needs to be our goal, reflected more fully over time. Paul put it thus.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV)
Jesus laid hold of us to conform us to His image and be bearers of His glory in broken vessels. Let us press on that others may encounter Jesus shining through us.
NOTE – For further teaching on understanding spirit and soul search my blog for my post “Restoring Repentance Part 5.”