I love to listen to people’s stories. God created each of us as individuals and each of our lives has a unique story. Often times when recounting an event in a person’s life, they will use the familiar line . . . While growing up . . . and then they will proceed with some great or funny story from their life.
My favorite type of stories are when people overcame difficult circumstances or when then learned some great lesson that caused them to make a profound change in the direction their life was going or where something that once was obstacle eventually become a victory.
In the same way, sometimes God uses difficulties in our lives to help us to grow up too. God’s plan for each of us as believers to grow up into spiritual maturity. If we are truly God’s children, he will cause all things to work together for our good (Romans 8:28). Growing up spiritually should be lifelong process that we can either work towards or resist.
1 Corinthians 13 vs. 11, Paul states . . . When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. So how do we as believers in Christ grow up in our faith and put our childish ways behind us? The answer is really quite simple yet not always so easy to do. To grow into maturity we need to daily submit ourselves to God and to know and obey his Word. This only comes through a daily discipline of reading and ingesting God’s Word and putting it into practice in our lives. When we do this God will grow us and begin to transform us.
2 Timothy 3:16 says . . . All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. Scripture is God’s instrument and the power that helps us along and aids in our journey towards spiritual maturity.When we submit our lives (meaning doing what is says, James 1:22) to the Word of God, it will begin to change us and help us to grow. Growing in Christ should be a lifelong process and if you’re not growing, you should be concerned.
As believers we can come up with 101 excuses why we don’t have time read God’s word or spend time with Him. I personally know that truth because for years I did the same thing, but when we do this we are playing into the enemies hands. Satan is the prince of this world and when he can keep a Christian from reading God’s Word or better yet, knowing the truth but not obeying it, he’s winning the battle. Without continual spiritual growth, you will not have victory in this life nor can you be effective in the purpose for which God has created you.
Another area that can keep us from growing spiritually is that if we read God’s word out of obligation or duty. The bible says . . . For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 God is not only concerned with out outward actions, but more importantly with what goes on in our heart and mind. We should read God’s Word with expectancy to hear what God has for us, and then be ready to apply what we hear to our daily lives.
As we come to know and grow in God’s word we become rooted and established “In Him.” Therefore, when the waves and difficulties of life come, we can stand firm on the promises in His Word. God’s Word is the Truth and the Holy Spirit (our helper) gives us the power to walk in and obey the truth. God’s Word helps wash our minds so that we may rid ourselves of anything that is not of Him. Also, it gives us the ammunition to fight off the attacks of the enemy.
God created each of us for a purpose and he has a plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11). When we begin grow spiritually, we begin to see God for who he truly is, our Creator and the Lord of our lives. As we begin to daily submit our lives to him and grow in our relationship with Him, we then begin to understand His plan and purpose for us. Then we will begin to discover our God-given gifts and how to best use them for the benefit of others. I’ve decided that the best posture we can have in this life is one of continual learning, growth and leaning into Him to help us grow up in the knowledge and likeness of Him!
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:11-16
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your precious Word. Help me to daily submit my life to you and to let your word transform my heart and mind. Help me to let go of areas that I have been resisting and to always trust that your ways are so much better than my ways. Help me to grow up in you so that my life may be a reflection of yours. Thank you for dying for me and paying the penalty for my sin. Help me to live for you. To you be the glory both now and forever. AMEN