Mathematics was never was one of my strongest subjects in high school. It is embarrassing to say so but…I was in the remedial class. There I said it, whew, I feel much better for having bared my soul to you! But one thing that I did learn was that if you do this you will get that. It is the law of cause and effect. It is black and white, the answer is either right or wrong.
After more than 20 years of ministry and observing how God has worked in my life and in the lives of others I have noticed one thing. I have noticed that people who are growing in their relationship with the Lord are those who actively take steps to do so. They are not passive bystanders waiting for God to show up and perform Red Sea type miracles. Those who are growing in the Lord, even in the adversities of life and in the ‘sunshine’ or good times, are those who make God’s agenda a part of their daily lives.
Those who do not grow in the Lord have the common thread that their priorities seem to be out of line with those who do. They struggle with applying the teaching of Scripture to their priority list. It could very well be that they struggle with issues that we do not know about. But there are habits that they hang on to that prevent them from taking positive steps forward.
Those who do grow in the Lord read the Word of God and apply the Word to their lives. They actively take steps to grow, they don’t look for excuses as to why they are not growing. They understand that to grow spiritually they must put themselves into God’s classroom and be disciplined when the “teacher”, God, speaks his word.
2 Peter 1:3 says “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence”. This is the challenge for every believer, God has given to EVERY believer ALL things that pertain to life and godliness. I have at my disposal all I need to grow into maturity in Christ. So if I fail to take advantage of all that Christ has given to me, then I am missing out.
One of the most challenging verses in the New Testament is Hebrews 5:12 where we read, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God.” The author of Hebrews shares with his audience a very hard pill to swallow. You are not growing in the Lord like you should, by this time you should be much more mature in Christ than you are. It requires a great deal of humility to accept that rebuke!
These are challenging verses for every believer, yours truly included. There is more to learn, there is more of Christ that I need to grab a hold of. The goal is to continue to strive to become all that God has for us. The challenge is for you and I is that each day we open our hearts to what God wants to teach us. I find that there is a tendency to want to rest on my past achievements instead of moving ahead into unknown territory.
How are you doing, my friend? Are you actively taking steps to grow in Christ? What plan do you have to continue to become all that God has designed you to be for His glory? Let me encourage you to make Him your priority. I conclude with Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you!”