But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. ~ 2 Peter 3:18
When I look at the word “Grow” I have to tell you something. It scares me! No, really it does! I am not naturally one of those “green thumb” type people (I envy you). I have killed many a plant and even plenty of artificial plants (it can be done, trust me!). Luckily for me I am not even talking about “grow” in the concept of plants and gardening, but more in line with our own spiritual walk.
Is this where you take a deep breathe or when you are tempted to click on over to the next blog that is having some funny joke or cool meme going on today?
The beginning is the most important part of any work. -Plato
You see, it is completely up to us how much, how far, how deep, how long, how sincere our relationship with the One true God is. He is, was, and will ALWAYS be the same, so we are the only movable variable in this equation. What’s next for us? Funny thing is that I never really thought too much about this when I first became a Christian. I, naively, thought the most important thing in my relationship with Christ was crossing that line and accepting Him as my Lord and Savior, and for the first four years of my relationship with Him that was really all it was about. I said the prayer, I gave my life to Him, and now back to my regularly scheduled life. I was a new mom, twenty two years old, and just trying to settle in to being a wife, mom, woman, and now a Christian. You know what…it worked for me for a couple of years, but then I started to get that pull again. This can’t be right…I prayed the prayer God, you want more?
I began to hunger for the Word. My mother in love gave me a beautiful Life Application Bible for my birthday shortly after I had my son. I thought this woman totally hated me, seriously…why would she give me a Bible for my birthday. In my family Birthday’s are a BIG DEAL…we are talking Marching Bands, Birthday Week’s, and lots of gifts (that IS my love language). But you know what, I kept that Bible and laid it on my nightstand (in the box, with the top open, of course), to show her that I did appreciate the thought. A couple of months went by and a strange thing happened…I opened the Bible. Crazy, I know! I started reading it one night and my husband walked in and just about fell over. I asked him question after question, “Why did that happen to …”, “Why did God send Jonah to Ninevah”, etc. and he just looked at me like I had three heads or something, and so began my journey to know more about God.
2 Corinthians 10:15 – Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand,
It has been years since my journey has began and yet here I am fifteen years later still with a hunger, a burning passion, and a desire to know more of the God of the Bible. What I have learned from being in ministry and from my own spiritual journey is that people want a quick fix (which is so true of today’s culture). They want an instant conversion, mighty miracles, a parting of the Red Sea, and their own “I’ve been with Jesus” moment. (You know that feeling that overwhelms you when you have walked away from an intense prayer time with God and you feel His presence all over you.) And that just doesn’t happen…well, maybe it does for some people, but for most people it is a process that happens over time. Now, hang with me here…I am not saying it can not be quick or it can not be amazing, but for most people it is a slow, day by day, growth process.
Colossians 1:10 – And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
I finally had to realize that if I wanted to know more about Jesus, and I wanted to be more like Him, then I needed to do something about Him. There is not a person, a church, a ministry, a vision, that will grow for you…it has to start with you and your desire to be more like Him. God can and will do anything He wants but what He desires more than anything is for a “relationship” with you and I. I love that little slogan, it’s a relationship, not a religion. I just love it…our Heavenly Father is a relational God (I LOVE THAT!!!) and over anything else in the whole wide world He wants to spend time with YOU (and me!). How cool is that? BUT…(there’s always a but) it’s our choice!
If I want to be more like Him, then I (not anyone else) have to do what it takes to make that happen. I have to GROW up spiritually! I love this verse in 1 Peter 2:2 – 1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. It’s time to move past the formula and the spiritual milk my friends…you know that He has called you to be so much more. He has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11) for your life and He needs us to grow up to be ready to receive it.
What is that next step for you? Is it baptism, is it quiet time, is it physically getting yourself back into a Bible preaching church, is it getting involved in a small group, is it actually taking the time to get yourself a good Bible. What? For me, at this stage of my walk with Him it was leaving a church that wasn’t challenging me to grow, that wasn’t supporting the values that God has for my family, and that wasn’t a place that went deep into the Word. It was time to move on. It was time to start listening to God over the noise of others. There is no right or wrong answer here…it’s just what is it for you that will bring you closer to Him?
Ephesians 4:15 – Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
As long as we remember that it is ALL ABOUT HIM, and so not about us, we should all be able to keep our focus on what is truly the most important thing…Him! He deserves all the praise and glory! I don’t know about you, but my heart’s desire is to bloom and grow into the woman God has created me to be, and it is my hope and prayer that you have that same desire.
Stop and ask Him what is keeping you from growing. Listen. Really listen to what He says to you. Be patient. It is not something that happens over night, but with time and lots of prayer you too will bloom and grow into all that He has created you to be and then we will celebrate as we seek the words in 2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
Grow my friends, GROW!!!
Great post, I have such a strong desire lately to know HIM more! I love the relationship we have and I want so much to be more like HIM. You are so right it is what we are willing to put into that relationship, it is up to us. . .Thank you my friend:)
I needed to read this today, I have a very difficult time setting aside time to read my Bible. I always find time to look at blogs, read a magazine, short stories etc, but to sit and actually read the Word is a task I need to grow in. Thanks for this it hit like a 2×4.
growing is fine. it is the stretching part that is tough.
I needed this today too…I need to get into my Bible and really learn it.
Thanks Mel. You always have the most inspiring posts! Growing is hard work!
As always my friend you’ve posted a wonderful God centered post!
I am currently working on a retreat I am speaking at next month and I am to share how we experience God’s love. How do we walk from bondage to living loved. I know the women are going to want a quick 1 2 3 step or formula. When will we realize it’s about HIM being in His Word, knowing His Word and it takes making daily, moment by moment choices to speak truth to ourselves, praying through those difficult moments and resting in Him. It IS all about Him – the journey is not some quick easy formula but often a hard up hill climb. It’s so worth it…Oh it is so worth it!
Awesome post. I definitely think growth is hard but needed. I am always working on this one.
Amen, thanks for the awesome post.
Brilliant Mel! You have such a gift to teach, preach and inspire! I’ve been in the ‘dumps’ today, wondering what and how, and that midlife crisis thing…did I miss it? have I always missed it? thanks for this. (oh it’s Karen by the way of ‘Karen’s Ramblings’
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