I was in the gym one day contemplating my muscularity. I know, there’s really not much to contemplate there. After a few years of working out, I should have lots of definition in my body if I am doing it properly. I should see growth from one year to another. That thought led me to another thought about my spiritual growth. There should be a growth from one year to another spiritually. I was listening to a sermon at lunch time before I went to work out. There was a point in the message about personal ministry growth. Each of us should have an increase year over year of our personal walk with the Lord. But the pastor said in most cases, that is not what is occurring. We get to a plateau then actually start a decline for whatever reason.
I thought about this point as I was working out. I know for many years there was no growth at all in my spiritual walk. I was still such a spiritual baby. I didn’t read my Bible. I didn’t attend study groups. I often didn’t attend church – these were my college years and a few years beyond. Joyce Meyer made a comment in one of her lectures, if we birth babies and only feed them on Sundays for one hour, what were the chances the babies would grow or even live? Babies need to be fed constantly in order to grow (and live). I believe this is the case as well for spiritual growth. We need to be self-feeders. Just getting the one hour a week feeding will not sustain us. We need to learn on our own and not rely on others to feed us.
As muscles develop, they need to be put to a strength test in order to become stronger. As we age, it actually takes more effort to keep the muscularity that we have. So as I am becoming stronger, I need to build even more muscle in order to show growth. My responsibility as a follower of Christ is to become more like Him. If I am not putting in the effort to grow, then I will hit the plateau. I have to be intentional about my growth. Last year, I was intentional about learning about the Holy Spirit. This year, I am concentrating on love. I have been reading what Jesus says about love. I have been reading books on the subject. I have accepted the challenge of going on mission with my church. I am growing up, but I am still so far from where I need to be. God is not finished with me yet, since He hasn’t taken me home yet. So be patient with me, God is not finished His work yet. I am a work in progress!
Do you see a difference in your spiritual walk?
No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love. Ephesians 4:14-16 (The Message)