I think the reason that I don’t grow is because I don’t understand the process of growth and because of that, I often get wrapped up and trapped in cycles of thwarting my own progress . This world just tells me to work, hustle, be productive, do more, work harder, work smarter, to get it and get over and above others. I have listened to this tune more times than I care to admit and I always wake up realizing that I am behaving like a human doing rather than a human being. For me, human doing looks like a emotionally cold task master. That certainly is not what God had in mind for me.
Change is necessary when it comes to growth. However, I don’t always like change. It can be scary and uncomfortable. I remember a time in my life before I knew God, before I believed in Jesus, before I became a Christian when I was so unhappy, worried, scared, and uncomfortable in my own skin that I was begging for change. I wanted a new life and I was willing to leave all I had known in California and take a journey, alone, to get away from the life that I had been living. Change in Christ is called Transformation. It is the process of Christ being formed in me. This is the goal of Christianity, to become more and more like Jesus.
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,4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.2 Peter 1:3-8
Do yourself a favor and read that again. I did! How beautiful is that!?
Life in Jesus is beautiful but if I do not understand the process I can massively fight against the process. When I accepted Christ, the Holy Spirit moved into my spirit to being the work of transformation and the enemy of God came around to make it difficult for me. If I don’t keep in mind how the Spirit of God is working and what the enemy is capable of I can misinterpret the heart of God. I still misinterpret and fight against the process sometimes, especially when I am gripped by fear, worry, doubt, and my emotional life has been tethered to a past or current event or both that is happening in my life.
What’s the intent? What’s the point? What do I need? What am I to do?
- Bear Fruit and Grow: This is the intention of the gospel. Colossians 1:10..bear fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. The point of bearing fruit and growing is to create in me the ability to have great endurance through this life, live with patience through all things, express joyful thanksgiving to God, and to receive an inheritance. I must remember that God is working all things for good.
- Share My Faith: In order to bear fruit and grow I must be a person who share’s my faith with others. Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the herald, who proclaims peace, who brings news of good things, who proclaims salvation. My faith is meant to be shared not kept to myself. I encourage you to take some time to write down how you met God and how he has changed your life then share that with someone else.
- Lifelines: I need 3 things to bear fruit and grow. These are the lifelines of my faith. Prayer, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. The Spirit of God will reminds me of the Word of God, so that, I can pray His word and will into my life.
- Be A Follower: Francis Chan said, “The thought of being a follower (become a disciple of another) is almost unheard of because everyone wants to be the leader. Be a follower of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:11 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. To bear fruit and grow I need to be a followers of Christ. Paul encouraged the Corinthians to become followers. I need godly examples in my life that I live in community with because the only way to become a leader is to first become a follower. I must regularly ask myself the questions, “Do I really love Jesus? Am I following well those God has put over me? Am I really the kind of leader others should follow?”
- Prepare For Testing: John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Anytime I desire to bear fruit and grow there will be opposition. Jesus wants me to know trouble is coming. I will go through testing and trials in this life. I will encounter pressures from the outside to perform and try to get my worth from what I do. I will encounter pressures from the inside to quit when life gets hard. Thank God that Jesus has overcome!
To me all of that can be seen as a tall order of performance if it was not for the why behind all of it. Are you ready? It’s JOY! Yes, I said, “JOY!”
The joy of the Lord is my strength. – Nehemiah 8:10
For the joy set before Him (Jesus) He endured the cross. – Hebrews 12:2
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. – John 15:11
For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? – 1 Thessalonians 2:19
HIS JOY IS YOU!
The joy set before Jesus drove Him to endure the cross for the outcome of oneness with Him and you. It is a mutual joy! The joy of the Lord is the expression of His rejoicing and enjoying me and enjoying you. This is why we can be strong. It is our strength.
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, the mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
We are His delight! That to me is worth it all! Just to be His.
All is grace,