REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Matt Ro who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta, was first posted on May 19, 2013. Matt is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BS) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“A Very Needed Insight on Growing in Christ”
Ephesians 4:13-16 (ESV)
“. . . until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Growth is God’s method. Maturity is not something that happens easily or overnight. We often get frustrated when we don’t see growth instantaneously, especially when we deal with sin and our dual natures as Paul talks about in Romans 7 (17 “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me”). We are Christians if we have placed our faith in Christ and rest upon Him, but there is a process of growth that must follow, and it takes time for this to occur.
Remember what the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 5:12: “Though we ought to be teachers by this time, some are still in need of elementary truths.” Sadly, this is what often happens in our Christian life. We come into it as a newborn Christians, and for a long time we resist the great principles that make for Christian development. It takes a while for us to realize that God’s intention with us is something quite different than what we had thought while growing up as natural men and women; thus, initially we resist these changes. Then, the Lord orchestrates our lives in such a way that we give in, after which, we accept and understand the principles; shortly thereafter, we learn that it takes time to practice these principles even after we have grasped them. But this is how spiritual growth happens in real life.
Oftentimes, we may discover that growth seems to be so slow. Right when we think we have matured, seemingly out of nowhere, something happens—perhaps we run into a wrong person—and out it all (i.e., immaturity) comes again. Then we are discouraged. We go to the Lord and say, “Lord, what’s wrong with me?”, or we say, “Why don’t you hurry up this process?” There are times when we feel tired of being immature. But God has His own time, and sometimes it takes almost a lifetime to mature up fully. After all, it takes God years to grow an oak tree.
Nevertheless, I am eager for growth and love seeing growth. We must always be in pursuit of spiritual growth, yet not being discouraged when we find we have a long way to go from being like Christ. Take a moment and ask, “Which direction are you going?
Prayer: Father, thank You for this reminder of my need to be patient in this process of growth. Help me to accept this fully and to trust that You will complete the good work that You began in me. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 12