The Dangerous Journey of Growth
You’ve started reading the Bible for growth and development and not simply for the acquisition of knowledge and information. You’ve taken the time to enter into a conversation with God (and others)…both talking and listening. The sparks of a vibrant life with Christ are beginning to break through.
Suddenly, or not so suddenly, you realize that your development as a follower of Christ is a bit more difficult than you anticipated it would be. This is hard work.
Your call and mine are very similar. We are supposed to “grow up”. The difficulty of growing up is at times it can be very painful and hard to traverse. The joy of growing up is that our lives can be flooded with new experiences, relationships, and opportunities.
Growth, while promising, comes with both pleasure and pain. As it relates to the life of a Christian I have come to the conclusion that change is inevitable but growth is optional. We know this because there have been points in our lives as Christians when we waded and wandered in infancy when adulthood was calling. Ephesians 4:13-16 is a clear mandate to develop and grow. How is it then that at times our growth is stagnant? There could be multiple reasons. Sin separates and divides relationships. At times we know growth will cost us more than we are willing to pay (see Jonah’s journey).
The ultimate reason we don’t grow is unbelief coupled with our unwillingness to obey and submit to God. Whatever the case or reason is, growth can stop and complacency can set in. It’s then that the one who initiates (God) growth begins to do the work of pruning in order that the one growing can bear more fruit (John 15:2).
Your growth as a believer starts with God (Ephesians 2:2-9), is maintained by God (Ephesians 2:10), and is completed by God (Philippians 1:6). This is great news for you and me. We are afforded the opportunity to develop at a pace designed just for us. We have a Creator who watches over us with concern and care. You and I play an active role in growing. We respond in obedience to God’s call, directives, and leading. God waters, prune, and cause growth. We are the ones growing. Experiencing growth is the joy that belongs only to the subject of that growth…that’s you…that’s me. God is growing us. That’s grace and life!
We are his workmanship and as we “grow up” we develop into his body and we together work to build each other (his church) and his kingdom.
Growing up results in living sent. Your purpose in life is the same as mine…God created you, saved you, and transformed you to send you.