During school holidays I aim to take one child at a time with me when I have to run errands. On Tuesday it was Andrew’s turn. He is my passionate child, with the small heart.
Quality time is his love language. Needless to say, he loved every moment alone with me.
The one thing that stand out for me when being with him alone, is the kind of questions and things he talks about. He has such an inquisitive mind and loves asking questions.
On Tuesday, out of the blue, he wanted to know how we grow, as he observed his too long fingernails which I forgot to cut before we left. Do we grow a piece at a time, or do we grow constantly? As I started an elaborate detailed explanation, as the constant changes in our bodies are quite a difficult concept to explain to an 8 year old, while driving - another picture come to mind.
I thought about spiritual growth
We do not have much control of our bodies’ growth, or as we get older (where I’m now), the slow degeneration of our bodies. We can take care of our diet. Eating organic food as far possible, avoiding fast foods, colourants, genetically modified foods, MSG and preservatives to give optimum growth and prevent degenerating at a fast rate. We can take anti-oxidants, vitamins and Omegas to revitalize our cells, and drink 2-3 liters of water to wash away cellular waste. All these precautions can help us have optimum and quality life.
Change is part of the cycle of life. Physically we will always have change. But we are not only body, we are also spirit and soul and in our spiritual life we will also have constant change. We can either grow and move forward or choose a comfort zone and back slide slowly. I read the other day ‘Create a new comfort zone.” When you are in a comfort zone and nothing is challenging you, you might be at a dangerous place. A comfort zone can easily become a place of no growth. After all, what is there to depend on God for when we have everything under control?
God wants us to move our boundaries, conquer new territory for Him, do new things for Him, reach people in His name for His glory. But in moving our boundaries, stepping out of our comfort zones, we will surely stumble into overwhelming circumstances. You will feel out of control, afraid, inexperienced, “the wrong man for the job”.
And that is exactly what you are supposed to feel when you are in a spiritual challenging situation, out of you comfort zone. When you can do nothing out of our own, you can only walk with the Lord Jesus in total dependence. It is in these circumstances that you grow, that you learn more about God, who you are and how to trust Him for more.
After all, when you move the boundaries, transcending the ordinary and starts to encroach on new territory for God, guess whose turf you’re invading? You are conquering territory for the Lord which belong to the World, to Satan. It will call for great faith, great dependence on the Lord for His supernatural power working through you. In the process we will be filled more with the Spirit and we will grow spiritually.
I remember a story by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, years ago while he was still in seminary. He was in conversation with a fellow student and his mentor, Professor Howard Hendricks. The student was excited to tell Dr. Hendricks how well his life was going.
“When I first came here,” he said, “I was so tempted and tested I could barely keep my head above water. But now - praise God! - my life at seminary has smoothed out. I’m not being tempted hardly at all!”
But Hendricks looked deeply alarmed - not the reaction the student was expecting.
“That’s about the worst thing I could have heard,” he told the surprised senior.
“That shows me that you’re no longer in the battle! Satan isn’t worried about you anymore.”
Are you still in the battle? Are you still stepping out in faith, redeeming territory for the Lord, living in total dependence on Jesus? Do you allow these circumstances to let you grow spiritually, or do you enjoy your comfort zone? Playing it safe, tolerant and blending in?
Remember Peter stepping out of the boat, walking on the water depending on Jesus alone?
Whatever you do this week, don’t be hesitant to live a life for the Lord. Be bold, living in totally dependence, pleasing the Lord by living in faith!
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