Growth has also been coming up a lot lately. Today, 3 separate situations touched on this topic, thus I felt compelled to jot some of it down. I pray that this speaks to someone who may be stuck or needs some guidance. Here’s some notes from a separate Journal I have going. Bless you –
Jesus forgives and forgets. Don’t keep dwelling on past fears, mistakes, etc. He doesn’t remember them, stop reminding Him of them! While we are dwelling on past things, we are probably missing what Jesus has for us, what teachings and growth we are to be a part of, etc. Our past can control us and cause us to miss Him while our thoughts are held captive. What things are first in our life? Sports, TV, Internet, Work, Family, Video games, Friends?
We tend to live for self. Self occupies the high seat in our lives. Everything we experience is usually viewed in a fashion on how it affects us: How is it going to impact me? How is this going to work out/fit into my life? What am I going to get from it or how am I going to benefit? How am I going to overcome this if it doesn’t work out? How will this change my life, for the good or bad? What is it going to change? Stop the madness – Growth.
We contemplate most things in our thoughts and it boils down to how it’s going to affect us and our lives. We get this mentality that I must fight through this situation in order to experience peace. I must overcome, dominate, control, cuz if I don’t, I won’t experience peace.
This is NOT peace. It’s a battle, a struggle in the realm of thoughts. Peace is not something we fight for, but it’s something we surrender to. In the physical world, we have to overcome in some situations. But Spiritually, we cannot fight for our peace. Spiritual peace is obtained when we surrender these things to Jesus. Christ sets us free, we can’t do it. We may think we are successful at doing it ourselves, but this is very dangerous. The evil spirits will return, stronger, and with other friends. We must clean things out with Christ replacing them. A new sheriff is in town, His Name is Yoshua – The Lord Saves. Growth.
We have 3 types of focuses that we can have in our lives:
- We live completely for ourselves. Jesus is not there and not involved. Stuff in our lives first. Self centered life. All of our “stuff” and “experiences” take precedence. There is no Growth, only self.
- Self is in focus – Jesus is there, but He’s pushed down to 2nd place in most situations, if not in all of them.
- This is the most complicated and frustrating place. This is where most of us live in our Faith. Most have Jesus, but He’s not in control. He’s not Lord of our lives. This brings a constant battle. Constant frustration. All of our belongings, house, our personal image, work, money, TV shows, internet, friends, having fun, etc are kings of our life.
- Matt: 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. The person will hate one master and love the other, or will follow one master and refuse to follow the other. You cannot serve both God and worldly riches.
- When self is in focus, we’re a slave of self but we have knowledge of Jesus Christ (we just don’t choose Him, we choose the things the self likes to do, we justify, we ignore Him, and we do these things only because our pride won’t allow us do any self discovery – Why?? Because we would then be convicted and pride won’t have any of that humility stuff!).
- The Holy Spirit will work, convict and help us in the warfare.
- We’ll struggle in this section until we surrender to Christ.
- This is the carnal/casual Christian area that I blogged about yesterday in the Body of Christ.
- Our actions/decisions/thoughts are based on Self. Most choices and decisions are done with self as the main thought
- Remember: We can’t serve both God and the world at the same time.
- Then, when things don’t go right, what do we do? We tend to point at God and blame Him, we get discouraged. It’s not His fault, it’s our fault for not surrendering and making wise choices. He’s trying to teach us and show us, but we continue to seek self and miss His teachings
- FEAR: Whenever something is new in front of us, fear causes us to not act on something the Lord very well may be guiding us to. We tend to go into our past and pull up some old junk, out of our past. We go back in our lives and we think “I can’t really do this because the last time I went out on a limb, something bad happened.” I.e. The last time in this situation, people said stuff to us and it caused us to recoil. It gripped us. We don’t have peace. The fear is written on our hearts and we get afraid to step out.
- Instead of viewing ourselves as Jesus does (Forgiven, Clean) – we go back to our past. Our past is forgiven and gone. We must forgive and forget as Jesus does with us. We say things inside of our heads like: “I can’t do that cuz of my past..” We think of what people have said about us.. We have a pile of junk that is controlling us, and we are missing out what Jesus is asking of us.
- In all of #2 mentioned above, we are living for self. It all boils down to how it’s going to affect us in our lives. How we are going to be impacted, our emotions, worries, stress, our thoughts on the subject matter, etc. This is not how we find peace.
3. Jesus being the Lord of our lives – The King of our Life. On our Hearts and Minds. GROWTH!
- Material things still there, but they take a back seat.
- Our decision process and changes in life are based on Jesus. We think of Him first.
- The old things that were first start to fade away. Peace is found in surrendering.
- We can either keep fighting, fighting and fighting for our peace and never receive it. We continue to struggle.
- Christ sets us free when we submit to Him
- It’s a constant process. We will sometimes still put the old things first before Christ.
- Gotta be active in the process. Confess/Repent. Keep going back to Christ. Actively pursue Him. Keep putting Him back in first place on our minds and hearts.
Life is a school, don’t ever stop learning. School of Love with Jesus Christ as our teacher.
- 1Pet2: 1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
- 2Pet3:16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
- Eph4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is
the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Sometimes we are still like infants, spiritually speaking. We have 15, 20, 25 years of being a Christian and we aren’t any different. Still a child in our walk. Still blaming. Still emotional. There are others that are a couple of years with the Lord, and we can see growth. There are people with 30 years with the Lord, they continue to seek growth.
A great example of Growth – In the past, when <x> happened, I would curse and get angry. When it happens now, I find what God is doing, and thank Him for it. Thank Him for the past lesson or the current lesson.
Remember, we were once mentored and taught. We had someone show us, teach us, and guide us to the path. We need to reach that maturity so that we can teach others as we have been taught.
Discipleship means to be a learner. The Holy Spirit is the Teacher
- Matt 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Maturity means we take a new look at situations in life: What is God trying to Teach me? Am I learning it? Spiritually speaking, infants are led by emotion and are all about self. Blaming others or God, instead of finding out what God is doing with them speicifically for their own growth.
Maturity looks for God in situations to see what He is doing. Do you really want His help? Do you? Or is pride saying “I can get it.” People blame God “Why is He putting me through this?” We do it to ourselves. We are infants of pride “I can get it, I don’t need His help”, but we blame Him when trials and tribulations come.
We have to keep growing in Faith. Challenges come so we can keep growing in Faith. Growth in Gifts of the Spirit, in Wisdom, in Surrendering, Salvation, Growing into Him, Grow in Trust, Love, Compassion. Worship, Giving, etc. Am I growing to be more Christ-like? Do I want to Grow? Is Pride in the way and we need humility to bust in? What needs to change in my life so that I can grow?
It’s not all about studying to be book smart. It’s not about commitment – It’s a Heart issue. It’s a desire to be like Christ.
It’s all in our own perspective – Do we look at self and how we are impacted or do we look at Him and seek what He is trying to show us? What is He trying to Teach me? What is He doing? Where is He trying to advance me? Is He Growing me in Humility and crushing pride? When we don’t learn something the first time through, what happens? We retake the class. God will put us through situations and allow Satan to sift us like he did with Peter. Like he did with Joseph. Like he did with Job. It’s so that we can grow. It’s our choice – Either we learn the lesson He is teaching us or we retake the class. It’s that simple. Wisdom. Growth.
Ever have the same type of situations happen in life, over and over again? Are we repeatedly allowing pride and self to get in the way.. constantly blaming others for our situations? Blaming God? Pride and Self can get in the way and will blind us from recognizing what God is teaching us. We are stuck without movement in developing ourselves further – Growth!
We will point fingers as a distraction so that the pride can continue hidden behind the curtain. I call it the “Hey, look over there!” tactic. We’ll get angry, we’ll blame others, we’ll justify, we’ll change the topic, etc. Because if we don’t play these tactics, pride would be discovered and we’d have to say “I was wrong”. Pride won’t let that happen. No growth!
Pride and humility can’t exist at the same time, it’s impossible. We must humble ourselves to the point of confessing that we all fall short of the Glory of God. Then we can take a look behind the curtain of pride’s self talk. We’ll see the evil one behind the curtains of thought.. all we have to do is accept it. As long as pride refuses to take a look, we can’t humble ourselves. We’ll never grow until we can crush pride w/ Humility.
Wise Teachings for God’s People
1 These are the wise words of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.
2 They teach wisdom and self-control;
they will help you understand wise words.
3 They will teach you how to be wise and self-controlled
and will teach you to do what is honest and fair and right.
4 They make the uneducated wise
and give knowledge and sense to the young.
5 Wise people can also listen and learn;
even they can find good advice in these words.
6 Then anyone can understand wise words and stories,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 Knowledge begins with respect for the Lord,
but fools hate wisdom and discipline.
Warnings Against Evil
8 My child, listen to your father’s teaching
and do not forget your mother’s advice.
9 Their teaching will be like flowers in your hair
or a necklace around your neck.
10 My child, if sinners try to lead you into sin,
do not follow them.
11 They will say, “Come with us.
Let’s ambush and kill someone;
let’s attack some innocent people just for fun.
12 Let’s swallow them alive, as death does;
let’s swallow them whole, as the grave does.
13 We will take all kinds of valuable things
and fill our houses with stolen goods.
14 Come join us,
and we will share with you stolen goods.”
15 My child, do not go along with them;
do not do what they do.
16 They are eager to do evil
and are quick to kill.
17 It is useless to spread out a net
right where the birds can see it.
18 But sinn
ers will fall into their own traps;
they will only catch themselves!
19 All greedy people end up this way;
greed kills selfish people.
20 Wisdom is like a woman shouting in the street;
she raises her voice in the city squares.
21 She cries out in the noisy street
and shouts at the city gates:
22 “You fools, how long will you be foolish?
How long will you make fun of wisdom
and hate knowledge?
23 If only you had listened when I corrected you,
I would have told you what’s in my heart;
I would have told you what I am thinking.
24 I called, but you refused to listen;
I held out my hand, but you paid no attention.
25 You did not follow my advice
and did not listen when I corrected you.
26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble.
I will make fun when disaster strikes you,
27 when disaster comes over you like a storm,
when trouble strikes you like a whirlwind,
when pain and trouble overwhelm you.
28 “Then you will call to me,
but I will not answer.
You will look for me,
but you will not find me.
29 It is because you rejected knowledge
and did not choose to respect the Lord.
30 You did not accept my advice,
and you rejected my correction.
31 So you will get what you deserve;
you will get what you planned for others.
32 Fools will die because they refuse to listen;
they will be destroyed because they do not care.
33 But those who listen to me will live in safety
and be at peace, without fear of injury.”