One Year Bible, Friday, February 6, 2015: Exodus 23:14-25:40; Matthew 24:29-51; Psalm 30:1012; Proverbs 7:24-27
Virtually every living thing is designed to GROW. It’s natural and to be expected. Babies
grow, trees grow, grass grows. We usually want all good things to GROW, whether it is an investment account or a business, a friendship or a cause.
Most of us have no problem growing PHYSICALLY. In fact, after we grow UP we tend to grow OUT. Physical growth transitions from stature to structure, from growing up to getting fit. This last part is where the challenge comes.
Far too many of us have plateaued in our growth. We stopped yearning for more; stopped expanding our horizons. It’s far too easy to coast.
God calls us to GROW in Him. SPIRITUAL growth is the most important aspect of your entire life. Yet it is often the most neglected. We eat, sleep, drink, and perhaps occasionally read something.
GROWTH IS WORK
One of the reasons for our laziness is GROWTH is hard work. We need to break out of bad habits and build good ones. We need to blast out of the ruts of routine and blaze the trail of expansion.
Taking ground can too easily transition into holding on. In daily cordialities, someone asks, “How are you doing?” The answer is often about survival: “Hanging in there”, or “Making it”, or “Been a busy week.” Rarely is heard, “Growing”, “Taking ground”, “Getting there!”
GROWTH TAKES TIME
I am continually amazed at the time segments mentioned in Scripture. Forty years in the wilderness! One hundred years for Abraham to have the son of promise! Three days DEAD in the grave!
In an “immediate gratification” world, God says GROWTH takes time. “I WANT IT NOW!” rarely is God’s way of doing things. Daniel Pink, in his great book Drive, says mastery in ANYTHING will take at least 10 years.
When Israel came out of Egypt, they had no idea they were facing decades of GROWTH. Freed people want to move into the blessings quickly! But God told them up front:
THE PROMISE IS GOOD
“I will bring into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Ex. 6:8) I’ve got good territory for you! It’s “a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Dt. 6:3)
BUT, THE PROCESS IS LONG
“I will not drive (your enemies) out for before you in one year … little by little I will drive them out from before you.” (Ex. 23:29-30) It’s called PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION. It takes time. Little by little. One day at a time. Our saintliness won’t happen by a momentary ZAP, or by an instant breakthrough. It takes walking.
There are no magic bullets to SPIRITUAL GROWTH. But you and I can take the right steps today. God will defeat all your enemies, whether they be addictions that crush, sins that hang on, or emotions that won’t stay quiet. He will bring you into His promises of good and blessing.
BUT, it will take time. If you want to grow spiritually, begin taking time with Him. Ask for His best. He will give it! Not in one day…but it will come. That’s a promise.