Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Growing Up Is Hard To Do!

Growing up is tough!  As we mature into an adults we become responsible for our own lives and, if we're married, the lives of our families.  When those bills come rolling in and it's our responsibility to pay them, its the real deal.  We have to cowboy up, pay those bills, and make sure the needs of our families are met.  Life stages are real.  And with each stage comes new responsibilities.  The same is true of our spiritual lives.  But how do yo know when you're grown up in Christ?
© Gingergirl |
Here's what Jesus said identifies spiritual growth:
43 For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit,44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.   -Luke6:43-45 ESV 
If we are growing spiritually then we will produce good out of our hearts because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross.  We will take seriously His commands and live them out daily.  It can be hard to define spiritual growth because we may not know what it really looks like.  What does "good fruit" look like in the life of a Jesus follower?  The Apostle Paul gives us a clear definition in Galatians 5:22-23a:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control;
Likewise Paul also gives us a definition of selfish desires, those contrary to God, that identify spiritual stagnation:

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  -Galatians 5:19-21 ESV
A true spiritual growth test is to ask those who know you: "What do you see happening in my life right now?"  If they tell of the good things that reflect the fruits of the spirit then you know you are growing, if not, then it might be time to refocus.

Go over the lists.  Celebrate the victories in the areas of growth and dig into the areas that need work.  Ask the Spirit of God to lead you and He will.  You will notice it will be hard to root out the sinful, selfish desires Paul lists.  The reason is it's engrained in our flesh.  But do not give up!  "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (Romans 8:37 ESV)

Growing up is hard to do but it so worth it!  

No comments: