Mark Affleck

Is YOUR Spiritual Growth Fast Or Slow?

June 3, 2021
Spiritual Growth

Yesterday we explored the notion that GROWTH, in and of itself, is not the primary goal behind our life-long journey to become ever-more spiritually mature. That message focused on growing and deepening our RELATIONSHIP with Jesus in a way that GLORIFIES him. And it quickly raised this important question: Should our spiritual growth be fast or slow?
The answer can be found on two tracks: 1) Why we cannot drive our spiritual growth FAST; and 2) Why we cannot intentionally SLOW it down.
The Bible says nothing about spiritual growth being fast. In fact, it’s the opposite. Christ-like spiritual maturity is a journey that only ends when our life on earth ends.

“We plow and sow, water and watch, and bear fruit only with patience.” Luke 8:15
This long view is NOT intended to quash our big prayers or lure us into spiritual complacency. It is to keep us grounded in the reality that we will NEVER meet a single day without needing to be cleansed by the power of Jesus.
That’s why God wants us to be content with slow and transformative growth over fast and superficial growth in our faith walk.
Fair enough. But why is it so tough to stay on that long road?
The world lures Christians out of their faith shoes on the long road toward spiritual maturity. Hardship can chip away at a believer’s commitment to stay on the long road that leads to intimacy with Jesus. And becoming tired of suffering can tempt us to exit the long road that follows Christ.
But there’s another threat that seeks to derail our commitment to grow in Christ and get us off that long road toward spiritual maturity. It is the silent thief using spiritual weariness to pull us away from God.
Weary of slipping. Weary of being “denied” things. Weary of waiting so long to see our prayers answered. And this spiritual weariness happens, in most cases, without us even seeing it in the beginning.
It’s like the nearly unconscious mountain climber on Mt. Everest who is told by his Sherpa to not fall asleep or he may never wake up again. It can be the same for a believer who becomes “sleepy” on the long road toward intimacy with Jesus.
There are two dangers here:

ONE: Thinking that God cannot work miracles that occur INSTANTLY. He can and does. And we should never stop praying for them (Ephesians 3:20).
TWO: Turning the long view of spiritual maturity into an excuse to procrastinate and put off for tomorrow what God wants us to do today (Proverbs 20:4).
I ask God to keep me grounded in his Word and patient with my spiritual growth. To help me slow down when I try to grow too fast and get ahead of him.
Is YOUR Spiritual Growth Fast Or Slow?
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:14-15

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