Mark Affleck

Spiritual Growth Comes When Growth Is NOT the Goal

June 2, 2021
Spiritual Growth

It won’t take long during this month’s exploration of SPIRITUAL MATURITY to see that the word GROWTH circulates through most of the messages. That’s a good thing because God’s calls us to GROW our faith.
“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18
But before we get too far down the critically-important GROWTH road, I want to shake a dash of context over the subject and point out a warning light flashing on this road:
We have established God’s IMPERATIVE for us to grow spiritually. But our primary goal is not completing another process-driven SELF-IMPROVEMENT program.
Slipping into that hole puts us at risk to thinking we are responsible for our spiritual growth.
Our faith GROWS because of GOD. Spiritual growth is nothing we can generate. Yes, it takes our commitment and discipline to be sure. And it takes our actions to move us toward the goal. But only God can grow us spiritually.
How does he do it? Through: 1) his power—as our sovereign king; and 2) his grace—the spontaneous, unmerited gift he gives sinners.
POWER: “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6–7
GRACE: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…” Ephesians 2:8
We cannot manufacture the GRACE that makes our spiritual growth possible. We fully appreciate this truth when our spiritual growth: 1) Cannot be “felt” in the moment; and 2) Can be “sensed” later, down life’s road, if God decides to show us the evidence by creating a comparison between where we were in our faith walk before and where we are now.
Our steps and actions and plans to grow spiritually are NOT the areas we should focus on in our faith walk. Our focus must be on GLORIFYING CHRIST.
Spiritual growth is more than our improvement in knowing God. It’s about our intimacy with him (Philippians 3:8).
I ask God to keep my eyes on the reasons why he wants me to grow my faith—to be more intimate with him and give him the glory for EVERYTHING.
What is your spiritual growth GOAL?
“…I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8

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