GOD PROMISES SPIRITUAL GROWTH
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6
This promise from Philippians is one of my personal favorites because it assures me that one day, I will be exactly what God created me to be. Often it doesn’t seem like that will ever happen. In fact, sometimes it seems like I am losing ground instead of moving ahead. But God promises me that He will complete what He started at my salvation.
Growing in Christlikeness is the goal of all of us (Romans 8:28-29), but it is a lifelong process which we will never finish while on this earth. Paul refers to this process as a “good work,” although many times it feels anything but “good.” It seems I learn best from discomfort. And it definitely takes “work” for spiritual growth is a long, slow, hard process which is often painful. There is no such thing as instant spirituality, despite what some may claim.
I recently heard the process of spiritual growth compared to a rock tumbler. Rough stones are put in and tumbled around until they become smooth. The tumbler bounces the rocks against each other for weeks or months until all the rough edges are removed. That’s how stones in the bottom of a stream become smooth as well. God uses the rubbing of life’s pains and troubles to smooth our rough edges to make us more like Jesus. We see that in Paul’s life as well as Peter, John, Abraham and everyone who grew spiritually. We have God’s promise that one day we WILL be smooth with all our imperfections and rough edges gone.
I can’t do this in my life but God can and will. I don’t always see it happening in my life but God promises it so I trust Him with this promise. It you aren’t applying this promise to your life regularly you should!
God not only does this in our lives, He also does it in the lives of our family and the people in our ministry. We can do our best to teach and lead them, but if they grow or not I between them and God. We can’t force them to grow stronger spiritually or become more like Jesus. But we don’t have to. Even when we get disappointed and frustrated with them and the things they do, we have this promise that God is working in them so they will grow in their faith. This is a wonderful promise for us in our lives and for those to whom we minister.
What has God done in your life in the last year to make you more like Jesus? Where is He working now? What can you do to cooperate with the work He is doing?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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