Principles for Spiritual Growth
Part 2 – It takes time!
1. (review) Faith is based on the fact of God's word, not impressions or probabilities.
"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus, so walk in Him" – Colossians 2:6
“Impressions have neither one thing nor the other to do with faith. Faith has to do with the Word of God. It is not impressions, strong or weak, which will make the difference. We have to do with the written Word and not ourselves or our impressions” – George Muller
“Faith has nothing to do with probabilities. The province of faith begins where probabilities cease, and sight and sense fail. Appearances are not to be taken into account. The question is-whether God has spoken it in His Word.” – George Muller
2. God does not hurry in the process of our spiritual growth
Examples – Exodus 23:29-30
- Moses – Spent 40 years in the wilderness before God used him
- Paul – Spent three years preparing for ministry after his conversion.
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord." – 1 Corinthians 15:58
Keep in mind, growth is not always at the same rate. You may go through a season of rapid growth followed by a season of solidification. Both are necessary to grow strong in the Lord. You may appear to grow significantly in one month, then spend five or six months solidifying that growth. You also may grow in one area more than another at any given time.
Growth involves pain & joy, suggering & happiness, failure & success, inactivity & service, death & life.
A.H. Strong shares a story of the student who wanted to challenge a class. He asked if there was a faster way to complete the class. The teacher replied, "yes, however realize that God takes 100 years to grow an oak tree and only six months to grow a squash."
Don't confuse the ideas of growth which takes place out of struggles and experience (fleshly growth), with spiritual growth – that which takes place out of relationship with Jesus.