As we conclude our growing in grace series, I would love to be interactive with you as we talk about taking steps to Grow in grace.
What areas in your life do you think need more growth in Christ? I know there are many areas in my life that need growth. But growing in grace is a step by step process. It does not happen overnight. We have to come to a place where we recognize our need and see areas that need growth. We have to ask God to teach us and to show us our needs. Then we need to take baby steps to grow. And when we fall, get back up and keep on going. The bible says “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand (Psalm 37:23-24).
This illustration reminds me of our own daughter who learned to walk about a month ago. She kept on taking steps and kept on falling. But she did not stop. She practiced and practiced until she got it right. Instead of reprimanding her for falling, we praised her when she took a step and encouraged her when she fell. Sometimes we even helped her up when she could not help herself back up.
The point is, as we continue to grow, we will experience times when we fail. But God is there to help us. The verses above tells us that we may fall and stumble in our walk with God. But He will not leave us. He will hold us up and help us. Nonetheless, God cannot help us if we do not desire His help. We need to take baby steps!
As believers, it is easy to become distracted. After all, the world has much to offer. It is easy to become so bombarded with “things” that we do not take the time to ponder what God wants to teach us. In addition, it is easy to give up when we fail. We feel so guilty and think that God does not care or God cannot forgive us. Why bother? But He has promised to forgive us over and over again. 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins God will forgive us.
If we have a true relationship with God, then we will want to know more about Him. We will desire Him. We will take the time to work on areas that need Growth in Him.
Below are some typical areas where we all could use some growth!
Do you struggle with anger, pride, envy, idolatry, malice, you name it? A passage that comes to mind as I write is Galatians chapter 5. The author, Paul, talks about “walking in the spirit” and not “fulfilling the lusts of the flesh” (vs. 16). And then he goes on to list a bunch of areas that we should put off – idolatry, wrath, strife, etc. (vs.17-21).
But Paul does not leave us there. He admonishes us to grow in Christ. He gives us a method to allow the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in us. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (vs. 22-23). Paul is basically saying that we cannot do this in our own strength. We need the Holy Spirit to help us grow in these areas. Christian character is produced through the workings of the Holy Spirit in us and not through self.
I know it is a struggle to do what we know is right. But if we trust in God to help us and we take it step by step, then we will see some progress. We can take one area at a time and work on it until we feel we have a good balance and then move unto the next area. Remember, having a good balance does not mean we may never fail again. It means we are mature in Christ enough to know we serve a God who will show His strength in our weakness, if we allow Him.
Referring back to the illustration of our daughter – does she still stumble every now and again. Of course, but she has a good balance with walking and she pulls herself up and continues on. Not only is she walking, but she has moved on to the next step, running. She has worked on one area at a time. The same needs to be applied to our growth in Christ. Focusing on too many areas of growth at a time will only frustrate us. So take baby steps and hope to see some fruit.
What areas in your life need growth in Christ. What has God been teaching you lately? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Just in case you missed the rest of the posts in this series, I have linked them below: