Remember the first time your child took steps. They let go of the couch, table or your hands and gingerly took a step. As days passed, they became ambitious and would take more and more steps. In the midst of their steps, they might fall down, cry and need your attention to right them again, but eventually, they could do the whole process without your help.
Our children didn’t give up during this developmental phase but rather locked in on the goal of walking. They persevered and endured although they fell down because eventually, they would get the hang of balance.
The phase of walking turned into a phase of fast walking, which later turned into running. Finally, they were constantly on the move.
Walking didn’t happen overnight, changes within muscles, coordination, and balance all had to coincide to allow the ability to stand and then to walk. Growth within the body had to happen before any of this could even take place.
How’s your growth? Is your faith stronger than one year ago? Five years ago?
Growth has happened in you, but are there habits you would like to change about yourself? Has your faith growth pointed out some unsightly flaws?
Even though some things in me are better, I still feel like I’m a mess.
I’ve worked together with God and corrected a few issues, although they can rear their ugly heads if the circumstance is right. Impatience, frustration, and anger are some of my less endearing qualities.
My growth is like peeling the layers off of an onion. My lack of growth in other areas causes a stink and many tears within me.
A few years ago, I could pinpoint some major flaws that needed some fixing, but as I’ve grown in some ways I’ve deteriorated in others.
Flaws I didn’t even notice have been revealed as the layers have been removed.
One Big Mess
The thing is I want to be better, I want huge change. I’m still a mess no matter how much Scripture I read.
I’m confident God is changing me. His words tell me He’s making me anew.
However, God’s changing me seems to go at a rate slower than I can handle.
Don’t we get frustrated?
It’s discouraging to see such slow change. Do you feel like me and want to do something/anything to make change instantaneously?
When our expectations don’t equal our reality we get frustrated.
On the same chord, when growth doesn’t happen according to our expectations, it can affect our faith.
Lack of growth can cause doubt. Are we doing enough or even believing enough?
Isn’t that the cornerstone question we ask ourselves?
Don’t I have enough faith? Why isn’t what I know sticking…it feels like it goes in one ear and out the other.
Satan likes to create this doubt and frustration in us because it thwarts our faith.
We remain stuck if the devil can stop us or even get us to question how God works.
A discouraged Christian doesn’t mean a displaced Christian.
Your purpose and mission are still present even in your discouragement.
Could this discouragement actually be the springboard to launch us into our purpose?
Just because your progress isn’t obvious doesn’t mean your faith isn’t working. ~Steven Furtick
(Hebrews 10:35-3, NLT)
35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.37 “For in just a little while,the Coming One will come and not delay.
What I’ve noticed while getting closer to God is, I’m more aware of the things I want to change. I want to be more faithful, bolder, less impatient etc.
I blow it and it bothers me. Like really bothers me!
The key point is: growing in faith causes us to want to be better. We are moved to throw off our old, unsightly habits in exchange for glorifying habits.
These slow, baby steps are actually changing us better than a huge, one-time transformation. Just as we learned to walked when we were babies, our heart, soul, and mind are coming together to enable us to go the distance without too much stumbling any longer. Sure, we might fall down but frustration, doubt, and fear won’t keep us laid out on the ground any longer.
We are learning the transitions that happen in life with a new self so we can overcome any obstacles that come our way in God’s strength.