“ARE YOU GROWING?” This was the question that the Lord led me to consider at the dawn of a new year. I was led to consider four key areas to “watch” in my daily life. Let me share these with you. I believe every disciple, no matter how long we’ve been Christians, should review periodically. This will always remain a pertinent question.
WATCH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST
Jesus said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” (John 15:4)
This is the essential element for spiritual growth. My relationship with Christ matters! It is not about the badge that I wear, or my role in church, or my Bible knowledge. Rather, who Jesus Christ is to me and whether I remain in Him. If I am, that relationship must certainly be expressed in my daily walk, priorities, values, and my life goals.
There is no hope of transformation and growth without remaining in Christ.
WATCH YOUR DIET HABITS
God has given us His Word for nourishment. Peter’s exhortation, “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, …” (1 Peter 2:2) is a clear reminder. And, we are to move on to “solid food” to grow to maturity (Hebrews 5:12-14).
If we affirm this truth, we will need to review our diet plan. If there is no regular intake of God’s Word, I should not be surprised that I am not growing. And if there is no intention to put that plan into practice, it will mean that my intake will be sporadic, or perhaps just settling for a so-called “fast food” diet.
If my spiritual diet comprises primarily 3-minute sound bites, I will end off being malnourished. The picture provided for us in Scriptures of a blessed person is one whose “delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2).
Consistent reading and meditating on God’s Word — that will be necessary for my spiritual nourishment.
WATCH YOUR WILLINESS TO OBEY
Jesus’ pointed question, “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) continues to ring out loud to me. I am reminded that obedience to Jesus whom I acknowledge as my Lord is not optional. All who are disciples of Jesus must know that calling Jesus ‘Lord’ without any desire to obey will be meaningless. Consequently, I will need to check if I are growing in my obedience to the Lord— in the various spheres of my life as I discern His will.
WATCH YOUR PRAYER LIFE
Our prayer life matters to God. I thank the Lord for this amazing promise: “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” (John 15:7).
This is an invitation to grow in my prayer life. Coming before the Lord is a conscious, humble and clear acknowledgement of my dependence on Him. And yes, the regularity and content of my prayer will reveal the nature of my relationship with Him. Indeed, I must watch and pray, and grow in my prayer life. I’m also very mindful of Jesus’ warning to His disciples, “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation” (Matthew 26:41).
It’s important that I/we consider this question at the beginning of this new year. The Lord has shown me that there are areas that I will need to address, in order to continue growing in this faith journey. It’s not a sprint, but a long-distance race. And I am grateful for His gracious provision of strength for the journey: “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” (2 Peter 1:3). Thank you Lord.
By David LT Yap, Advisory Pastor (YCKC Bulletin 2 February 2020)