Got a Lot of Growing to Do!
They always draw a crowd standing on tiptoe to see how it is done. No matter what skill or craft is being demonstrated, the excellence of trained hands and eyes that can paint, sculpt, form glass or clay, weave, carve, or whatever that person may be able to do can readily hold the attention of those of us that are not skilled. Watching a lump of clay take shape on a potter’s wheel is magical. Seeing a person paint a portrait is awesome. Who among us ever wants to leave “early” before a person carving “something” in wood has finished the work?
God is always working. He is shaping His children into radiant examples of what a child of God is. In the process of becoming like Christ, He has to remove lots of impurities, flaws, and foreign materials to make the person into what He has in store. Some of the spiritual muscles have to endure significant training to be strong enough to run the marathon of life. The hearts of those that belong to Christ sometimes are weak and filled with anger, hatred, or contempt. The Master Designer has to perform deep surgery to get the heart where it can contain the fullness of the Spirit that will take over. The soul of carnal man is ever focused on self-pleasures and self-gratification. As the LORD does His life-changing work, the power of Christ works to cleanse the soul and draw one near to God.
Growth is a slow process. Just as it takes years for a newborn baby to reach adulthood, so it also takes a very long time for a spiritual infant to reach maturity. When we are transformed from the state of separation from God because of our sin, our understanding of Godliness is nil. Although we may see people who are Christians around us, it does not mean that every professed Christian is truly a Christ-follower. Therefore, some new Christians are led astray by those who appear to be genuine but are truly deceived and spiritually dead. Religious activity is not the same as a righteous relationship with our LORD. To become like Christ, takes the full commitment of allowing Him the freedom to remove by whatever means our selfishness and self-centeredness to make us complicit with the will of God. As we surrender to Jesus, fill our minds with His Word, our lives with His will, our actions with His works, and are continually seeking to be like Him, then the process of growing.
Ephesians 4:15-16 – But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ. 16 From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.
Life is a matter of building. Each of us has the opportunity to build something; a secure family, a good reputation, a career, a relationship to God. But some of those things can disappear almost overnight due to financial losses, natural disasters and other unforeseen difficulties.
What are we to do? Daniel Webster offered excellent advice, saying, “If we work on marble it will perish. If we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we imbue them with high principles, with just fear of God and love of their fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something which time cannot efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity. (Copied).