Spiritual growth is a not a 100 Meter sprint. While growth at times requires we take a leap from the murky waters of stagnation, we also need to understand that healthy Christian living is not the result of just one single leap of faith. It is a step by step process.
The apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NET version) “And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
The word transformed in the Greek is the same word used for metamorphosis. It implies a continual transformation into the likeness of the One whose glory we reflect, not just a single point in time change. The imagery “unveiled faces” carries great significance because in biblical times, slaves had to cover their faces before the king. As believers we are no longer slaves who need to hide our face from the King. We are sons and daughters who can approach God with confidence. Despite our short comings, God has chosen imperfect you and me to reflect His glory. That means He is performing the ultimate metamorphosis, changing us into His likeness and that is a process.
How can we go from one level of growth into the next level God has prepared for us?
EMBRACE NEXT LEVEL THINKING
When children are born they move through “one dimension into the next,” from the cocooned womb to breathing air. New birth in the kingdom of God means that we go from death to life and similar re-birthing takes place when we enter a new dimension of growth. When we are faced with change, God calls us to take a step of faith. The process can be an uncomfortable one that requires a new mindset as we move to a new phase of our growth experience. Each time this transformation takes place, a next level thinking is needed if we desire to continue moving forward. Remember, this is not a sprint; we must assume a posture of growth and position ourselves with a mindset that encourages growth transactions. A renewed mind will foster transformation. (Romans 12:2)
BE READY AND HUNGRY FOR MORE
After a good meal, it’s easy to recline and enjoy the feeling of satisfaction. It’s similar when we cross into a new dimension with God. There are always new places, new levels and new horizons with God. He desires to reveal more of His plan and purpose for our lives. When is enough growth enough? Likely never. The plan we may have devised for our lives may have rest and consistent comfort, but that is not what God has in mind for us. We must push forward to experience the fulness of what God’s has for us. How deep does our desire for God go?
KNOW THAT TRANSITIONS WILL BE COMMON
Going to the next level always involves transition. Like the baby getting ready to come into the world, he has to travel from the womb through the birth canal and into a new reality. When we transition from one level to the next, we may go through a similar process; dark passages, confusion and even challenging times. Some may not understand us, others may be jealous of where we are headed, but transitions are inevitable in order to bring new dreams to life. We may have to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23) to get to the other dimension but God promises to be there every step of the way to comfort us and sustain us as we call on Him.
DON’T CAMP ON YOUR SUCCESS
I personally have a bent to sit, gloat and enjoy my victories. Truth is that no one who advances in life can sit too long to delight in the joys of what they have just achieved. Growth is progressive and constant, God is taking us from glory to glory and we will not get there being complacent or lazy. We can sit, be still and thank the Lord for where He brought us from, but we must get up and continue growing.
STOP DEFINING YOURSELF BY THE OLD YOU
God is masterful in creating a new me, but letting go of the old nature can be painful. Even in the excitement of a new level and a new season, we can revert to old patterns of thinking. Getting to a new level will require next level thinking about ourselves. The old self may say “you’re inadequate, lazy and unwilling” while the new self says “I am who I am because of God’s grace and I can do all things through Christ.” The old nature has to give way to the new nature that lines up with God’s purposes for us. Let’s not default to the old nature because we are more comfortable with its patterns and way of thinking, but rather move forward with the “new me” that God is redefining.
BE CAREFUL WITH RELATIONSHIPS
As the saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together.” It’s a fact that next dimension living may breed new relationships and inevitably close the doors to others. Attempting to resurrect old relationships may be a detriment more than a blessing. My Pastor said this: God will at times clean our hard drive so we lose some relationships in order to make room for new ones that are meant to breathe life into our next level. Remember the farmer who raised an eagle with chickens? The eagle learned to imitate the chickens and live like one of them, until a convocation of eagles flew above and the eagle felt the urge to be the eagle it was all along. I am not calling anyone a chicken here, but we need to match our relationships to the degree of the calling in our lives. We can’t live like devils and live like saints at the same time. We’re eagles, let’s stop investing too much time with the chickens.
These are some lessons God is teaching me and a decision is always required. We must discover God’s purpose for our lives, embrace the process and allow God to take us to our next dimension. Are you ready to go? Are you ready to pay the price?
PS: Don’t get stuck with the next level/dimension lingo, in the end all that matters is growing.
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.