(New Year/Late Birthday Muse Post)
Welcome to the New Year! I am so grateful for another opportunity to live, another year to be more. To God be all the glory. Thank you all for making 2016 wonderful. It was in 2016 I moved from Blogger to WordPress and the support has been amazing. Thank you. You know I love you 😉
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“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” (Luke 2:40 – KJV)
On to today’s post, I thought it would be very expedient to look into the matter of growth. It is a new year, hurray and all praises to God. But I feel very strongly that time is a means to an end. I want us to just sit back and soberly evaluate ourselves. Are you growing? Yes, you. Can we see growth or just the same ol’, same ol’? Enough of the “Oh, I’m not perfect!” We know. Nobody is. But we have to grow towards perfection (Matthew 5:48).
And the growth I’m referring to here is first spiritual. Because I believe all growth is spiritual. If you are not growing spiritually, you might as well be a walking corpse. For your life as it were, is a function of your spiritual life. I don’t care if you have a million dollars and one billion twitter followers and Instagram likes, if you don’t have Jesus, you don’t have life. That’s it.
That being said, the growth I refer to here is holistic i.e. every part of your life; physical, personal, financial, educational, social, career/business wise etc. etc.
How do I know I’m not growing?
– You still have the same problems. Yup, if the problem you dealt with a year or some years ago is still an issue for you now, then that is a sure sign you are not growing or your growth is very slow. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has problems, but the sign of growth is when you are able to leave that stage and have new problems.
Still on the matter, your spiritual growth is non-existent or slow if you look back into your personal journal and find that you are dealing with the same issues. A while back, I looked into my quiet time journal and I could find a pattern. It was like EVERY scripture I looked into, God was always pointing to the same issues. All of them just had a weird way of boiling down to the same issues. And if I go to church nko? Or listen to a message? It was the same matter. This would have been okay if it was just a few weeks but this ran into several months. And yes, this points so wonderfully to the amazing grace and patience of God and how He insists on our lives, but what I’m saying is, we gotta step up! There is so much more than what we are now. I looked at that pattern and I got mad. Like, girl, grow up!
– Your mind set/thinking pattern has not changed much. Yes, there are convictions that you have that should not change but if you find yourself not constantly changing wrong thinking patterns, then dear friend, your growth game is weak.
– This person you are is too familiar. Like, you are just in this place where you KNOW yourself soo much. If your growth game is fierce, then you have to come to a point where you do/think/say some things sometimes and you’re like, “Who just did that?” Constantly find yourself evolving into someone unfamiliar, but like, in a good way.
Why is my growth slow/non-existent?
– You are proud: Oh yes, that’s what I said. A lot of us are not growing because of our hard-headed pride. No one can correct you, you cannot learn from anybody. You are so smug with who you are right now that changing for any reason becomes hard. They have brainwashed you and you have convinced yourself that you are sooo amazing (hashtag self-love) that you really don’t need to become better. That’s all bull. Yes, it’s good to appreciate yourself, yes it’s terrible to beat yourself down, but we need to have a balanced mentality y’all! Celebrate yourself but don’t hesitate to give yourself real talk and a knock on the head when you know you’re not doing well.
– You are too comfortable: Godliness with contentment is great gain, I will be the first to tell you that. But there is a thin line between contentment and complacency; never, EVER cross it. Stop being too comfortable with where you are and who you are. Just STOP it NOW! Yes, you had a wonderful experience and revelation of God yesterday, appreciate it and dive for more. The most dangerous place to be is that place after a victory. Get over yourself and forge ahead.
What comes to mind right now is that song by Brandon Heath, “Don’t get comfortable.” So, yeah, don’t get comfortable with your comfort zone. Change is HARD but it has to be if the reward is actually worth it.
– You are too lazy: Let’s admit it. A lot of us ‘want’ to be better people, we want to know God more, we want that excellent result, we want that promotion and a fat check. We desire to be that strong man/woman with enough character to make the world blind. We want to learn that skill, we want to be better people. We all want that but the difference between a desire and a passion is the work you are able to put into it and let’s face it, most of us are just too lazy to put in that work. But hardwork never killed anybody and destroy that suspicion that it will start with you.
How then do I grow?
– First things first, I want you to understand that GROWTH COMES FROM GOD. Increase, as it were, is a function of the amount of God you have in your life. Just like a plant cannot grow without sunlight and water, so also we cannot grow without God. He is the source of ALL life.
That being said, we have to also position ourselves in such a way that we can get that growth He gives.
“He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” (Colossians 2:19 – NIV)
– Lose your pride: That’s right. Fling it out of the window. You don’t need it. They don’t use it to fry dodo. It never helped anyone. Humble yourself. Learn from anyone and everything, even those younger and more ‘inexperienced’ than you. Ask questions till people wonder if you are dumb. Humility will allow you seek for ways to grow. And the important thing is that it in fact attracts the grace of God more than anything. And that voice in your head, secretly telling you, “You are okay”, when you are not, gag it with a paper towel.
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6 – NKJV)
– Looking to Jesus: This is the crux of everything I’ve written today. If there is no higher mark to reach for, no prototype to follow, the truth is that growth will be slow and in fact impossible. For you to kill complacency and grow in God and consequently in all ways, you need to look to Jesus and pray for the desire to be like him. He is the archetype of EVERYTHING God wants you to become. He is the final stop. The pattern. The end product. He is the mark. Stop looking at your friend or people around. Look to Jesus.
And how to do this? Bury your head and your heart in the Word. Meditate on it and practice it. Make the Word your compass, your lighthouse in the dark. Steer continuously in the direction of God’s light and watch yourself become the proverbial Swan, which in this case is Jesus. Grow in the knowledge of God and set your heart on Christ.
– Game Plan: Growth is a process. And to effectively grow, you need a game plan. Yup. You need to become conscious of your growth, watching out for weeds and cutting them off. You need to become fierce and jealous about your growth.
Ask questions. Set goals. Read books. Seek mentors. Take conscious notes of your lessons. Be deliberate. And be very patient because don’t let anyone fool you, days will come that you just want to give up, when you don’t feel particularly motivated to do anything. So, patience. Perseverance.
There is so much to it than what I can explain in this post. I don’t think I can fully explain it really, especially since we are all unique in our journeys. Look at your own journey and make a plan – through God’s leading – that helps YOU.
God is a teacher that knows us and knows how to deal with each of us the way we are. Let Him help you become a better version of you that He intended. He is interested in ALL areas of your life and would never focus on just one aspect at the expense of another. Only He can help you live that balanced, holistic life. Go for Him!
No slouching y’all. Let’s step up and be more. Let’s go for God, chase after Him till our last strength. Let’s break frontiers and do great things. 2017 will be amazing. The rest of our lives will be amazing.
God’s got us.