I get great titles in my head all the time. Something that would be a great title to a book or a movie or a song. This one came to me the other day and I posted it on Facebook. As some things are with me, I start thinking about it and then it’s time to write a blog.
Lately we have been listening to a series called “Faithburst” that we picked up at the Prayer Conference we attended in January. It has been a very “meaty” series (read previous post if you aren’t sure what that means). Bishop Bismark is teaching/preaching/doing what he does telling us about growing our faith. He made an interesting observation…
1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Bishop says he was speaking of Steven’s stoning (recorded in Acts). At that time, Paul had just completed his training and he was judging the matter. Instead of listening first, thinking and then speaking, he spoke first, listened second and thought last. This is in contrast to Jesus when He was presented with the woman who was caught in adultery. Jesus listened first, thought second and then spoke. Jesus represented maturity.
He says we are like children in the market place (Matthew 11) who are unaware of the levity of the things going on around us (spiritually).
There are so many times we judge a situation often (usually) seeing only one side or one dimension of what is going on or what has gone on.
This past week I helped to move a friend of mine from one city back to her small town. This is someone who was once very close to me. To speak frankly (and if she reads this, I hope she understands I am not judging just observing) her life is a mess right now. She has worked very hard for her education but so far her education is not working for her. She has floated in and out of relationships (who hasn’t) and at this point, she clearly has a substance abuse problem. Her “friend” told me she has mental problems. (Sometimes we start believing everything that has been said about us – why do we always believe the bad things and not the good things?) I don’t think so…I think she’s just sad because life hasn’t turned out as planned. The thing is, when I look at her, I see unwritten books, I see poetry, I see untapped potential, I see a teacher, I see a mother, I see a sister, I see someone who is trying so hard to break out and BE. You know, be who God created her to be; just be herself. She has to grow beyond where she is or she is going to die. She doesn’t belong tucked away in a small town she was made for bigger things. Some people belong in small towns – small towns are great but she doesn’t belong there.
Every person comes to a place in their life when they have a “grow or die” moment. There are different levels of “grow or die”. Some are grow of die a slow death; some are grow of die a quick and sudden death. Grow or die a slow death are painful.
There are also different types of growth. Some growth is not on the surface but rather it is “putting down roots growth”. Some growth is fruit growth. Several years ago, I received a prophetic word and was told not to worry about growth because I am like a tree planted by water and that my roots go down very deep. I liked that because it went along with some other prophecies I had been given over the years about tree-like attributes. The thing is, we must be rooted and grounded in something or we simply will not survive life. My rooted and grounded in the Kingdom of God; it is pure and simple. It’s not about a church; it’s not about a religion; it’s not about a ministry. It is about Jesus; it is about relationship; it is about bridging others with Jesus; it is about growing in my relationship with Jesus and helping others grow.
Death is a fact of life. Eventually we will all die. If we leave our spirit untended, it too will die. We will become a shallow shell of a person. Our goal spiritually has to be to grow more than we die. It’s math. We have to grow our spirit more than we kill our spirit. Think about it. Bishop Phillips always said (I assume he still says this) “Garbage in; Garbage out”. We feed our spirit. What we feed our spirit determines it’s growth or death. Think about it – there are people who after we are around them, we feel uplifted and encouraged but there are others who leave us drained and depressed. There are things we read that are so inspiring while other things leave us feeling dirty. These are the gates: the ear gate, the eye gate; the mouth gate…what we hear, what we see and what we say.
It’s time to GROW!!! It is time to GROW our spirit.
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
In order to grow our spirit, we must sow to the spirit. It’s time to focus on spiritual growth.