I heard something that resonated with me this past Monday. I was talking about how there were areas in my life where I should be applying myself more, areas in which I felt I should be growing more as a Christian. This person shared that wherever the Holy Spirit is, there’s growth. It doesn’t come from our striving. She said it’s like when grass grows or seasons change: these are things that cannot help but occur. This same kind of growth also occurs in us because of the Holy Spirit, whether we strive or rest in Him.
At the time I set it on the back burner. But the more I considered the idea, the more it resonated in me. I can look at certain areas in my life where I had no intention–or even awareness of the need–to grow, yet I did. It wasn’t through any effort on my part. Yet I also know we can’t grow as Christians without reading and studying the Bible. But then again, the Bible is alive and convicts us through the Holy Spirit … And if we’re reading and studying the Bible, we’ll grow. Perhaps not in the areas we think we should grow, but definitely in whatever area God sees the need for maturity.
I think there’s a difference between acquiring knowledge, and experiencing spiritual growth (maturity). While I can educate myself on a particular area of concern to me, I don’t think I’ll grow spiritually in that area unless God sees fit to open my spiritual eyes on it. In other words, we can’t make ourselves grow spiritually in one area or another, any more than we can make ourselves grow physically. (At least not taller; wider is another story.) It’s even possible to read or learn something that doesn’t seem relevant in the moment, but then later (days, weeks, years) it connects with our spirit. Because that’s the moment God chooses to apply it.
That’s why it’s so important to keep reading the Bible, even if you’ve read it cover to cover 98 times. I also acknowledge the power and usefulness of books and teaching on specific areas of our lives. Because God is able to speak to us through them whenever He sees fit.
What do you think?