Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spiritual Growth

Just like a book needs revising as an author looks back and sees what he wrote years ago, so we felt the need to revise some things in this blog.  As we looked back on the things we wrote when we started the blog 3 years ago, we realized how many things God has shown us since then.  We realized our "vision" had changed, and we aren't really as excited about farming as we used to be.  Yes, we still enjoy it, but it isn't where we get our life from anymore.  We also realized much of our terminology was kind of funny - things like wanting more of the presence of God.  We know that God is with us everywhere we go.  Yes, we understand that God does manifest his presence in different ways at different times, but we aren't so much longing for a goosebumps experience anymore.  Its more about love, and out of that flows an awareness of God's presence.  We have realized that much of our focus was on self, "fulfill our destiny and discover God's love for us".  Yes, those things are all very important - but for what purpose???  If the purpose isn't also to share God's love with others, then we're nothing more than clanging cymbals.  We make a lot of noise, but that's about it.

In another 3 years, we will probably look back on this season and wonder, "what were we thinking back then?"  When I look back on where we were 4-5 years ago, I am in shock.  My wife and daughters could only wear skirts, we were "patriarchal", we thought raising good Christian kids meant conforming to the outward traditions of men. We thought your measure of spiritually hinged on how many "arrows" were in your quiver and if you could grind your own wheat.  My wife and I had no real relationship, we were just fulfilling our "roles".  We weren't listening to God's voice, we were just doing what seemed the right thing to do.  The list goes on and on.

Spiritual Growth involves change, and if we can't look back on our lives and see where God has adjusted or changed us in some way, something is wrong.  There were certainly seasons where I didn't change in my Christian journey.  Times where I was stuck.  That is a miserable place to be.  Some call it a desert season, some call it the wilderness.  Those are times where not much growth is happening.  If you are there, don't give up, keep going.  Turn to God and ask him to deliver you and restore your faith.  Cry out to him for help.  If you are relationally dry, ask Jesus to show you how to relate to him as head properly first, then ask him what to do so you can grow in those relationships in your immediate sphere.  Don't ask God where to go to church, ask him how you can be the church with whoever he connects you with relationally.  Allow the Cross to be applied to those areas of your life you haven't wanted God or others to touch.  John 12:24