Jun 16, 2010

Growing Up and Going Deeper

The craziness has officially taken over. In the midst of the choas I wrote a devotional that I shared during a Rite of Passage ceremony for one of our graduating teens. I thought I'd share it with you all.

Devotional: Growing deeper and moving forward

As we grow and move into different stages of our life, it is important for us to realize that our spiritual life makes the same movement: from a spiritual baby, to a spiritual adult. This idea is illustrated in Hebrews 5:13-14, “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

But as we move into a deeper relationship with God it can seem that He is farther from us than when we were spiritual babies. We tend to feel his spirit less, but why?

John of the Cross, in his work Purifying the Soul wrote about the reasons why God would remove our spiritual consolations. When we are very new to our spiritual walk we tend to become very diligent in spiritual disciplines such as prayer and reading our bible, but there is a danger of becoming satisfied with our spiritual works and ourselves. Our hearts can also grow attached to the feeling of the spirit and begin to “focus on the affect rather than on the substance of the devotion.” John of the Cross states that “a soul will never grow until it is able to let go of the tight grasp it has on God.” It is important for all believers to remember that Satan does not want us to grow into a deeper relationship with God and he will try to disrupt that in any way that he can, so we must be on our guard. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

As we grow we must remember to be patient and wait for what God has for us and wait for His timing. We may find it difficult to wait on God, but if we believe that His timing is perfect than who are we to argue with God over the when and how of His plans for us. We must guard against feelings of displeasure with the growth of others, and put aside any feelings of self-righteousness, and become humble before God. As John of the Cross says, “True spirituality consists in perseverance, patience, and humility.”

With all this take heart, God sees all of our imperfections and does not throw us aside, but rather urges us to grow up.

John of the Cross. ”Purifying the Soul.” Devotional Classics. Ed. Richard J Foster and James Bryan Smith. New York: Harper Collins, 2005. Print.

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