“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God….” (Colossians 1:9-10 NIV)
My two year old granddaughter is not clumsy by nature. Yet she goes through periods where she is continually tripping, stumbling and falling. This occurs because she is constantly growing and her mind has to forever be keeping up with her changing body maturity.
Likewise, in Christ, we too are to be continually growing in the knowledge of God. This facts also means that much like my little grandchild we too will stumble and trip and fall as we do so. Learning and implementing new things in our lives is always a challenge, which is why it is important for us to be aware of what comes next in these verses from Colossians: “Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritances of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Col. 1: 11, 12 NIV)
As we are led by the Spirit into deeper areas of maturity in Christ, such as wisdom, endurance, patience and joyful thanksgiving in all circumstances we must also learn to rely upon the power of His strength within us more and more. We need His might to have the will to keep growing. We need His strength to apply what we are being taught. And we need His power to help us get up and keep going when we stumble and fall as we seek to apply these deeper areas of faith in our lives day by day. And such strength only comes as we train our minds daily to listen intently for the Spirit’s leading within before we speak or act.
For me, cultivating this habit of listening to the Spirit, moment by moment, day by day, has to be intentional each and every day. As the years have gone by, I find it has become easier, but it is still far from perfect. I stumble in my endurance. But am thankful that God is always there to pick me up and get me going again. My patience can quickly turn to impatience in new or extremely trying circumstances. God patiently convicts and reminds me however of the better way to proceed. And I am not always thankful in all situations. Griping and complaining love nothing better than to grab the upper hand when things don’t go the way I had hoped. The joy of the Lord never fails to turn me around however as the Spirit reminds me of the truth of Scripture amidst each and every circumstance that God is in control and has a plan and a purpose for all that happens.
Thus, much like my granddaughter my mind soon catches up with my spiritual growth and my footing once again becomes solid and in sync with the rest of me.
How about you? Have you found yourself stumbling, tripping and falling over your own spiritual growth these days? If so, stop, listen and follow the still small voice of His Spirit within you and soon you’ll be up and on your way again in his glorious strength, might and power.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, what a wonderful call You have placed upon our lives, to keep growing in the knowledge of God through Christ. Bless us with the will to look to You in all things that we might have strength with all power according to Your glorious might, to flourish as we grow in wisdom, endurance, patience and joyful thanksgiving. In Christ’s name we ask. Amen.