SPIRITUAL GROWTH IS NOT A “DO IT YOURSELF PROJECT”
Although I had often heard the expression, ‘Stop trying to push water uphill’ and had read the account of Sisyphus doomed to pushing the proverbial rock to the top of the mountain, I never thought that I would become a victim of such witless behavior!
As I reflected on those foolhardy efforts to accomplish an impractical task, I recollected my own futile attempts as a new Christian to enhance my spiritual growth. I tackled various programs promising to promote spiritual growth as if my very salvation depended their mastery! I sincerely believed that my growth depended solely on me. I never realized that divine help was available nor was I was aware I could call upon Him for help, as I not told “that part” at the time of my salvation. So I struggled on and occasionally making a bit of temporary progress. But I did not yet realize what I really needed was the flow of power emanating through the Holy Spirit in order to reach my goal to become more like Him!
This awareness did not dawn on me until I attended a session on “Promoting Spiritual Growth” at a Men’s Retreat. I chatted with the leader after the session and he suggested that a good starting point would be for me to read Catherine Marshall’s “The Helper”. Her book vividly described the work of the Holy Spirit in her life. Her frequent references to the fourteenth chapter of John prompted me to carefully study that chapter. From my perusal I learned that our Lord never intended for believers to seek spiritual growth totally unassisted! This discovery helped me to embark on a spiritual journey and I then realized that it was a joint effort between the Holy Spirit and me. Consequently, I began to feel more strength and serenity in my quest for spiritual growth in my life.
I do NOT wish to suggest that my growth did not require effort on my part as I did need to give myself to the process but I found that I could not force growth to happen. This is God’s realm of doing. I found one can yearn for transformation but in order to be successful, one needs to be faithful in his/her daily Bible study and meditation
Seekers need to recognize that it is God who gives us the power and determination to grow in the Spirit. Without His assistance any growth on our part will not be long lasting as He declared long ago that growth was to be a partnership. Without Him we are destined to remain spiritual pygmies.