GROW UP with Spiritual Growth Hormones

Eph 4:11-16

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by  craftiness  in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

God doesn’t measure TIME, he measures GROWTH. (Graham Cooke)

As I navigate through life with the Lord, I have learned to understand that every situation that comes my way (good or bad) has the potential to cause me to GROW in my relationship with Him. While I definitely grow during good times, I find that the difficult times bring the most noticeable growth and preparation for the next level. Those difficult times cause me to know God in a more profound way than I ever could have otherwise.

I looked up the Greek words for GROW and GROWTH in the above Scripture and they mean TO ENLARGE. The Greek word for MATURE means to BECOME COMPLETE. So Paul is telling us above that God’s intention for us is to BECOME COMPLETE and be ENLARGED into all aspects of Christ. Therefore, GROWTH is intended to ENLARGE US TOWARD CHRIST-LIKENESS.

With the conception of Radical Infusion (www.radicalinfusion.org), the preparation and gestation of this ministry has brought me (and continues to bring me) much GROWTH – and it isn’t always easy.

Like a woman with child, I have been stretched to new levels. There is some awkwardness and discomfort like I imagine a woman might feel, especially if she is carrying her first child. Like a protective mother, I am more cautious and on guard to ensure the security and safety of my child. I’ve heard pregnant women complain that everyone they meet wants to touch their belly, even complete strangers. I’m finding a similar experience in birthing this ministry.

What I am noticing most, however, is the personal growth inside of me and my ability to deflect the enemy’s schemes. I can more clearly see the plot set against me to get me out of the Spirit and into my flesh. The enemy doesn’t want me to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Every time I have a new breakthrough, I now anticipate the onslaught of the enemy’s attacks.

These attacks come though many avenues and are not always direct, so spiritual discernment is critical. The most stealthy attacks, I’m finding, come through old mindsets that I have already been healed from. The enemy spent years deceiving me in certain ways which were very effective for a long time, but God was faithful to reveal my deception. However, we can get comfortable in our new found freedom and he will try to catch us off guard. Those old deceptions are one of the most likely places the enemy will try to attack.

It’s very exciting lately to recognize the growth that has happened in my life through being washed in the Word by the renewing of my mind and being cleansed in His presence. I can still recognize those old “default” response systems that used to plague my life and keep me bound, as they try to take the lead at every opportunity. But today I count it all joy as I know that each difficulty, each challenge, each attack that comes my way, is simply designed to grow me (ENLARGE ME TOWARD CHRIST-LIKENESS) even more.

In pondering this with the Lord, I imagined the attacks & challenges (which God allows) to be as an injection of GROWTH HORMONES… something that can benefit me, not hinder me. So I looked up growth hormones and here’s what I found:

  • Growth hormones regulate development.
  • Growth hormones are needed for normal growth in children.
  • In adults, growth hormones are needed to maintain the proper amounts of body fat, muscle, and bone.
  • In adults, low or absent growth hormones can also cause emotional symptoms, such as tiredness and lack of motivation.

So here are some conclusions and points for you to ponder:

  1. Growth hormones (attacks/challenges) regulate your spiritual development.
  2. Growth hormones (attacks/challenges) are needed and normal, and should be expected.
  3. Growth hormone injections (attacks/challenges) are not easy or fun to get, but they are intended to strengthen you, bring you balance and make you more like Jesus.
  4. Low or absent growth hormones (a wrong perspective of attacks/challenges, or attempts to avoid growing) can cause emotional symptoms such as tiredness and lack of motivation (sounds like depression to me.)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance (CHEERFUL, HOPEFUL CONSTANCY).  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (LIKE CHRIST). James 1:2-5

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About Mary L'Esperance Held
http://www.maryloveslife.org

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