No one is perfect. We all need to grow.
And growth occurs when we become uncomfortable enough with our present condition that we consciously take specific steps to change what we do not like.
Sometimes it may be a bad habit. Other times it may be something about our own character that needs refining. Regardless, change in a positive direction does not occur by itself.
Stagnation is the result of doing nothing. Degeneration is the result of doing nothing when we are continually exposed to negative influences.
But improvement always requires effort to resist the negative and be influenced by the positive.
This is especially true in our character as believers. Salvation does not make us perfect. Sanctification does, but we can’t make sanctification happen in our own lives. That is God’s work in us as His Spirit uses the truth which we have learned to change our thinking and our living.
Although the process of sanctification through the work of God’s Spirit will continue through our lifetime, the end result of perfection will not be seen until we get to heaven. So, we must continually work, not just to learn truth, but to submit ourselves to it so that God can use it to make us perfect.
The process of submitting to God’s truth is what we call “application.” It means, that we take the truth that we know and put it into action–in our choices, in our behavior, in our speech, in our relationships, in our worship–in every area of our lives. And as we work at “practicing” truth consistently, our character conforms to the principles that we are living out.
That is what this blog is all about–practically applying the principles of truth that we already know, or that we will learn together if you follow along with me on this journey. Where are we going? Holiness. That is, living every day in every way by God’s truth so that He gets the glory in the end. Isn’t that what the Christian life is about anyway?
The underlying foundation of how I try to live is based on this statement:
Everything you do should be governed and guided by one or more principles from God’s Word.
Some people disagree with me on that, yet why wouldn’t a follower of Christ pattern everything in their lives after the truth that Christ both lived and taught? And we are not just talking about the “red letters” in the Bible. The whole Bible is the story of God’s interaction with man, and all along He is teaching us about Himself and how we should respond to Him. So, the more we learn and practice ALL of the truth of the Bible as it applies to our lives, the more we will grow to be like our Savior.
Obviously, no one can know everything there is to know about the Bible or what it teaches. But that should be our goal. After all, since the Bible is the inspired Word of God, it is, in essence, what God thinks–His opinion about life. And since He is perfect, then what He thinks is absolutely right and trumps any opinion that we might come up with on our own.
Therefore, the Christian life is boiled down to finding out what God thinks and agreeing with Him–not just in thought and word, but in action and attitude. What we agree with is what we believe, and what we truly believe affects the way we live.
So, really, sanctification and growth in a believer’s life is nothing more than this:
The process of replacing our own opinion with God’s and then letting His opinion affect how we live.
None of us have “cornered the market” on knowing or practicing God’s truth. So, we all have a long way to go. Will you then join with me as I go down this road of “Christian growth?”
After all, none of us are perfect. We all need to grow.