Designed for Growth
But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head – Christ.
In this text, Paul was teaching the church at Ephesus to grow in their Christian walk. God had equipped the church with every spiritual gift so it might work together to grow its members spiritually and bring them to maturity. If they did not grow spiritually, they were vulnerable to every teaching that made them feel good. Without spiritual growth, they would be like little children, tossed by every form of unhealthy doctrine or comfortable influence.
God designed for us to grow in every way – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If we fail to grow in every area, we become vulnerable and often dependent in the areas where we do not experience growth. Any area of weakness where we do not grow becomes an opportunity for the Devil to devour. God wants us whole and able to overcome the enemy’s schemes in our lives so we may enjoy the fullness of life in Christ.
Growth, however, may sometimes feel uncomfortable. We often have to reach beyond our limits to find how far we can really go. If we choose to remain comfortable, we will never experience all God has for us. Pain can signal that something is wrong or that we are growing and overcoming another limitation in our ability to move forward. Physical therapy, for example, is often painful, but it is designed to stretch us beyond our current limits and take us forward. My son would sometimes complain with leg pain as a child, and this was often followed by a need for longer pants. What he experienced were normal growing pains and were actually very healthy because it meant he was growing.
When an infant fails to grow for no apparent reason, doctors often classify the problem as “failure to thrive.” I believe many Christians today experience a “failure to thrive” in their spiritual or emotional being because they aren’t willing to participate in the painful process of becoming whole. Why depend upon God to move in your life when you can get a quick fix from people or things that make you feel warm and accepted? Why walk forth in obedience and sound doctrine when giving into temptation feels more satisfying? Satan knows that if you grow in your faith, you will experience more of God’s anointing, and that is a threat to him. He can make it easy for you to turn to other people or things so you “feel” like everything is okay. The problem with his solution for you is that “feelings” are only temporary. When you are alone with yourself without that person or thing to make you feel comfortable, the void returns, and you are left to face the truth of your situation again. Growth, however, diminishes the void and charges your faith to take you into the next level of development. In this way, those who follow Christ truly live “from faith to faith.”
Don’t just survive this life; determine to thrive. God wants you to be whole, and He never intended for you to live a fragmented life on a permanent basis. Surround yourself with people who help you grow to reach the full potential God has for you and challenge you to go beyond your limits. Dig deeply into His word every day to see what He has to say to you. The more you grow in your faith, the more you will grow in all other areas. Growth is required to thrive, but it can be painful at times.
Have a blessed day!