i'm convinced that i've got a lot more 'work' to do in the whole area of 'personal development' (if i may so use the term loosely).
i definitely need to work more and more at peeling the veneers of my superficiality and dig deeper into building 'substance'.
Sure, through the years and through the trials and tribulations, God has been and always is still interested in my growing to become the man that he wants me to be. By His will and grace, in submission to His hands, i've seen myself 'moulded' and 'refined' (and in many ways still being moulded and refined).
However, i believe that as we grow and mature in our relationship with Him, it becomes somewhat a 'natural' progression that the concern and 'work' of building ourselves up does not solely lie in His hands.
Yes, as 'children' who needed 'milk' we needed to be therefore 'fed' and in some instances perhaps even 'forced' into situations and circumstances that would result in our betterment as an outcome...
but, i feel and think that more and more as we grow into His sons and daughters and mature to a point of desiring and needing 'meat'... more and more the whole issue of our personal choice grows in it's significance as well.
God, in my humble opinion, wants us to move from a position of just doing things because we have to, to a position of doing things because we want to and maybe even doing things because we know the good that it does for us and for others and for the glory of God.
He wants us to grow in our involvement with what He is doing in our very own lives and of course the lives of those around us.
No longer being just passive recipients but more so active participants. And by that i don't just mean busying ourselves with more to do but rather 'doing' more.
let me see if i can elaborate...
Holiness is an example.
Perhaps as a 'young' believer and maybe new in our faith, we found keeping ourselves holy 'solely' God's responsibility. We entrusted ourselves to Him to keep us from temptation and 'prevent' us from succumbing to it by His grace... hoping secretly that we'll be safe from ever having to face some of these 'challenges' and praying that our lives will be 'temptation-free' so that we'll never have to come to terms with them and risk failure.
But, as we grow i believe keeping ourselves holy becomes just as much our responsibility.
Of course it's true that if not for God and the Holy Spirit and the enabling overcoming grace and power of Jesus that works within us, we will all fall flat on our faces... but still the choice to exercise that power and appropriate our faith rests very much in our hands... and i sincerely believe God wants us to grow more and more 'comfortable' with that whole fact.
He's raising up a generation that KNOWS Him.
Knows who He is.
Knows His heart and what He wants.
Knows who they are in Him.
Knows what to do and why in the light of giving Him glory and pleasing Him.
i sometimes feel that we (myself included) forfeit our mental faculties when it comes to our lives in relation to God (much to God's dismay) and reduce ourselves to becoming 'reflex-action' disciples... which is an oxymoron in itself because disciples don't just do something because they were somehow 'supernaturally wired' to do so... disciples have LEARNT and DISCIPLINED themselves to do so. So instead of choosing to do the right thing because we've learnt and commited and 'discipled' ourselves to Him... we wait to see how we feel about it and to see if it all comes 'naturally'.
We somehow come under the false notion that obedience is 'automatic' and so when faced with challenge, opposition and temptation, we wait for 'autopilot' to kick in when in actual fact there is no such thing.
My mind goes to David who despite being the one who was after God's heart and who was 'passionate' for Him... fell in adultery and even resorted to murder later (mind you, not as a young boy but as a fully-grown man and King at that).
My mind also goes to Jesus who despite being the Son of God (if anybody should have had 'autopilot' mode it would have been him) and yet it has been clear in the Word that he was not exempt from any temptation known to man. In fact, it was also documented how he faced the devil and his temptations head on and overcame... not with signs and wonders... but with the knowledge of who God is.
Hebrews 5:14 (New Living Translation)
"Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong."
so i tell myself... come on step up to the plate and start 'getting more involved'... 'doing' more about my own faith and walk with the Lord.
time to get under my skin...