We usually see these things in ourselves when we react differently or think differently than we did before. And then, it’s like a 2x4 moment for us – like a light goes on in our heads and we notice it. It feels good when that happens!!
I like it when that happens in our spiritual growth too. You can read the same scripture many times and somehow it’s meaning evades you. You don’t quite understand it or it’s not really prevalent to where you are right now in your journey. That happens to everyone I think.
And I think it’s really neat how God Himself knew all these things about us. I love how things jump out at us at the right time, when we need it or we just have one of those ‘aha’ moments, again, like when a light goes on. And once it makes sense, we can actually apply it to our lives.
Do you know how it makes sense? Holy Spirit! The Spirit of truth guides us in all truth. (John 16:13)
But here’s the thing that really gets me… God actually knew we would have trouble understanding and being they way we are (not usually completely willing to commit until we have complete understanding), He actually gave us instructions to get us from “here” (not understanding) to “there” (the aha moment).
In Joshua 1, Joshua is being given instruction from God. He’s just lost Moses, his leader and mentor, and God is telling him what to do. God says: Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
God didn't tell Joshua to understand the Book of the Law, which He gave through Moses. He just told him to meditate in it day and night so that he would do as was written and THEN his way would be prosperous and successful. God KNEW that by having His word within Joshua, Joshua would be lead by the Spirit and the Spirit would guide him.
We cannot operate half here and half there. Yes, it is a journey from here to there, but our journey can only commence, increase, be successful, be beneficial to ourselves and others IF we are meditating, dwelling on, thinking about, praying about, reading, pondering, chewing up, listening to (and any other adverb you want to use), God’s Word. We don’t know it all yet, but should we let that hold us back from starting or increasing the pace of our journey?
When we are in God’s Word, even when we don’t understand it, we have a Helper who does. Our Helper is intimately connected to God in ways we can only dream of (right now). John 14:26 says: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
We are so fortunate to be where we are today and not in the position of the original disciples – we don’t have to wait! We have the Helper here and now. He was already sent, is already active and we just have to receive (see Luke 11:13 and John 20:22).
So while people can argue about whether the gifts of the Spirit are relevant for today or something we should be seeking, I say it really doesn’t matter… We need Holy Spirit in order to grow and understand. And to me, that could be the second greatest gift of all! First of all, Jesus died for me and second, He gave me Holy Spirit to teach me, guide me, correct me and grow me. WOW!
I seems clear to me based on this, that being connected to God’s word and having relationship with Jesus and Holy Spirit is vital to my growth and journey in becoming who I was created to be. I cannot find a way to separate the three aspects, components or persons. They are all needed.
And to go back to the start, when we see ourselves growing, improving, being wiser, being more connected, we are actually releasing more to God, trusting Him more and allowing Him to do more in us. We are giving up control little by little, understanding more and more, and the more it happens, the more we trust it to happen and the more it does happen.
We were never asked to understand. We are asked to have faith in who God is and who He says we are. We are invited to trust Him and to be confident that He who has begun a good work in us will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
I see the work, the growth, and the relationship within myself when my own spirit soars! When aha moments are strung together day after day. Sure there are seasons when that doesn’t happen all the time, but growth is also in noticing when it doesn’t happen like that and making some changes in my study, my time, my focus etc.
Give yourself a break! Don’t try to figure it all out! REST in the finished work of Jesus and let Holy Spirit do the work as you stay in God’s Word. He won’t fail you and you WILL see that growth! Keep connected!