Spiritual growth is our direction this morning. Most people believe growth is just a natural thing that just happens. Growth is God’s desire for us all. He wants us all to grow and mature in our life and faith.
We all start out as babes, but then childhoods toddlers, then teens, young adult, the adult, then seniors. At each level of life you will show your growth or lack of growth based on how you do life. You see growth based on how you deal with situations, circumstances, things that just happen. How you handle them will show your level of growth.
God allows tests and trials not to show us how weak we are but to show us how strong we are. They show if you are ready to advance in the Kingdom of God.
Spiritual: : of, relating to, or consisting of spirit : not bodily or material. Spiritual has nothing to do with your flesh or what you have. It has to do with who you are on the inside of your heart and mind. It is the spirit side of life. When we say we are spiritual we are doing life from our spirit inside to effect our physical and material realms.
Growth: : progressive development, the process of forming or developing something, stage or condition in increasing, developing, or maturing.
Spiritual Growth has to with your spirit, not your physical or your stuff. Growth has to do with the process of forming, increasing, developing, and maturing your life from the Spirit to your outside life.
“You [spiritually] blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the plate [examine and change your inner self to conform to God’s precepts], so that the outside [your public life and deeds] may be clean also.” MATTHEW 23:26 AMP
One of the first stages of growth begins when you start in the right place. Many people try to fix their lives by working on the problems they see on the outside. Really the problem is not the outside problems.
Example: your life has a lot of issues so you are like a tree and you don’t like the fruit that you are producing. The fruit is not the problem. What determines the type of fruit is the roots.
What is going on inside your mind and heart where no sees is what will grow in your life. Bitterness deep inside will grow and bitter apples will be hanging from you and your life. Bitter attitudes, bitter in relationships, bitter in health.
The Bible even says that bitterness rottens the bones. Many of the crippling diseases the root is bitterness and unforgivness. I seen people who repented and renounced bitterness got healed of the crippling disease.
“A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.” PROVERBS 17:22 AMP
Your inner world weather it is bitterness, jealousy, hatred, unforgivness, anger, etc. these are just a few that plague the inner world of peoples lives.
Jesus says they are spiritually blind. They were so concerned by how their lives looked on the outside.
In the medical term they call heart issues, “THE SILENT KILLER.” THERE ARE SO MANY SILENT KILLERS HANGING AROUND IN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS. THE PAST FEW WEEKS HAVE BEEN SO CHALLENGING FOR ME. MY MIND AND HEART AND BODY.
I HAD I MENTIONED LAST WEEK AN EMERGENCY GALL BLADDER SURGERY, THE NEXT WEEK I HAD A STROKE. I WAS RELEASED FRIDAY AUGUST 2. THE DOCTORS HAVE ME ON NO WORK, REST AND RECUPERATION FOR 3 WEEKS. NO STRESS, DRASTIC CHANGE IN MY DIET. LIGHT WALKING AND LIGHT EXERCISE. LOTS OF REST.
I HAVE BATTLED HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE FOR YEARS. THE SILENT KILLER HAS BEEN THERE AND I NEGLECTED IT. IT DID NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
PEOPLE HOLD ONTO REGRET SO LONG THAT IT KILLS ANY CHANCE OF CREATING A BETTER LIFE.
STUCK IN THE SAME OF DEAD END. THE SELF TALK WE KEEP SPEAKING OVER AND OVER IF IT IS NEGATIVE, DESTRUCTIVE WILL DESTROY WHAT EVER YOU SAY YOU WANT.
YOU WILL NEVER CREATE SUCCESS IF YOU KEEP TALKING AND THINKING LACK.
YOU WILL NEVER RECEIVE IF YOUR TO AFAID TO GIVE AND TRUST GOD.
YOU WILL NEVER INCREASE IF YOUR FEARS ARE GREATER THAN YOUR FAITH.
YOU WILL NEVER HAVE MORE IF YOU KEEP HOLDING AND HOARDING YOUR SURPLUS.
YOU WILL NEVER HAVE LOVE IF YOU KEEP HOLDING RESENTMENT TOWARDS PEOPLE.
WE ALL SAY WE WANT MORE, OR BETTER, OR BLESSINGS, BUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN OUR HEART AND MIND.
Jesus says, “clean the inside of the cup.” I see people who run their car through a car wash but are unwilling to vacuum and dump the trash that is accumulating inside of their car.
It’s an unhealthy attitude to just work on looking good on the outside but the inside is a mess. We meet people, we see people in tv, athletes, celebrities, on and on they look so good on the outside till they are exposed. We always seen them as successful, in top off the world, great and happy.
It’s not how you look on the outside. People see the outside but God looks at the heart.
You [spiritually] blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the plate [examine and change your inner self to conform to God’s precepts], so that the outside [your public life and deeds] may be clean also.” MATTHEW 23:26 AMP
If we are to experience growth we need to work first in the most important areas of our life.
He says to EXAMINE AND CHANGE YOUR INNER SELF TO CONFORM TO GODS PRECEPTS.
EXAMINE: : to look at (something) closely and carefully in order to learn more about it, to find problems, etc. to test or look carefully at (something or someone) for signs of illness or injury.
EXAMINE LIKE WHEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO BUY SOMETHING. WE LOOK AT INSIDE AND OUT, UP AND DOWN. WE MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS.
WE EXAMINE THINGS WE BUY, HOW WE LOOK, ETC BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR INNER SELF? YOUR HABITS, YOUR LACK OF DISCIPLINE, YOUR NEGATIVE ATTITUDES OR FEARS.
YOU WILL NEVE CHANGE ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE IF YOU DENY IT. YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE ANYTHING YOU WON’T EXAMINE OR LOOK AT.
THIS IS WHY MANY PEOPLE WANT CHANGE BUT ARE UNWILLING TO CHANGE THE INNER SELF.
Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong because you are unwilling to do what God says.
The unsuccessful person is burdened by learning, and prefers to walk down familiar paths. Their distaste for learning stunts their growth and limits their influence. John C. Maxwell
Clean your inner self, conform it to God’s Word. Who you listen to will determine the self life or God life. You can only do so much for you, so why would you put your trust in you? When you do things out of fear, lazy, or many of the other human feelings you will miss out on all that God has for you.
If we do what He says we will receive what He promises. What you do for your inner self will show up on your public life and deeds. God does not at a clean, fine looking cup from the outside. He looked inside of the cup. He looks at the heart. God does not see as human do.
We label people by what we see with our our. They are great because of what we see form our eyes, but God does see as we see. He looks inside the closet of your heart and life. See a bedroom all sharp and put in order till you open the closet. They thru all their junk and hid it inside. Clean inside and out. Spiritual Growth.
“Therefore let us get past the elementary stage in the teachings about the Christ, advancing on to maturity and perfection and spiritual completeness, [doing this] without laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of teaching about washings (ritual purifications), the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. [These are all important matters in which you should have been proficient long ago.]” HEBREWS 6:1-2 AMP