Mushrooms sprout overnight.
Redwood trees take over a century.
When it comes to growing into spiritually mature men and women we often have the illusion that it can be done overnight; that somehow through certain spiritual experiences or the expression of the gifts, the process of spiritual growth can be hurried up or short-circuited. When we go this route, we end up with squashy, weak, spiritual mushrooms: People who are here today and gone tomorrow.
If, on the other hand we understand that the process of spiritual maturity takes a great deal of time, energy, nourishing, and just plain living through the storms of life, we may actually end up with spiritual Redwoods: Tall, stately paragons of strength and beauty that give nourishment and shelter to others amidst the harshness of life.
Because obedience to God’s Word is generic to this maturing process, let me put forth four suggestions on how to build the Word of God into your life:
1. STUDY IT THROUGH – Choose a verse or passage. Discipline your mind to carefully analyze it, asking the question, “What exactly is the meaning here?” Come at it as an academician.
“Correctly analyzing and accurately dividing the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15b – Amplified)
2. PRAY IT IN – Once you understand the Biblical truth, surrender your will to it. Search your soul over it. Absorb it into your bloodstream. Prayerfully ask God to build it into your life.
3. WORK IT OUT – Ask the question, “What can I do in a practical way to apply this truth to my life… to my situation?” For example, you might write an application as follows: “Starting today, we in our company will no longer exaggerate what our product can deliver to the public. Along with its strengths, we will explain its limitations.”
4. PASS IT ON – Once the truth of the Scriptures have become an integral part of your life, it is only natural that you bear fruit by passing it on to others. Spiritual multiplication:
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:15)
QUESTION: Judging from your present relationship with the Word of God, are you in the process of becoming a spiritual redwood tree, or simply settling in as a mushroom?