Markers Of Growth

By in Devotions

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:9-12

Insight

Everybody prays when they are freaking out, in a difficult situation or dealing with a tragedy. We naturally lift up our concerns during those times when we face weakness head on. Unfortunately, if one were to look at the prayers of most Christians during these moments, they would see something surprising.

We tend to think that God should strengthen us so we get what WE WANT.

God give me the strength to control my kids, my husband, my finances, etc. God let this situation pass so I can get back to my normal routine. We want God’s power in our life so we can control the situations we don’t think God is doing a good enough job controlling.

We ask God to change our circumstances rather than transform and shape our heart.

Stability, gratitude, and generosity are markers of spiritual maturity. God never promises for a believer’s life to be easy and free of troubles. The purpose of a walk with God is not status quo.

Stability shouldn’t be mistaken for predictability, the absence of difficulty or a life void of weakness. Rather, we can witness if stability is taking root in our character by judging how we react, or in some cases overreact, to the circumstances around us. Do we rely on God’s grace when our strength isn’t enough?

Stability measures the way we walk by faith and not by sight.

The emotions we feel towards the circumstances we face are very important. They can serve as markers towards our growth.

This in no way undermines the legitimate emotions of worry, grief, anger or disappointment, but instead, it helps us measure the condition of our hearts in response to the circumstances that often damage it.

We think self-control happens as a result of sheer will power and is not a fruit of the Spirit. But, today’s Scripture reminds us that sober mindedness and self-control are needed for our prayers. There needs to be a level of endurance in the situations we face. Controlling yourself is critical for surrendering yourself.

Reflection

  • Ask God to open your eyes to areas where you are struggling to exhibit stability, gratitude, and generosity.

Prayer

God, I want my life to be marked by stability, gratitude, and generosity. Do the work on my heart in order to get me there. Help me to realize I sometimes cannot control my circumstances, but I can take ownership in regards to my response to those circumstances. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.