Sunday, August 28, 2016

I have come to view spiritual growth as catching up consciously with what God does for us in an instant. Those who have days and months and years to embrace and appropriate and acclimate themselves to the gift we are given by God are simply catching up to a reality that we are unable to see or recognize as we are still steeped in the swill of the world.
Spiritual growth is the process of shedding all the baggage we think we need, but in truth we don't. God equips us fully in an instant and the journey of the spiritual life is about discovering all that our hearts need and seek is already given to us.
Long ago I remember the revelation that as followers of Christ we have both arrived and are on our way into God's kingdom, that it is simultaneously true that we are there spiritually and we are on our way there spiritually. The notion of spiritual growth being a process of discovering what we have already received is simply a different view of this truth.
The erroneous notion about spiritual growth is that wherever we may be at any given time is all that we are, much like the temporal and spatial realities we experience as we are on a trip from one location to another. The difference, however, is that what cannot be experienced in time and space is the reality spiritually, because the physics of time and space are not limitations.
Another erroneous notion regarding our experience of spiritual growth is that wherever we may be at any particular moment is the furthest there is, that each stage of spiritual growth becomes the destination, when it should only be a way point.
The trouble this creates is stagnation and legalism--even for those who have grown beyond legalism, for they see the grays in black and white as they judge those who see in black and white.
The truth of spiritual growth is embraced most fully by the understanding that we have all we need, but we haven't a clue how rich it is. Each step we take reveals in greater glory the gift we already have received.

© 2016 Stephen Carl

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