Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kent Hughes on asking God for spiritual growth

We may and must ask for spiritual growth. But we must not lay down guidelines as to how God ought to produce this. We must not, for example, ask God to develop our spiritual lives, and then when he pulls out the shears and begins to prune say, "No, Lord, you can't do it that way!" Do not ask the Lord to make you sensitive to others, and then resent the difficult person who crosses your life at work or in the Church. God often circumvents a proud, presumptuous spirit, whereas spiritual grace may be mediated by a friendship, a discipline, or a hardship.

1 comment:

Woody Woodward said...

Speaking of Spiritual growth, last night at our Lansing Bible study on Ephesians 2:1-10, our leader Bill March, when talking about the means of GRACE, ask the men, “What does the word ‘praise’ mean to you?” As each of the men shared, and all the thoughts were about the same. Most summed up, “Praise is a means and our way of giving adoration and glory to God.” And I would have said the same thing. But then came Victor! What a testimony! Victor has been in prison now for 28 years and is a lifer. He is indeed a testimony of Romans 12:1-5 and a ROCK that Christ has been building His church upon in that prison. Not only does he live every second for Christ, talk about living Philppians 2:2-5, to all the believers in Lansing but each week, when Victor shares, those of us ‘visitors’ are blessed as well. Victor’s powerful gift of faith and his relentless passion for evangelism is manifested 24 hours a day. A few weeks ago, he was moved to a different cell block and he wasn’t really pleased about this “radical” change in his daily routine. But as Victor gave testimony to the guards doing the moving, “Praise the Lord, now I got new men that will hear about Jesus!” Anyway, when Bill ask for Victor’s reply about Praise, Victor sat quietly for a moment and then quietly said, “Praise to me is far more than lip service. I do that, but Praise to me is my way of life.” Now that is spiritual growth to the MAX! Each week I am amazed at what I learn each week from these brave Christian warriors, who 24 hours a day, face verbal abuse, some physical abuse, not only from the men, but from the guards. But as Paul exhorts all of us, these men “count it all joy” for Christ considering them worthy of sharing in the fellowship of His Suffering.