Growing to Our Full Extent

Sometimes I get in constant cycle in my relationship with God.  For example:  One minute I’m on fire for Him, reading The Word and praying all the time.  Then I’d start backing off a bit until I have, what we like to call, “backslid!”  So, I’d get some kind of “Godly slap in the face” and realize I need to get back where I was.  And of course I’d do what I needed to do to get back on fire for Him.  And this cycle began to repeat.

But what if backsliding wasn’t in our vocabulary anymore as Christians?  What if backing off was no longer an option?  What if getting back where we were with God wasn’t the closest to Him that we’ve ever been, but rather it is the beginning of more?

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say–living lives that lead others away from sin], having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude. -Colossians 2:6-7 (AMP)

He wants us to continually be built up in Him and becoming increasingly more established in our faith.  He wants us to be more and continue to be more.  We can’t just stay the same like stagnant water because we need fresh waters to flow through our lives constantly.

Let’s change our mindset

Let’s change our mindset and change the idea of the box that we have put our spiritual life in.  To grow to the fullness, we have to let go of the limits we have on our relationship with God.  Let’s grow!  But to completely grow spiritually to our full extent, we have to change spiritually.  Let’s change!

We proclaim Him, warning and instructing everyone in all wisdom [that is, with comprehensive insight into the word and purposes of God], so that we may present every person complete in Christ [mature, fully trained, and perfect in Him–the Anointed].  For this I labor [often to the point of exhaustion], striving with His power and energy, which so greatly works within me. -Colossians 1:28-29 (AMP)

We are human.  We make mistakes but we need to stop using that as our excuse.  We aren’t perfect, but let’s strive for it.  Let’s strive for perfection and completion like the verse says.  We can be more and we can be the best for Him.  There are some things we need to grab a hold of in this process of growing to the full extent:

Weaknesses

We all have weaknesses and we have failed many times because of those weaknesses.  We have failed in major situations in life or small little things.  As in maybe you have no patience and you’re bad at being patient.  Maybe you are not a people person and your not strong in the area of handling people.  Or maybe your weakness are desiring things like drinking, smoking, pornography, etc.

Your weakness may be small, or may seem small and harmless, but those weaknesses are your roots.  If you don’t dig up those roots, those roots will branch out into your ministry, your missions, your everyday life.

Take your weaknesses and strengthen them

 It is time for us to stop letting our weaknesses or our struggles define us.  Take your weaknesses, your struggles, and things you are not good at and strengthen them.  We want to fix whatever could prevent us from reaching the fullness of what He has for us and what He wants us to do.

Physical Change

Not only can spiritual things or our roots keep us from growing to the full extent, but also physical things: movies, music, novels, friends that might not be the kind who always lift you up in a Jesus way, addictions, habits, etc.  These things could keep us from growing or even burning for Him.  These things that may not seem big, but could be the very things that encourage our weaknesses.  They could be the very things that are keeping us from growing to the full extent.

So put to death and deprive of power the evil longings of your earthly body [with its sensual, self-centered instincts] immorality, impurity, sinful passion, evil desire, and greed, which is [a kind of] idolatry [because it replaces your devotion to God]. -Colossians 3:5 (AMP)

Testimony

Are you, maybe, confused a bit?  Maybe not really getting how this could involve yourself?  I’ll give you of an example of how something small I didn’t get rid of grew  (because if you’re are like me, you need examples to understand fully).  When I was 11, I began to watch porn.  As young as I was, I still had a reputation.  The “goody goody”.  The “Christian Girl”.  But I grasped at a young age that how I am is how I was created and being different is good.  People would come to me with their issues because they knew I had something that could help:  Jesus.  So when I started watching porn, I didn’t think it was a big deal because nobody knew.  Nobody saw that I was slowly corrupting my mind and that my so called “pure mind” they said I had was slowly disappearing.  You might ask, “You said it wasn’t a big deal, why are you being dramatic?”  Because I became addicted.  I let it feed my roots.  I let them be my roots.  And as I said, when you let something small, that is not Godly be your roots, it will branch out into your everyday life and your ministry.  It will stop you from growing in Him.  It wasn’t a big deal until I began to think about it during worship and prayer.  When I tried to help people with their issues, my issue would pop up in my head.  It corrupted my mind where I couldn’t see straight, couldn’t see guys how they were.  I began to let things slide and let words slide.  The images or videos would replay in my mind to where I had to control over the remote of my mind because I just kept feeding it.  I was 14 when I realized this was a problem.  I realized if I surrender to God as I say I do, then why haven’t I surrendered this addiction?  By 15, I completely broke my porn addiction and was set free.  He began to slowly erase the images and footage in my mind to where at the moment, I’m 17 and that addiction seems like a distant memory that was blurred by the Almighty.  (Praise God!)

We think these things are not a big deal, but they’ll build up to where it clogs us up spiritually.  Like when pieces of food get in the drain of the sink, you don’t remove it because water can still go through and it is gross to clean out.  But eventually, the little pieces of food will build up and clog your drain and water can’t go through.  I don’t know about you, but I want to rid everything that could possibly prevent His water to flow through my life abundantly.  I want to prevent anything that could clog me up and stop me from growing.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one receives the prize?  Run [your race] in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours!  Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to win a crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither]. -1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (AMP)

In Theatre, I do everything I can to be the best I can.  I’ll ask directors questions, I’ll look up ways to help with my diction, I’ll read scripts, I’ll talk to older Theatre students about portraying an emotion, I’ll watch plays.  Whatever it takes to be the best I can.  Sometimes we forget that we need to be the same way in our relationship with Elohim.  Just like I study theatre to become the best I can, we have to study our product.  Study Him and strengthen yourself with Him.  Learn, study, and figure out everything you can do to grow in this relationship with God and learn about Him.  Do whatever it takes to be the best for Him.  Let go of things, cut off things, study the Word, pray more intensely.  Do whatever it takes to become the best for God.  Do whatever it takes to grow to the full extent.  Even if that means getting uncomfortable.

I told my dad the other day, after joining in with his team’s soccer practice, “I’m bad at touch with the ball.  So when I practice with your team, I feel out of place because I’m bad with the ball and I can’t do some of the drills because I always seem to mess up.”  He said, “Maybe you need to change your wording.  Instead of saying ‘I’m bad at this’  or ‘I can’t do that’, say ‘I need to improve on this’ or ‘I need to become better in that’.  And do whatever you can to improve and be better.”

Don’ let your weaknesses, struggles, or habits make you think you can’t do things God has called you to do, whether big or small.  But improve yourself.  Understand that you can do better and will become better for Him.  He might have created our weaknesses and might have made some of us sensitive to certain things, but He has not called us to be defined by our weaknesses or struggles.  He has called us to overcome them.  Do what it takes.  Study the Word and spend time with Him to strengthen yourself, because you need Him in this growing and improvement process.  Think of all the things you can improve, let go, or surrender and do it!  He will help you along the way.  Do what it takes to grow to the full extent for Him.

Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. -Colossians 3:2

Thank you for reading!  God put this on my heart as an eye opener, not just for myself but for anybody that could read and/or listen.  And that maybe we can all make a stand and do what it takes together in unity.

If you would like to hear the spoken version from a few weeks ago on THOB night, comment below your email address or email me at isabellashoemake77@gmail.com and I will send it to you as soon as possible (:

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