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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Taking Baby Steps to Spiritual Maturity

In review of Hebrews 12:1, it says "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (NLT).

Others before me have run the race and won. Their witness should stir me to run and win as well. A long-distance runner works hard to build endurance and strength. To run the race that God has set before me, I must strip off the excess weight that slows me down. I can do this by choosing friends who are also committed to the race as well. Make wise choices, which may mean dropping certain activities. Get help for anything that weighs me down.  Being a Christ follower involves giving up whatever endangers my relationship with God, to run with endurance, and to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To live effectively, I must keep my eyes on Jesus. I will stumble if I look away from him to stare at myself or at the circumstances surrounding me. I should be running for Christ, not for myself, and always keep him in sight.

It’s no accident that the Bible routinely refers to the Christian life as a race. Just like in a long-distance race, I must be patient to grow as a Christian. The Bible says, “Let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1b TLB).

I won’t finish this race quickly (in a week, a month, or even a year). In fact, It will take my whole life. God’s plan for making me into the person he wants me to be requires a lifetime commitment.

I won’t be able to short-cut or short-circuit that kind of growth. When I became a Christian, I started growing quickly. Much like a baby in the early months, who grow enormously fast during the first year. However I won’t continue growing as quickly the rest of my life. Growth, both physical and spiritual, slows down. It’s stable and secure over a period of time. God isn’t in a hurry for me to grow. I am, but he isn’t.

I’m learning that I need to start with simple steps toward growth. If I take one or two baby steps every week, I’ll be much further down the road of growth at the end of the year than I would be otherwise.

Christian living isn’t one big leap across the Grand Canyon. It’s a journey of baby steps, one step at a time.

In summary, I need to strip off the things that weigh me down, especially the sin that so easily trips me up. I need to run with endurance the race that God has set before me. I do this by choosing friends who are also committed to running the race. Making wise choices, which may mean dropping certain activities. Giving up anything that might endanger my relationship with God. Using the Holy Spirit's power to help with sin. Keeping my eyes on Jesus. If I look away or focus only on the circumstances that surround me, I will stumble. Run for Christ and not for myself. Be patient in my growth, as I won't finish the race quickly. It will take a whole life time. God wants to grow me over time and not in an instant. So I need to start with simple steps each day. It won't be one big leap, but rather a journey of baby steps along the way.

Thank you Father for the reminder to run with endurance the race you have set out before me. I face circumstances that I’m not quite sure what to do with, and my mind races. I see another get ahead with a promotion and I stay the same. I need to be patient that you have a plan for me. It’s my job to follow you and take steps toward keeping my focus on you and celebrating others successes. 

I pray this morning Father that with the help of the Holy Spirit, that I’m reminded of this crucial perspective. Give me wisdom and guidance for my day, my activities, my leadership and my interaction with others. Help me to live with integrity and to make a difference in the lives of those around me. I ask these things through your Son Jesus name, Amen.