So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Friend to Friend
Sir Isaac Newton wrote a book that was published in 1687 called The Principia: Mathematical Principle of Natural Philosophy. In this book, Newton unpacks research that redefined the way the world looks at science and physics. One of the three Laws of Motion he wrote about is this: an object in motion tends to remain in motion unless an external force is applied to it.
Interestingly enough, this particular law of motion presents a compelling analogy for increasing growth and progressing toward mature faith. When it comes to growing in spiritual maturity, the most important thing to do is getting started. Once you begin to move, it is much easier to stay in motion. To progress. To mature.
Motivation often follows the simple discipline of getting started.
Though I know this to be true, I am still the princess of procrastination. (Tiara worthy!) Even though I am aware that progress and procrastination are oil and water, I am also blissfully delusional with rationalization. My oil and water blend just fine, thank you very much.
The antithesis of procrastination then is simply to do something . . . anything! Find a way to move forward. Start small. After all, objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Right? So if you and I want to experience the power that God has for us, we need to intentionally direct our hearts in ways that leads us to His strength.
The writer of Hebrews gave a challenge to those who are believers in Christ, but who lack maturity.
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:11-14, NIV)
Where are you in all of this? Are you intentionally moving forward in faith or is your faith unintentionally waning and taking a back seat to everything else in your life?
There was a short season when my children were young and needed to be fed and carried. Brad and I encouraged them as they progressed from sitting up, to crawling, and then to walking and running on their own. Their growth was our mission.
My spiritual growth needs to be my own personal mission. Mature believers grow. Mature believers move forward.
Spiritually speaking, where are you now as compared to a few years ago?
One marker of spiritual maturity is that the fruit of God’s Spirit is evident in our lives. Do people see God in you? They know about your pains, but do they know about your peace? Do others leave your presence and wonder where your joy comes from or do they wonder if you were weaned on a dill pickle? And how do you respond when you face temptation? Are you led by the Spirit of God or by your own desires?
The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in the church at Colosse to draw strength from Jesus by being rooted in and built up in Him.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7)
To make this happen, I have to know the teachings, the character, and the life-changing love of Jesus. Since motivation often follows the simple discipline of getting started … I need to just get started.
Pray a prayer.
Talk to Jesus.
Read a verse.
Read a whole chapter.
Read the notes in my Bible that correspond with that verse or those chapters.
I can do this.
You can do this.
We can strengthen our faith by just getting started.
Let’s start now in prayer and then move into a time of response – a time of motion – in the “Now It’s Your Turn” section.
Dear Lord, I want to grow in faith. Please help me to intentionally seek and know You more so that others might see evidence of Your goodness in my life.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
COLOSSIANS CHALLENGE: Pick a starting point from the following:
Read the book of Colossians, a few verses a day. Read then respond in prayer.
Read the book of Colossians, one chapter a day. Read then respond in prayer.
Read the book of Colossians for four days straight, a different translation each day.
Read then respond in prayer.
AND since it helps to lock in some accountability, CLICK HERE to leave a comment on my blog and tell me which of the Colossians challenge levels you are committing to: Daily Verses, Chapter or Book! (No shame! A few verses per day or a whole book a day … doesn’t matter! Do what you can do. Just do something!)
More from The Girlfriends
Have you listened to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast yet? Hang out with Gwen and friends when you go on walks, exercise, run errands or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?) Each GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more. These discussions are going to encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes, or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceologie for more information.