Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to (not) grow: Ignore the spiritual battle

Written by Matt Wooley 

We’re talking more about spiritual growth and maturity. And there is a difference between spiritual growth and spiritual maturity. One leads to the other, but they are not exactly the same thing. Selah

There are lots of insights on spiritual growth and maturity in the Parable of the Soils (Luke 8:1-15). The angle we took was that we can learn a lot about how to not grow. And then, inversely, don’t do those things so that you can grow and mature and bear fruit. 

So here’s another way to not grow: ignore the spiritual battle. 
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.” (8:5) ...  “Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.” (8:12)

One way to not grow is to ignore the spiritual battle.

God wants to mature you into Christlikeness. Nothing would bring more glory to God. The enemy does not want us to be like Christ, or to allow God to be glorified. 

The devil doesn’t want you to mature into Christlikeness. Too often we ignore the forces and things at work against us. He would rather keep you immature and not reflecting Christ or glorifying God. We can even underestimate the influence and affect of our sin and sinfulness working against our growth and maturity. 

What do we do about that? We lean into the real battle and pray and ask for God’s help. We ask for others to pray for us, encourage us, intercede for us. We are honest about our own weaknesses and vulnerabilities and patterns, and we ask God to help us. 

We cannot grow alone and we cannot mature without God’s help. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) 

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this paramount reminder, Matt. I wonder to what extent our theology of spiritual warfare is minimized by our accommodation--conscious or otherwise--of philosophic materialism, which you alluded to on Sunday. No doubt all of us can greater apply the exhortation to "fix our eyes on what is unseen."

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