You’re Not There Yet, Keep Growing (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 292)
Philippians 3:12 (NLT)
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.
Wouldn’t it wonderful if we could say at some point in our lives that we have arrived? I mean we have gotten to that place of total achievement, complete fulfillment, and ultimate perfection. It’s that point in which we are no longer growing or striving for anything. Because, well, we have everything and have done everything that’s in our time and energy span to do.
Well, that’s not the case especially in our spiritual lives. When we choose to follow Jesus, it isn’t a one-time decision. It’s a daily process every single day for the rest of our earthly existence. We’ll never totally “arrive” until we get to the other side of glory. What God wants us to do while we’re still on this earth is use the time and life he gives us to make progress.
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.” When Paul wrote these words, he was acknowledging that while he has learned a great deal by following Christ, he still has many more steps to climb to get to the top of the ladder.
If anybody could boast about reaching full spiritual maturity, it would most certainly be Paul. But even in his old physical age, he honestly tells the believers at Philippi and believers today that he’s still growing and learning. And you know what, if we’re honest with ourselves and with each other, we’ll say the same thing. We’ll say we haven’t arrived; we’re still striving, still growing, still becoming more like the Master.
The one single thing that keeps people back from growing is pride. People who are spiritually mature don’t pretend to have it all together to be great giants of the faith. They humbly make the extra effort each day to do what it takes to make progress in their spiritual lives. Following Christ is no easy path, but it is indeed worth it because at the end of that path is deep joy and abiding glory.
You’ll never know how mature you are until your faith has been tested. It is in those trying and tough moments when we see the most growth. If you’ve sunk into your pew on Sunday morning and not moved one way or another by scripture, then check your growth scale. Have you stopped growing? Have you allowed pride to consume you and forced you into a corner just to keep up appearances? If you have, do something about it.
Choose to open your heart up to be teachable. Let God show you how to be humble and how to accept situations that come into your life as the will of God. Allow people to get your growth with their words and actions. Be honest. God has good things in store for those who allow themselves to become more like him. You haven’t arrived yet, keep growing.
“Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth.”
— Rick Warren