Notice that it is the Lord who places the disciples into the boat, knowing of the impending storm. Sometimes the Lord allows storms in our lives to strengthen and mature us…(Lorraine Hill, p. 83).
Today’s lesson in Reclaiming Your Joy examines the passage from Matthew 14:22-33 and talks about the importance of keeping your focus on Jesus during the storms of life. Difficulties and trials are opportunities to see what God can do; they are chances to let go of all of the pretense of having control in our lives and rest in Him. These are chances to grow in our relationship with God. This week’s chapter from Heartstrings, Chapter 3, is about our spiritual growth too. At the end of the chapter, Jill Briscoe asks us to evaluate ourselves and decide what stage of growth we are in, spiritually: (a) infant (b) youth (c) young adult (d) middle age (e) mature. I think this is a better place to start than end. So think about the stage you would select for yourself right now. Let’s just look at a few areas to form a sort of criterion…how much do you:
- Spend time daily in the Word (getting to know Him) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17)
- Commune with God in prayer (speaking AND listening) The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you (John 14:26)
- Rely on God for direction or during times of crisis or when you are hurting Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding (Prov 3:5)
- Obey God’s Word – the scriptures AND those things He puts on your heart to change or accomplish or learn For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3)
- Desire to honor His Name with your life and use your life daily to bring glory to him (even in the way that you talk to your husband, clean your toilet, drive your car, etc.) Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Col 3:23-24)
Do you have some areas in your relationship with God that need growth? Do you know how to nurture that growth? I am praying that we will all continue to grow in the love and knowledge of Him. And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col 1:9-10).
JustaGirl…just like you