I remember taking my Little Bit to the specialist for the first time. She’d only grown 2 cm in a year when she should have been sprouting like a root, growing like a weed.
She wasn’t. Her growth had plateaued.
“We just really need to know what’s going on,” I told the doctor. “How do we get her to grow?”
After we got home from the doctor, I remember how defeated I felt. My Little Bit mirrored how I felt spiritually. I was mediocre when I should’ve carried a sense of spiritual health and blessing. I wanted to be well-watered, spilling over onto others who passed my way. Instead, I was stuck.
Why? What happened?
That night I picked up a book I’d been reading and saw I Corinthians 3:1 across the page:
“I speak to you as babes in Christ.”
It hit me HARD: It is possible for a long-time Christian to be a babe, to spiritually experience the stunted growth that my daughter was experiencing physically.
I was both excited and terrified to keep reading:
“We find in the Corinthians simply a condition of protracted infancy. It is quite right that at six months of age a babe should eat nothing but milk; but years have passed by and it remains in the same weakly state. Now this is just the condition of many believers. We come in contact with them and there is none of the beauty of holiness or of the power of God’s Spirit in them.”
“You have had the gospel so long that by this time you ought to be teachers, and yet you need that men should teach you…” Hebrews 5:12
–From Andrew Murray’s The Master’s Indwelling
I was convicted. Challenged.
For many years I’d possessed what Paul describes as “the power of God.”
It is no impotent thing.
Yet it seemed to lay un-used and un-applied in my daily living out. It didn’t seem to be the power of God, say, for my speech. My witness. My vision and faith. My parenting and wifery and living.
I wanted the gospel to be the power of God in my every day, moment to moment living.
I was hungry for an answer. I was ready to move beyond the plateau so I dug into the scriptures with fresh fervency. That’s when I first discovered the Grace Goals concept in words spoken by Peter. You’ll remember him as one who grew in spurts and plateaus and flat-on-the-face falls. Yes, give me faltering Peter!
“Grow in Grace…” he instructed his readers. (See II Peter 3:18)
And with those three words, burly Peter became a mentor to me. He took me aside and spoke it plain.
“Grace = Growth.”
That simple concept of grace equalling growth sent me on a divine goose chase through the scriptures. You see, up to that point, I had always understood grace in terms of forgiveness- God giving us something we didn’t deserve.
But Peter taught me something vitally important. He taught me grace is much MORE than forgiveness for when I do wrong. It’s the power of God to do right!
This is where many of us get hung up. It’s why I wasn’t seeing the spiritual progress I longed for.
I understood grace in terms of pardon, but not in terms of power.
I knew grace as forgiveness but had yet to experience grace as enablement.
And it was high time for me to discover Grace as the POWER of God.
With fresh direction, I began studying, learning and appropriating grace in this brand new way.
Just think! The grace of God is able to
- Enable you to live godly and truly transformed (ie stop yelling in anger at your kids, practice discipline and self-denial) (Titus 2:11-14)
- Empower you to fulfill good works and do hard things (I Thess 1:11-12)
- Strengthen you beyond your ability (II Timothy 2:1)
- Always be sufficient, abundant, present, and relevant (applicable) to your situation. (II Cor 9:8)
There’s a passage in I Thessalonians 1 in particular that lit my fire. It says, “To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
When I first read those verses, something connected with my spirit…like some missing piece of the puzzle.
God is willing to fulfill my desires for godliness and put rubber on the tarmac. And He does it via grace.
Let me tell you, I was hooked. I was hooked on this concept and I was ready to burn some rubber!
I stumbled around a lot in the beginning. I misstepped and had to start over many times… but I began seeing first small, then substantial changes in my life, such as better diet and exercise habits, ministry and writing projects finally getting completed, personal and family life growth, and much more.
Through the learning and stumbling, I ended up developing a simple, biblical process for setting goals and appropriating God’s grace in my life. It’s HOW to practically implement God’s lavish grace in usable ways. I call it the the “Grace Goals” process.
Our all new Grace Goals bundle is right here and you’re invited to join us!
Friend, spiritual growth doesn’t happen by accident. It takes intentionality on our part. My prayer is that many of God’s people will take advantage of this unique opportunity to invest in your spiritual life. Discover the Grace Goals difference!
Grab Grace Goals here and I’ll see you soon!
In and for HIM,