Tag Archives: growing as a christian

Breaking Spiritual Dormancy

I was helping my son prepare for a science test recently. His class was learning about seeds, germination, the parts of a flower and roots. I was going down the study guide asking him questions and he was doing pretty good. I then read a question that said, “What is dormant?” He replied word for word what the study guide said. It was, “Alive, but not growing.” I kept reading the other questions on the guide, but my mind kept going back to that definition. I asked him to define it again. I started thinking how so many of us live dormant Christian lives. We’re alive in Christ, but we’re not growing. Then I started to think about areas in my life that are dormant according to that definition. I believe God wants to wake us up from dormancy and begin the germination process in each of us where our roots grow.

I researched how to wake a seed up from dormancy. I found that the process is called breaking dormancy. I believe it’s pretty similar to how we break out of spiritual dormancy too. The first thing you have to do is soak the seed in water. The water has to penetrate the seed coat that is keeping the seed dormant. For you and i that means we need to saturate ourselves in the water of God’s Word. We have to let it penetrate into every area of our lives removing the things that so easily beset us. We can’t just read the Bible for content. We have to read it to connect with a God, to hear what He has to say and to declare it over the dormant parts of our lives. God is faithful to complete the work He began in you (Philippians 1:6).

In order to break dormancy, a seed also needs oxygen. I can’t help but think of Adam, having been fully formed laying on the ground. He had everything he needed to sustain life, but was laying there. It was then that God breathed the breath of life in him and man came alive. I believe God wants to breathe His breath of life into the parts of our lives that are dormant and bring them to life. Like Ezekiel had to prophesy to the valley of dry bones for breath to come in them, you may need to speak to those dormant areas of your life and speak life back into them. Once we do that, the germination process can begin and the primary root will come out and begin the growth process. Colossians 2:7 says, “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (NLT). Growth is around the corner. You can break out of spiritual dormancy.

Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

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Spiritual Exercise (Video)

Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future.

I Timothy 4:8 GNT

 

 

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Grow Down To Grow Up

Have you ever grown a tomato plant? I haven’t since I was younger, but I remember that when the tomatoes started growing we had to brace the plant. Sometimes we drove a stake into the ground and loosely tied the plant to it. Other times we made a round cage from chicken wire and put it around it to help it. While it’s body is strong enough to hold the tomatoes, it’s not firm enough to hold them up. The more it produces, the more help it needs.

The same thing is true in businesses. The larger they get, the more structure they need. If they grow too quickly without the right structure in place, they’ll fail. It can also happen in our spiritual growth. The more we grow in Christ, the more structure and support we need. Colossians 2:7 says, “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong.” Paul knew that as we grow, we need deeper roots to support us.

If you want to grow in your relationship with God, you have to let your roots go down first. You can’t grow up until you grow down. Your success in your ability to stay strong as you get closer to God depends on your ability to grow your roots. A big tree is easily blown over if it has shallow roots. The top side can be healthy, green and growing, but of it doesn’t have deep roots, it will get pushed over by the first storm that comes along.

The foundation for a skyscraper is a lot different than the foundation for a house. A shallow foundation on a large structure will crumble. Our foundation has to be built on Christ. Colossians 2:2 in the Amplified says, “That they may become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely…Christ.” We are to progressively know Him more. We are to continue growing beyond our initial salvation experience. We are to move from milk to meat. The only way we can successfully grow more is to put down deeper roots.

We put them down by progressively spending more time in the Bible and in prayer. Your growth is directly tied to how much time and effort you put into it. I’m talking about after your salvation experience. Christ does that work because we can’t. Our growth comes from actively seeking Him. It comes from putting structure in place to help you grow. It comes from reading books on faith, having people in your life who are stronger in their faith than you so they can help you and from having people around you who are weaker do you can help pull them along. Your roots are key to your growth.

In Ephesians 3:16-17, Paul says that he prays that God would empower us with inner strength through His spirit. Then, after Christ makes His home in our heart, our roots will grow down deep into Gods love and keep us strong. The more we trust on Christ, the deeper our roots will grow. The deeper our roots grow, the closer we can get to Him. If your desire is to grow upwards in Christ, spend time working on your foundation. Do the things that will give you a clearer understand of who God is and build on that foundational knowledge of Him.

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Finding Good Soil

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My family and I took a road trip to west Texas. If you aren’t from Texas, that’s the part of Texas that actually looks like you imagine it. It’s how Hollywood portrays us. It’s very dry, the ground is covered with small shrubs that will one day be tumble weeds, oiled pumps dot the landscape and there are mesas that are perfectly flat on top. It’s beautiful in its own way, but as my wife out it, there’s nothing out there. She said on more than one occasion, “I don’t think I could live out here.” Even if we couldn’t, people do live there even though it’s far away from “civilization”.

We drove hundreds of miles over many hours as we headed back to east Texas. The further east we went, the taller the shrubs became, the more green the landscape became and the more abundant flowers became. As I watched the transformation, I began to wonder what made the difference. I saw a small tree growing out of a crack in a rock hill that gave me the answer. Soil. In west Texas, it was very dry. There was lots of dirt, but very little soil. Their land lacked the nutrients to grow tall trees, greenery or flowers. There was life there, but it’s growth was stunted by a lack of soil.

I then began to think, that’s where so many Christians live their lives. They choose to be planted where there is very little soil. Their growth is stunted, there’s very little water and it’s tough to live there. They struggle in their relationship with God, they get very little food from Heaven and they produce even less. They wonder why they don’t see growth like so many others. They wonder why their lives are dry and they don’t produce much fruit. They look at other believers and wish their life had that kind of growth. The answer to all that wondering is the soil they are planted in.

Psalm 1:3 says we are to be like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. We each choose where we want to be planted. The soil we ground ourself in is in direct proportion to the amount of Scripture we read and time in prayer. When we spend very little time with either, we lack the nutrients necessary for growth. We began to whither away when things get tough. We dry up when things in our lives hear up. We begin to die of thirst without the water of God’s Word. We wilt away because our roots are in shallow soil.

As with anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. If you put very little effort into your growth as a Christian,you will remain in a dry land struggling to produce and to stay alive. If you put in time and effort into the things that will benefit your walk with God, you will begin the slow process of moving towards Him. You will start to grow taller, your roots will grow deeper and your leaves will be greener. Before long, you will be like that tree planted by the riverbank producing much fruit in season. It all depends on where you choose to live. Your salvation isn’t dependent on what you do, but your growth is.

As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6, 7 AMP)

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