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Keep Climbing

Recently, I spoke on and compared our relationship with Jesus to a growth continuum, similar to climbing a step ladder. The premise is that no matter where we are in our relationship with God, we can climb to and experience the “better things” that God has for us.

The thoughts I shared came from Hebrews 6:1-12, where it says the following:
“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[a] and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites,[b] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so. 4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[c] away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss, they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end, it will be burned. 9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

As I was reflecting on this scripture, I noticed the following things about your spiritual growth:

  • Foundations of faith are meant to be built on, not continually reset! (vs. 1). The Christian faith isn’t a matter of, “Phew, I’m in, I can relax.“ “Thank God I’m in, and now let’s assertively press on towards all that grace has for us.”
  • The view on the first step doesn’t initially look too different from the perspective of a life without foundation. When you first start in your faith, the view from the “first step” isn’t too much different than the view when you are not a believer. As you grow, your perspective changes.
  • Moving forward in your faith is a non-negotiable expectation from the scriptures' perspective (vs.3). If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.
  • Your attitude and actions can cause your spiritual growth to regress (vs. 4-5). Take this issue off the table and passionately follow Jesus so that regression is not an option.
  • Your attitude determines your ability to grow (v. 7-8). How’s the state of your heart? Have you become complacent with where you are, or do you want to push forward towards all that Jesus has for you?
  • It is a promise of God that better things are ahead (vs. 9). The life you are living now is not even close to God's plans for you, either in this life or the next. You were meant for better things, not lesser things.
  • God honors your good deeds. Period (vs.10). The great thing about the gospel is that as we confess our past failures, God forgets them… but DOES NOT forget the good deeds of love we have given ourselves to.
  • Loving others is crucial to your growth (vs.10). Do you want to climb higher and grow more in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Love more. Let love define your every action. It is that simple… and that difficult.
  • Spiritual dullness and indifference shake the foundation of your faith and can cause you to stumble. (vs. 12). John talks about “spitting out of his mouth” those who become spiritually dull or indifferent. Hanging out with such people provokes the same reaction in me. If you are not going to be hot, at least be cold.
  • Follow those who grow well (Vs. 12). There are examples of people who are worthy of us following. Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ”. We must look to follow Christ and practically follow those who are so obviously following Him.

God has “better things” for you and your life, much more than you are currently experiencing. Let’s give ourselves entirely to following Him and discovering all that is ahead!

Keep Climbing

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