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Maturing Christians Develop a Wealth of Rich Spiritual Experience

How involved is God in the details of my daily life?

by Andy Davis on February 20, 2024

Notes
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4
"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:12-13

 

Growth to full maturity in Christ involves a combination of learning by hearing God’s word and by living in God’s world. Constant intake of scripture is essential to that growth every single day. But some lessons cannot be learned by reading. Only by experience. God wisely orchestrates daily life lessons for the child of God to shape our souls into Christlikeness. He is the potter; we are the clay. His skillful hands apply force on our moldable souls, and we are gradually transformed. This force from his invisible hands comes by daily life circumstances.

Essential to this topic is a firm belief in the doctrine of providence. God sovereignly overrules both the tiniest and the greatest events on the surface of the earth. Empires rise and fall at his command. Sparrows are hatched and ultimately fall to the ground by his will. The events of daily life are beyond comprehension, God’s ways of providence beyond tracing out. But there is a perfect wisdom and love behind everything that happens in the life of a child of God. Intentionality. Timing. Skill. Proportion. Force. Shaping. Every single day. “God causes all things…” (that’s providence), and he, “Causes all things to work together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). The elect. Foreknown and chosen by God before the foundation of the world. Shaped and molded by “all things” until we achieve "his purpose” for us… which the next verse asserts is that all of them would be “conformed to the image of his Son" (Romans 8:29).


"God crafts experiences to teach us what we must know but could never learn from a book."

Nothing happens by accident on any given day in any given place on God’s earth. God crafts experiences to teach us what we must know but could never learn from a book. How to suffer well. How to wait on God when long-standing prayers have yet to be answered. How to feast and how to go hungry. How to rely on God in any and every circumstance. How to seek wisdom when we have no idea what to do. How to look at a terrifying storm and be at peace as Jesus was, asleep on a cushion at the back of the boat. How to handle the complexity of life in human society, “pleasing to God and approved by men” (Romans 14:18). Manners. Mores. Customs. Gauging the facial reactions of a ruler, the body language of a mourner, the mounting rage of a hostile crowd, the subtle differences between one culture and another. A lifetime of experiences shaping our souls. Seek as wide a range of patterns of service as you can. Let every one of those mission trips and benevolence ministries and times of being scared for Jesus temper you as by fire.

James 1 says that we should consider this journey of pain and suffering as pure joy, because it is forcibly moving us from immaturity to maturity… conformed more and more to Christ, the “Man of Sorrows,” who sweat great drops of blood in Gethsemane and bore the sins of the world at Calvary. Such wisdom can only be gained by experience. Live it, dear friends! 

Tags: sanctification, providence, internal journey

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