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Pastoral 2012

Five Counsels To Growing Spiritually - Part I

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Proverbs 3:1-12

Our spiritual growth is greatly desired and loved by God. It is a testament to the transforming power of His grace in our lives.

The more we grow spiritually, the more we experience the sweetness of God’s love, the glory of His might, the faithfulness of His promises and the power of His Word. As we grow spiritually, the excitement of the world begin to lose their appeal, giving us greater victories over sin and worldliness. “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).

Spiritual growth is not an option to a child of God. No one is allowed to remain a baby Christian forever. He who does not grow endangers his soul. With this in view, I would like to share five divine counsels from Proverbs 3:1-12. I trust that these wise and practical instructions from the Lord will help you work towards your spiritual growth. The first two will be addressed today.

Firstly, trust in God’s precepts. This counsel is taught in Proverbs 3:1-4, “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”

The words “law” and “commandments” are biblical terms that point to the Word of God. When we submit to the Word of God as God’s law, our darkened mind realizes the danger of sinning against God. For instance, the Bible says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31); and at the hearing of it, our stubborn hearts learn to fear the Lord. Our sleepy conscience will be awakened to monitor our lives against any sinful inclination. As a result, the sins in our lives will be curtailed and mortified. Such is the importance of the law of God in our lives. It is our protection from being overtaken by the deceitfulness of sin and worldliness that reigns in our body. Remember God’s law. You will grow spiritually.

Now, when we think of the Word of God as God’s commandments, we become conscious of the fact that we are not of ourselves. We are servants of God our King. We are under His authority and protection. He delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and sin that we may follow Him. Obedience to His commandments keeps us safe from sin’s attempts to enslave us again. As thankful people, we learn to obey His commandments, for it leads to a peaceful and honourable life. “He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die” (Proverbs 19:16).

Dearly beloved, let us trust in the power and wisdom of God’s Word so that we may learn to respect its regulations and base our decisions on its precepts. Absolute confidence in God’s Word is most necessary. If we cannot trust God’s precepts, we will never find it wise to entrust our lives to Him. We will rebel and look for worldly wisdom, which we think is more logical and practical. This mentality has destroyed many promising Christians in the Lord’s vineyard. Spiritual growth is about trusting God’s Word. Remember God’s law and keep His commandments. “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments” (Proverbs 3:1). They are still relevant and practical today. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).

Secondly, trust in God’s providential care. This is the counsel we have in Proverbs 3:5-8: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

Trusting in God’s providential care is very crucial to our spiritual growth. We must believe that God has our best interests at heart. The Word of God records for us plenty of such assurances. In Psalm 35:27, the Bible writes: “Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” God thinks about our future more than we care for ourselves. “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee” (Psalm 139:17-18).

Hence, we must yield to His providential leading. God knows what He is doing. He who knows the end from the beginning is the One who has designed the blueprint of our life. We may find ourselves struggling to interpret the apparent misfortunes in life. Then let God be the interpreter. “The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands” (Psalm 138:8).

Our duty is to watch against the lust of the flesh, the pride of life and the lust of the eyes that hide in those members of our body. Diligence in this duty is most necessary or else sin will overtake us in no time. Our hearts should wholly trust in God’s promises. Our minds should yield to God’s wisdom. Our eyes should look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Our feet should depart from evil. We must discipline the members of our bodies to be obedient to God’ providential guidance. Let us trust and yield to God’s providential care. The way that He wants us to go leads to spiritual growth. So take every step in His way that you may grow spiritually!

 

 

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