Evaluating Your Spiritual Growth
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)
The LORD has his way with us all the time and he knows exactly what we need when we need it. This has been my experience over the past two weeks. Our pastor has been teaching us from the letter of 1 John and the series is titled, “Authentic”. Being a real Christian. The series has been a real blessing to me because I have been going through a number of trials lately and the Word of God just keeps reassuring me that I am right where God wants me to be.
So, the message yesterday came from the passage above and the point that hit me the most is that our spiritual growth always needs to be evaluated. I love the fact that John had in the verses above these verses, spoken to little children, young men and fathers. This is spiritual growth and the stages that we go through as believers. No matter which stage we are in growth can be evaluated. Let’s look at the things that John shows us in how to evaluate our growth.
- Control – what is controlling you? Who is controlling you is the better question? Another question here would be, ‘does your love and affection for the world control us? This is when there is something or someone in the world that has our hooks in us and we put God second.
- Compromise – This is wanting your cake and eat it too. Or, even better yet, this is when you have one foot in the world, and one foot in heaven. How about asking yourself this, “what conviction do you no longer hold to that you once held to”? We give up our convictions when we begin to compromise.
- Cravings – John is specifically speaking about sexual sin here, but we need to discuss any and all unchecked passions or desires that take us away from the LORD. We usually call these things needs but they are nothing more than wants.
- Coveting – Wanting that which someone else has. I have to have it, I will work for it, and I will not be satisfied until I get it. You know what, when I get IT, it usually does not have the payoff that I thought it would.
- Conceit – Pride is the # 1 reason for broken relationships. Asked yourself here, who in my life do I have a broken relationship with? After you have defined the “who” then asked yourself, “what can or do I need to do in order to make this relationship whole.
- Commitment – Verse 17, John says, that TRUE LOVE = commitment. This is where we make the commitment to inspect our love for the LORD and our faith in the Lord.
So, how about your spiritual growth, are you moving towards God or away from him? Spiritual growth is not a easy thing. It is hard to look at ourselves, but if we do it with the help of the LORD, he is not condemning us, no, he is looking for us to repent, confess and move closer to him. Have a great week. I love you and hope these thoughts have been helpful to you as they are to me. He is still working on me, I not all that I am supposed to be, but I am grateful that I am nowhere near what I used to be. – Doug Barger is the Director of Men’s Ministry at Bethesda Mission and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger. You can write to Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: Adversity is always unexpected and unwelcomed. It is an intruder and a thief, and yet in the hands of God, adversity becomes the means through which His supernatural power is demonstrated. Charles Stanley
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57