Grow Through What You Go Through!

Grow Through What You Go Through!by Vahen King

If I told you that I bought a gym membership in January, would you be impressed? Maybe not?

But boy, when I saw those commercials with people and their well-toned and fit bodies, it really motivated me to hit the gym. What if I told you that I’ve been going every day for the past five months and didn’t miss a day—would that impress you? Okay, now I have your attention. I’ve got my routine perfected: I sit at the edge of this giant gym and watch everyone work hard, sweat, and get fit—I even cheer some of them on!

You’re probably saying out loud, “Vahen, that’s absurd. You can’t get fit that way. You’re just wasting your membership!” Of course, you’re right. Attendance and motivation alone are not enough. We actually need to do the work in order to grow.

Growing spiritually isn’t any different. It’s easy to apply that same faulty thinking to one’s spiritual disciplines. I say, “God, I want Your best for my life and I want it NOW.” But we don’t want to wait or accept the work required to grow in patience, love, or self-control. Motivation that we get on Sunday or from an inspirational podcast is great, but we need to spend time every day with God, actively putting into practice what we learn in order to grow spiritually.

The parable of the seeds in Luke 8 illustrates how the seeds falling on the different types of soil produced different results. The seeds represent God’s Word and the soil represents our hearts. I think our heart’s default mode mostly resemble the seeds falling on the rocky soil in Luke 8:13:

“The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it. But they don’t have deep roots, and they believe only for a little while. But as soon as life gets hard, they give up” (CEV).

But Luke 8:‬15 tells us that God’s desire for us is “…that our hearts be soft and good for planting seed, so that when we hear the truth with a good and noble heart, and hold on to it tightly, we can bear fruit with patience” (AMP).

Did you catch how we bear fruit? With patience. With endurance. By not giving up. One step or one day at a time. Even though it’s tough some days, keep going. The fruit will be delicious!

Many of you may not know the extent of the struggles that I’ve had to face in my life. Not only did I end up physically disabled, I was spiritually and emotionally broken. I made bad choices in my pain and hurt people close to me. And those choices almost destroyed me and my marriage. However, the hardest part to making lasting change was admitting my mistakes and walking through forgiveness. So, when I tell you that growth and life change take more than motivation, my story becomes the evidence.

How was it possible? The answer is not in my strength, but in His.

John 15:5 tells us that “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (NIV).

I spent many years with a hard heart that was void of true love, joy, or peace. But, when I surrendered my will to His, He was able to transform me. He dug out all the anger, bitterness, pride, and need for control that was cemented in my heart. Only then was He able to produce in me the fruit of love, joy, and peace that is contagious.

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NIV).

Is there something that’s threatening to uproot your love, joy, or peace? Accept it as an opportunity to let God grow good fruit in your life.

“God, make me spiritually strong … I’m willing to grow!

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Rev. Vahen King is an author, speaker and founder of the non-profit charity “Going Farther.”
To find out more about Vahen, visit www.GoingFarther.org or email vahenking@goingfarther.org. Photo © Char G Photography.

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