Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.
There are no shortcuts to sanctification, which is a lifetime growth in trusting God. Seeking a shortcut thru spiritual experience will lead to a spiritual cul-de-sac. Striving to please God in the strength of the old sin nature will meet an impasse. Searching for blessings in the wrong cisterns will lead to spiritual dryness.. There are no shortcuts to maturity, which is a lifetime growth in trusting God.
Jacob was ninety-seven years old when he finally recognised this truth.. but only after the Angel of the Lord had dislocated his hip joint! Only after a lifetime of trying to do it himself did Jacob cease from his struggling. And until Jacob ‘slept with his fathers’, his precious limp was a ever-present reminder in his flesh. Jacob found that there are no shortcuts to maturity.. no shortcuts to sanctification – which is a lifetime process of learning to trust God.
What scripture clearly tell us is that spiritual maturity is not an instant state. What the experience of countless saints indicates, is that they thought it was.. until like Jacob they too were brought to an end of themselves.. until they too reassessed their walk with God, and became as little children. Many saints of the past have found there are no shortcuts to sanctification, which is a lifetime process of learning to trust God.
Sadly some young Christians are pushed into leadership before learning this truth. Others seek growth by a myriad of other routes, all of which anticlimax into nothing. Some think the first flush of Christian joy is the climax rather than a commencement.. for there are no shortcuts to sanctification, as it is a lifetime growth in trusting God. Former mountain-tops or experiences of spiritual blessing may be joyfully recall – and euphoric works of the past may be recognised as performed in the flesh,
BUT.. none are sufficient to rest upon in the spiritual journey on which we’ve all embarked, but all will be used in the eternal plan, for a life who truly cries: “Thy Will Be Done.” God works all things together for good to those that trust him, and God gives back the years consumed by the locusts of life – but it is a lifetime process of learning to trust God.
There are no shortcuts to spiritual growth. It’s a lifetime growth in trusting God. Once this truth is accepted, struggles of the past have achieved a great purpose. Once this truth is accepted, joys of the past will be placed in their right perspective.. for God uses all things in the life of a believer in producing the end result! – even the cul-de-sacs, the dead-ends and impasses which we have all explored at times. But the underlying truth is that there are no shortcuts to sanctification.. for the fruit of the Spirit takes time to grow and to ripen in the life of a believer – just as the fruit on the tree requires sunshine and storm to yield its produce.
One writer puts it this way :- The Husbandman’s method for true spiritual growth involves: pain as well as joy, suffering as well as happiness, failure as well as success, inactivity as well as service, death as well as life. The temptation to shortcut is especially strong, unless we see the value and submit to the necessity of the time element; in simple trust resting in His hands, “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 And, dear friends, it will take that long! But since God is working for eternity, why should we be concerned about the time involved?
There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity, which takes a lifetime of growth in learning to trust God.
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