So I have five kids. And I have some unspoken expectations. One of those is that I expect my kids to naturally grow – in stature, knowledge, and wisdom.
I’m actually not the only one that has these expectations. Periodically I will take my kids to get checkups at the doctor’s office. Some of the things they check for is growth – stature and intellect. If they are not growing as planned or according to their expectations what was a routine visit would turn into a series of return visits or recommendations to a specialist to do further testing.
In other words, natural growth is expected.
John 3:3 (ESV) Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
In John 3 Jesus talks about the need of being born again. Meaning everyone alive, everyone that had a natural birth must also have a spiritual birth. And in the same way, we are newborns the day of our natural birth we are spiritual newborns the day we surrender to Christ.
And as a newborn growth is expected and a lack of growth should set off some alarms.
What I want to be when I grow up
With our expectation of growth comes another expectation of growing into something. So as fathers we will ask our kids the question what do you want to be when you grow up?
For Christians, it’s not so much a question as it is a preplanned destination.
Ephesians 4:15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ
It’s not just random growing.
We have a goal – to be like Christ.
Like a little brother longing to be like his big brother, we should look to Christ as the ultimate destination. That is what we are striving for.
And not just in some ways but in every way.
Your not alone in your journey
The thought of growing into the image of Christ can seem like a daunting task but luckily for us, we’re in this alone.
Like a good big brother, Jesus is not going to abandon us as we take on this amazing journey He sent us the spirit to guide and helps us.
John 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
God wants us to grow into Christ-likeness more than we do. And so He gives us the most amazing gift His presence through the HolySpirit.
What are the marks of this spiritual growth?
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
These are the traits that Jesus showed. And these are the ones we should strive for. The fruit of the spirit wants to bring out in us Jesus like character. These are the same characteristics He displayed while He lived on earth – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
If we and other’s can see more of this fruit in our lives then we are headed in the right direction.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I hope your answer to that question is Jesus.
And here is some really good news.
Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
James 4:3 (NIV) When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
God wants us to ask because He wants to give. Many times we don’t get what we ask for because we’re asking for the wrong things with wrong intentions.
God wants you to be more like His Son Jesus. So ask. And God is faithful to keep His promise.
Romans 8:29 (NIV) For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.