Hi everyone. Rob here.
I can always tell when my children are having a growth spurt – they’re always hungry! For a time no meal is big enough and no banana is safe. The same thing applies to spiritual growth also (except for the bananas). You notice your hunger before you notice your growth and right now I am starving.
It’s not like I’m not getting fed. I make sure I read good books and listen to podcasts of incredible insight. I study the scriptures, pray and listen to God and enjoy fruitful conversations with many people. But I’m still hungry. There can be two reasons for that. Either I’m feeding myself on the wrong kind of food or I need more food because God is growing me. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. I have this sense that God needs me to grow so I can receive some new things that he has for me. Just like you need a bigger house when you have more children, you need a bigger spirit/heart/mind when God is birthing something new in you. You also need to get rid of the old ways of being and thinking that are in the way of the new. There’s no point keeping the old if you’ve received the latest upgrade and God is in the business of upgrading. Upgrade is the right term because when you grow you don’t throw out the foundations, or the solid structures that God has built in your life. You throw out the unnecessary, the junk, the temporary structures, the stuff that doesn’t fit and the things that squatters have left behind. Sometimes upgrading also means redecorating.
Like children we are all designed to grow. We go through different stages of faith. We always remain learners and apprentices but we also take on leadership and teaching roles. We gain new levels of intimacy with God as our new heart gains capacity and strength. As God entrusts us with more of himself we need to grow so that we can make room for him. As Jesus says in John 14:23,
Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
That home will need to grow as we go on in the journey. That’s why next week I’m heading to the USA to attend a Wild at Heart Boot Camp with John Eldredge and team. I’m not going of my own volition. Jesus summoned me with these words:
Come to me. Get away with me…Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace…Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30, Message)
We need to respond to the hunger. We need to follow Jesus wherever he takes us. He is the Bread of Life. He is our real food. He knows the way to where we want to go. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the journey and he is our strength. So we give ourselves over to him. We agree to his plan for our growth. We submit our hunger to him and we let him lead us to good food. That means being curious, following a tangent, exploring new ideas, trying new ways of worship as the Spirit leads and trusting our good hearts because God has made his home there.
May you embrace your hunger even as you surrender it. May you grow so that God can give more of himself to you. May the hunger pains lead you to God’s banquet and not to poor substitutes. May you be filled to overflowing with the love of the Father, Son and Spirit.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6)
Grace and peace. See you in a few weeks!