One of the very first words of advice an expecting family will hear is, "enjoy it because they grow up so fast," or something along those lines. My husband and I have heard this so many times that I've even began to notice it appear in our own speech as well. Someone might ask how Abigail is doing and we'll say, "She's great, but she's growing so fast."

This phrase has been drilled into my brain, and because we've heard it so many times I began to ponder over it.

My daughter is constantly growing. She's learning to crawl, and sitting up on her own, and trying to stand, and she's always very curious about everything around her. I believe our spiritual walk should be growing in this way as well.

We can never get to a place on this earth where we can say that we have reached our highest spiritual or Christian growth. I believe that even when we are in Heaven we will be continually blown away by the greatness of God. The depth of His wonder is endless. How much more is there for us to learn on this side of eternity?

It isn't uncommon for a believer to grow and grow, and then become complacent. Hebrews 5:11-14 says,

"There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong" (NLT).

We are not called to be spiritually dull, but we are called rather to "...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..." (2 Peter 3:18).

I really like how blunt the writer of Hebrews is. Imagine if someone said to you, "you are spiritually dull and don't seem to listen," or "you are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food." Um, burn?

This is so important so I thought up a check list for us so that we can think about whether or not we are becoming spiritually mature or acting spiritually dull. I want to encourage you to take some time to pray and ask yourself where you may be acting spiritually dull, and ask the Lord to change your heart.

1. Are you growing closer to God, or are you growing out of your relationship with Him (1 John 2:15-17)?

2. Do you have a desire to hear more of God's Word, or do you feel that you've learned enough (Psalm 119:47-48)?

3. Do you think of others better than yourself, or are you selfishly trying to impress others (Phil 2:3)?

4. Do you take an interest in others, or do you look out only for your own interests (Phil 2:4)?

5. Are you building others up, or tearing others down (in your heart or otherwise) (1 Thess 5:11)?

6. Do you notice when there are red flags to avoid, or do you find yourself walking into wrong situations again and again (Hebrews 5:14)?

Gather & Glean | Hannah on Waiting

Okay, I couldn't help myself. I'm sneaking in one more episode on the topic of waiting. In this episode, I'm not really interviewing her (I would if I could), but we're looking at the example Hannah gives us on waiting.

I hope this can be an encouragement for you as we take a moment to gather and glean from Hannah.

Click here for the When I Struggle printable I was talking about.

Psalm 139:23 | Search me, O God

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting."

(Psalm 139:23-24)

If you were to ask me what my favorite verse was in the entire Bible, it may very well be this one. This is a prayer that I have returned to over and over again. It tends to be when I'm feeling a bit lost. Women tend to be more on the emotional side, and I admit I'm probably on the higher end of this statistic. My emotions can cloud my judgment and make me confused on a number of matters.

Chuck Smith makes a good point that "...the work of the Holy Spirit is not only revealing Christ to us, but revealing ourselves to us" (Chuck Smith, C2000 Series on Psalm 136-150).

I could really use all the help I can get in revealing myself to me. Especially now that I suffer from "mom brain."

Let's look at marriage for an example. When I am upset at something my husband did, like maybe being on his phone or reading a book, I'm not upset that he's doing those things. It's deeper than that. Instead of me being angry with him for being on his phone, I need to search my heart and discover the root of the issue, which is most likely that I'm wanting him to give me his attention. Battles are so much easier to find victory in when the root of the issue is clear, and you can move forward accordingly.

For me, this is significantly important when it comes to my spiritual walk. There are all sorts of issues that rise up in my heart that I need the Holy Spirit to search and try: bitterness, hurt, worldly desires, etc. These are things that can easily go unnoticed, and sometimes I need the Holy Spirit's help to decipher my heart.

"He will have God himself search him, and search him thoroughly, till every point of his being is known, and read, and understood; for he is sure that even by such an investigation there will be found in him no complicity with wicked men. He challenges the fullest investigation, the innermost search; he had need be a true man who can put himself deliberately into such a crucible. Yet we may each one desire such searching; for it would be a terrible calamity to us for sin to remain in our hearts unknown and undiscovered" (C.H. Spurgeon).

The Psalmist prays for 6 things that I think are good for us to ask of the Lord one by one:

1. Search me, O God (vs. 23).

2. Know my heart (vs. 23).

3. Try me (vs 23).

4. Know my anxieties (vs 23).

5. See if there is any wicked way in me (vs 24).

6. Lead me in the way everlasting (vs 24).

Pause to Pray:

Search me, God. I need you to examine my heart. You know my heart far better than I do myself (Psalm 139:1). Try me. "Exercise every and any test upon me. By fire and by water let me be examined" (C.H. Spurgeon). Know my anxieties and my thoughts. Show me if there are any evil or sinful habits in my life that I am unaware of, and lead me in the way everlasting. Continue the work in me that you first began (Phil 1:6).


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