Nena Arias | March 28, 2022
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Everything that is alive has to grow and develop. It can’t help it. It has to follow the laws of nature that are imbedded in its design. Humans must also have a process of development. However, different from plants and animals, we not only require outward growth but inward growth as well because our make-up is different. We have a body, a soul, and a spirit. The outward growth is guided by our genes and cell multiplication if there is no disease to hinder that process. So, most of us grow naturally in that development. But what about our inward growth? Does it develop naturally as well? Who is responsible for that growth?
From conception through childhood, we depend on our parents and other adults for life itself. We require their care for everything. We cannot care for ourselves when we are small. Our mother carries the biggest responsibility during pregnancy until our birth. If we have both parents, they become responsible for our childhood and personal development. If we grow up with a single parent or guardian things get a little harder but they are manageable especially if the one parent or guardian is centered on God’s revealed truth.
Our inner world is the sum of who we are. It is the dwelling place of our spirit, intellect, and emotions. Out of those three the spirit takes preeminence; it feeds the other two: the intellect and the emotions.
The nourishment and development of the spirit is the most fundamental challenge for human beings. The source of the spiritual nourishment becomes a pursuit for life that never ends until we finish our earthly journey. Billions of people have gone through this world throughout thousands of years and, sad to say, for the most part have left a trail of destruction, uncertainty, and hopelessness due to their deficient interpretation of life, the world and especially the afterlife according to their inclination to assimilate knowledge imparted to them through religion or philosophy. Both of which in and of themselves will get you nowhere near what is required to live an abundant life on earth and to prepare you for the afterlife that will never end. In whatever state you enter eternity that will be your status forever. Mere religion requires that you reach a good level of spirituality through works. A good level of spirituality is not arrived at by works. If that was the case, we would not have needed a Savior and Jesus did not need to come to redeem us from sin and death. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Throughout the years of history, we find records of those who understood how to interpret life, the world and the afterlife leaving a legacy of hope, certainty, and the way to build life and social institutions according to the only blueprint for life that humans have been given and registered for all time in—the Bible—our life manual.
At present we are facing the critical challenges that other generations and great civilizations confronted. The primary pillars of society are crumbling politics, economy, education, ecology, and theology.
The good news is we do not have to go the way of destruction, neither personally nor nationally. If we learn from the mistakes of people in the past, especially rebellious ancient Israel and how God would constantly call them back to righteousness and common sense. He gave them promises that he had every intention of keeping if only they would trust him personally and nationally. For instance, in Isaiah 58:11-12 he says, “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.”
Something that should be well understood about God’s promises is that they always come with a condition of right standing with Him by obeying His revealed truth. God is a good investor. He does not waste his blessing or his goodness. He requires a pure heart, and the only way we can develop this is by a born-again experience in Jesus Christ and obedience. So, he has to test us because his ultimate goal is for eternity and nothing impure can enter into his heaven. He knows how everything should work for our good. He knows our potential, but he wants us to know it too.
God created the human race with a purpose; in spite of sin this did not thwart His plan. We need to know His plan and commit to carry it out even if we apparently are the only ones. This is the reason we should know His revealed plan in His Word.
No one is ultimately responsible for your personal growth but you. Believe it or not, this starts at a very early age level according to your capacity to reason and make decisions. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for parents to always be alert and consistent on their job of training up their children well. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Parents are commissioned by God to rightly teach their children what they have learned and are learning about life, which includes God.
Those of us who are parents know that even a very small child knows when they are doing wrong, and they hide to do it or when they become angry and lash out at their siblings or other children, they know they are misbehaving. Granted, we will have to repeat our instructions many times over on that behavior but in due time, they will get the message and know there will be consequences due to their bad behavior. Why does this happen? Because we are all born with the capacity to reason and a free will. WE must question everything we see and hear in relation to the revealed Word of God. The sooner we get started, the better.
Once we are determined to take personal responsibility to increase in the knowledge of God and His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, nothing can convince us of a different knowledge. It matters not if it offers great gain; if it is contrary to the knowledge of God it is worthless, and we can put that knowledge and worldly wisdom to the test of history and the Word of God.
The goal is expressed in Ephesians 4:13-14 “… until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
As we gain the knowledge of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and make it known, the more we grow and help others understand how to effectively interpret what is taking place before our eyes and the steps that must to be taken in order to succeed. All God asks of us is to do our part and leave to Him the timing and the end results. Doing things this way, we can never lose.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”