Today I’m hosting my first ever guest post and I am super excited about it! After a month or so of consideration, I’ve requested that a very special blogging buddy of mine share some words with you.
I met Joy through another blog that we both follow. Since then, it has been truly wonderful to follow her writing at A Piercing Love where she shares what she’s learning in her walk with the Lord.
Today, I have asked her to speak to you guys on the topic of spiritual growth. With that said, I’ll turn it over to her:
In John 5:30, the Lord tells us:
“I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”
Jesus, in His humanity, was entirely dependent on the Father to accomplish what He came to do. Of Himself, He could do nothing; but submitting in perfect love to the Father’s will, He could do everything. Now because as believers we are called into being and becoming like Christ, while we are in the flesh, we must follow His example and remain in relationship with the Father, submitting to His will and the work of the Spirit in us in order to grow. Interdependence is vital to the Christian.
The Bible is replete with images of interconnectedness. 1 Peter 2:5 refers to us as “living stones”, with the implication that we are all holding each other up while being built up on the same Cornerstone. The parable of the Vine in John 15 refers to us as the branches and tells us we are fruitless unless we abide in that Vine. The Church is also frequently compared to one body, with all the members supporting one another and Christ as the Head supporting the whole.
The point is clear. No Christian is meant to be a lone ranger. If we would grow in grace, we must first be firmly grounded in the Lord, and then in fellowship with our brothers and sisters, giving ourselves to them in love and submission: seeking not our own wills, but theirs in God.
As Jesus heard from the Father, He judged. This word “hear” presupposes a constant communion between Him and the Father, a complete surrender to the Spirit. If we would be like Jesus, this is the example to follow. Our growth in grace is a direct function of how much we partake of the means of grace. God is not dependent on means, but our clinging to the means does indicate that we have a willing heart. It’s the humble that get the grace (Prov. 3:34).
But what is our incentive to being humble and partaking of these means? Why seek closer communion, live in greater dependence? Yes, it is our only way to grow, but why would we even believe that? For two reasons.
First, if we don’t, we haven’t recognized yet how much we owe to grace. We owe everything. As sinners, God chose us, died for us, rose again, and made us new. He has filled us with His Spirit, sealed us to Himself so that we can’t ever be lost to Him, opened our eyes, and ministered to our every need. Every day, His mercies are new, and His promises are never broken. What do we not owe to Him? His Love alone sustains us, and we don’t deserve one iota of it. Surely if we recognize this, we will desire to depend on Him.
Second, our self-willed independence more often leads to failure than to freedom. Adam and Eve’s decision to be independent caused bondage to sin. Our decisions to be independent will do the same.
However, if we choose to be where God meant for us to be, in dependent, submissive interconnectedness, we do, paradoxically, find freedom. The narrow road turns out to be the widest if only we would walk in communion with God and in fellowship with His people.
As Jesus could have done nothing if He hadn’t sought the Father’s will, we can do nothing – nothing good in any case – if we seek our own will. What use is a branch, or a stone, or a hand, unless it’s attached to something bigger than itself? We cannot live unless we lean – lean into the Love of God.
A Little About Joy –
I’m 18 and I’m a college student with a craving to understand deeply. I enjoy reading, writing, art, photography, languages, people, and food – and owe everything I am to the holy, piercing Love of my God. Come find me at a-piercing-love.blogspot.com!