How To Keep Seeking God When You Don’t See Growth

You can do all the right things, you can pray, you can study scripture and still enter into a season when you just don’t feel like it’s accomplishing anything. That’s about the time discouragement sets in. What do you do when you feel like your effort is all in vain?

EXPECTATIONS

I think there are three key areas worth looking into. The first is our expectations. What are we expecting out of our time with Jesus? Are we expecting a daily emotional experience? Well, that’s probably not going to happen. Are we expecting lighting bolts of revelation every time we read scripture? Sorry to tell you, there are dry seasons. Not every devotional time will be a “moment” to remember, but every single one is significant, regardless of our perceived outcome.

You know how to seek the Lord, so keep practicing what you’ve learned even when it doesn’t seem to be working.

FOCUS

The second key area is our focus. What is our goal? Many times we put our attention on a desired outcome when really it should just be on Jesus. Our devotional time is not a time of accomplishment, but a place where we grow in devotion FOR Jesus. Sometimes we get caught up trying to recapture, or relive past encounters with the Lord. This pursuit rarely accomplishes its purpose. Instead let’s place our focus on what God has for us today and where He is leading us right now.

Each day is significant and God has instilled purpose into each one. We must allow Him to reveal it to us by investing first and foremost into our relationship with Him.

SEASONS

The final area we should look at is simple evaluating what season are we in. Growth has seasons, spiritual growth is no exception. In some seasons you plant, in some seasons you water, in some seasons grow, in some seasons you harvest, in some seasons you rest. True, some seasons are more enjoyable than others, but each one is important. We need to take the pressure off of trying to produce spiritual fruit. Our role is to remain faithful in our daily pursuit of Jesus and His role is produce fruitfulness.

John 15:4-5 (ESV) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Our role as Christians is first and foremost to abide in Jesus. We won’t always see growth, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Remember that before growth is ever seen bursting from the soil, it is happening beneath the surface. We abide in Jesus, nourishing our relationship with Him, surrendering our will for His, trusting Him with ever facet of our lives.

He is good. He is trustworthy.

Continue your daily pursuit of Jesus.

Abide in Christ.

America Is Not First | Citizen of Heaven

Philippians 1:27 (NLT) Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.

ABOVE ALL I am a citizen of Heaven. It is so easy to get entangled in the affairs of the world, the politics, the arguments, the patriotism. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a patriot and I love my country, but I am a citizen of Heaven before I am an American. That means there will be moments that I must lay down my preferences for the sake of building the Kingdom.

I’ve seen so many heated arguments lately and I find myself grieved because it seems many would rather fight for their rights than carry out their responsibility to love their fellow man. There is such disunity in our nation, this is a time the church should be shining as a beacon of love, conducting themselves in a manner worthy of the good news about Christ, yet the church is just as divided as the rest of the world– just only between churches and denominations, but even within a single body.

I reflect on the the prayer of Jesus before He willingly laid down His life.

John 17:20-23 (NLT) I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

His prayer was that our perfect unity would be the message to the world that the message of Jesus was truth. Sadly, when the world looks at the church, if we happen to do anything worth looking at, too often what they see is angry, hateful hypocrites who can’t agree on anything.

It seems to me people are so easily offended that we struggle to love properly. Or maybe it’s the other way around, we struggle to truly love and so we are easily offended. All I know is that something HAS TO CHANGE. This isn’t the church Jesus is coming back for. He is coming back for a pure and spotless bride, unified in His glorious purpose.

I pray today that we would stand together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith and not amongst ourselves, but be so singularly focused on the Good News that we become again fully defined by the love of God on display in our lives.