Waiting to Grow
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. - Colossians 2:6-7
My daughter recently discovered the thrill of rock climbing. Last week, we went to our local climbing gym together and I pretty much got my butt kicked. She zipped up the entire wall before I could muster the courage to peel my toes from the mat. Certainly, her agility helped her climb that thing like a mountain goat, but more significant was her faith in the rope she was attached to. She had climbed before and knew that if she fell, the rope and the mechanism it was attached to would lower her to the ground slowly. This was my first time climbing. I believed the instructor when he told me the rope would not let me plummet to my death, I watched my daughter repel down with ease, but I clung to the climbing holds as if my life depended on it. There’s a big difference between saying I believed the rope would hold me and actually letting go of the wall, trusting the rope would do what my daughter said it would.
Paul’s message to the Colossians is similar: You believe in Jesus. You’ve decided to receive him. Now walk in him. In other words, don't wait. Live out your faith today. If they do, two things will happen.
We grow in faith when we walk in faith. The word “continue” tells us this is a daily choice, not a one time decision. This leads to a cyclical pattern: The more we walk in faith, the more deeply rooted we’ll be in that faith, and the more we’ll be able to live in faith. How do we do this? Through daily obedience, daily fellowship, and daily living out our decision to make Christ Lord over our lives.
There is a time and place for practicing gratitude even when we don’t feel grateful. But this is not what Paul is talking about. This is gratitude that springs from a genuinely grateful heart because of all God is doing in your life. As we walk in faith, we will see more and more of God’s activity in our lives. We’ll see growth, we’ll notice progress, and we’ll be so, so grateful for it. When we grow in faith and experience Christ more and more, we overflow with gratitude for what God is doing in our lives.
Pricilla Shirer defines faith as “Acting as though God is telling the truth.” Once I decided to trust the rope’s ability to hold me by letting go of the holds, rock climbing got a lot more fun. Similarly, God’s blessings are on the other side of living out our faith. John MacArthur says, “Spiritual growth comes through understanding and practicing the principles that are given in the Word of God.” This, he says, leads to “boundless blessings.”
Is there an area of your life your actions do not reflect what you say you believe? What steps will you take to start living out your faith today?