Is TRUE GRIT in the spiritual growth equation?

What do you think of when you hear the words “True Grit”? Your mind might go directly to the movie or possibly a particular person. Regardless, I think we can all agree it is defined as passionate perseverance committed for the long haul and at all costs. True grit has its ups and downs, difficulties, celebrations, failures, and even stagnation, yet somehow success comes in the end.   

Take the human body. How physically evident can true grit be seen when someone changes their eating habits and begins an intensive workout plan. Over time the sweat, dedication, and effort become a reward. The body starts to reflect the hard work and success is seen.

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.” Proverbs 4:25-26

Well, what about our spiritual growth? Does God require true grit? Can we have a close walk with the LORD without it?

As I have been studying the minor prophet books, I am seeing over and over that a walk with the LORD takes work and dedication. It is difficult at best to stay committed to the LORD. Being in God’s remnant goes beyond faith. It requires us to find ourselves in His plan and dig deep within to stay committed and steadfast when everyone around is doing the opposite. Let’s be honest, worldly ways are appealing and have been through human existence.   

Personally, I have found studying the Word of God requires sincere true grit. I haven’t always felt this way though.

It took a deep valley to make me evaluate my core and what made me tick! Yep-getting honest and asking myself, “Are you going to keep living for you or get serious about following the LORD’s road map?” It took some major humility, surrender, and many years of getting it wrong before I realized the importance of living life under the authority of God’s Word.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'” Lamentations 3:22-24

SO, when I was finally ready, I realized I could not carry out my spiritual journey without truly knowing God’s Word. Now I don’t mean just reading, being exposed, and listening. I mean having true grit to find God in the pages. It took me placing value on this incredible gift-the Bible and realizing I needed help simply studying God’s Word on my own!

Bit by bit, I am learning. I am not by far a scholar!  As I gain knowledge, I am slowly realizing this fact: Scripture is supplying the breath in my spiritual walk and God doesn’t want me living without it.   

You and I are on a pathway of life my friends. No matter the distance we have come or still must go, our sanctification requires commitment, dedication, work, time, perseverance, encouragement, community, sweat, tears, a humble heart, and so much more. It all starts within…a word of faith in Christ’s saving grace and then…TRUE GRIT!

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

How committed are you to studying Scripture? Do you crave it more than the air you breathe? If you knew for a fact it was the only supply of oxygen for your spiritual life, would you learn how to tap into it more?

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Success begins with doing-and yes failing too. Don’t be discouraged my friend. Go ahead-take the next step on the pathway. Keep moving forward. Seek ways to stay motivated, keep learning, and continually growing in relationship with the LORD. And above all-REMEMBER, God loves you far beyond your wildest imagination. He even left His love story written in a book for you to know Him more.

Embrace His Word with TRUE GRIT!

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

3 Major Steps in Maintaining Spiritual Growth

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Joy, peace, faith, hope — these spiritual blessings are ours if Christ lives in us. These spiritual qualities are indestructible because they have their source in Christ, who is always with us. Because we cannot lose Christ, our spiritual blessings are secure. -Ephesians 1:3

In many of Paul’s letters, such as Thessalonians, he encourages believers to strive for spiritual maturity. His words are always precisely written, and his message has a way of spurring others to embrace sanctification.

As I reflect on Apostle Paul’s writings, I find myself measuring my own pathway and process of being purified by Christ. I wonder what Paul’s message would be if he penned a letter to me. What areas would he address? What clarifications would he need to include? Where would he need to reveal reproof?

Have you ever wondered what your letter might include? What comes to mind when you think about your spiritual growth?

Transparency moment: There was once a time in my life where sanctification seemed like a long list of what to do and not to do. The process felt heavy even though I knew God was the one purifying my life.

I didn’t have a problem embracing the deliberate action on my part, but I became overwhelmed with all the to dos. It was paralyzing. (Remember, I am the queen of doing nothing when I don’t know precisely what to do or how to begin!)   

Over the years I have learned that God is more concerned about my relationship with Him and the intentionality of my heart than all those to dos and not to dos. He wants me to focus on who He truly is and direct all my efforts towards His purpose.

Let me share with you three major areas I have found essential in maintaining spiritual growth:

  1. Continually seeking a more accurate view of God. The more I get to know the LORD’s attributes and characteristics, the less I depend on myself. My view of God is so skewed by my human mind’s eye. However, as I intentionally strive to see Him more clearly and grow to understand His holiness, power, and love, I find myself surrendering more and more to Him. WHY? Because a deeper level of trust, intimacy, and worship develops. Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. -1 Peter 1:3-4
  2. Allowing the Holy Spirit to lead. The LORD gave each of us a helpmate living within once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. However, it takes a conscience effort to listen the quiet voice and humble our steps, thoughts, actions, etc. to the discernment of the Holy Spirit. For me, this is essential in my spiritual maturity. I must daily lay down my fleshy desires and permit the Holy Spirit to guide my entire being. This is an ongoing process just like getting to know the LORD intimately.  Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh, for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. -Galatians 5:16,17
  3. Spending time in God’s Word. The LORD gave the gift of His words. Throughout Scripture, He reveals Himself to us and provides a life manual for us. Our sanctification progress depends on our deliberate action to read, study, seek understanding, pray, and apply the Bible. …yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach. -Colossians 1:22

If you feel overwhelmed by all the “to dos”, understand God never wanted your relationship with Him to be complicated. He is a relational father who is gracious and loving. Take it minute by minute. Get to know Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal who the LORD really is and your role in God’s plans. Stay in His Word and let it transform your life.

If we were to receive a letter from Paul today, I think his main message would be:

Stay consistent-

know God, rely on Him, and live under His biblical authority.

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