“The Discipline: What’s the first step?”
To grow and mature personally, you must actively seek God and His direction for your life.
After Paul’s conversion, he went to Arabia to get alone with God. He knew that surrounding himself with Christians was important, but that an intimate relationship with God was even more important.
Only God can reveal Himself to us. A Christian who only learns about God through others is like a doctor who reads only textbooks, but never examines a human body. Medicine, to him is theory, not reality. Likewise, a faith filtered through the mouths of preachers and teachers is just theory until a Christian learns to put into practice the words spoken to him by God personally, through prayer or through Scripture.
It’s tempting, sometimes, to blame others for our own lack of growth or maturity. When our hearts lack the zeal that we once had for serving God, we tend to point our fingers outward instead of taking responsibility ourselves for the stagnation we are experiencing. Preachers, teachers, parents, and friends often take the brunt of our frustration, labeled in our own minds as ineffective, when the real source of our frustration lies with the personal choices we make concerning our obedience to Christ.
We cannot expect a sermon, Bible study, retreat, camp, or program to grow us spiritually. They are man-made helps. We must get alone with God as Jesus did and study his His Word for ourselves.
Respond to the following in your journal:
What did you learn through Bible study today?
How were you encouraged? How were you challenged?