I started to look at some prominent Bible characters and see how long it took them to enter into their ministries. Moses was in the deserts of Midian for 40 years after he killed the Egyptian and before he went back to lead his people to freedom. Jesus was on earth for 30 years before He began His ministry. Let's look at Paul for a second. Paul spent 3 years after his first testimony before going out and preaching. John Darby says, "we must get to know ourselves and that we have no strength. Thus we must learn, and then leaning on the Lord we can with more maturity, and more experientially, deal with souls." This is a beautiful statement that I believe is exemplified in Romans 7:21-25. Paul says something to the extent of: I know what I want to do, but I cannot do it! I also know what I don't want to do, but somehow I continually do that very thing! Then in verse 24 he comes to the dramatic conclusion, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - Through Jesus Christ our Lord." Paul was living his life, growing in the Lord learning that he had no strength.
Have you ever thought about how a tree develops? I read somewhere that the actual outward growth of a tree only takes place for 4-6 weeks in May, June, and July. The rest of the year's growth is spent on solidification; without this process the green timber would be useless. This can also be used as an example in our Christian Walk. There are times where we are growing, times where our cup runneth over, and then there are times where habit and discipline are the only things keeping us going. So if you are struggling for growth, if you feel like your Christian walk is stagnant, we must remember the "remedy" that Bob talked about last sunday. I don't remember it exactly but it was basically this: Stay in the Word, Stay in prayer, and seek Biblical mentors or people who can speak truth into your life, and most of all put your faith in the fact that He who started a good work in us will carry it out to completion!