I’ve grown so much spiritually since I first recommitted my life to Christ in 2008. I’ve always been on a quest for truth, knowing deep down there is so much more in life than what many people settle for…and I don’t say that because I think I am superior, but it is just an honest description of my heart.
But I just came to two important revelations during my time in Kona: the spiritual growth I have experienced was not because of anything I did, but by God’s grace alone. Sure making wise decisions about how I spent my time led to faster growth. But even in those decisions of who I hung out with and what I did with my time was all by God’s grace. Every revelation I had, every word God spoke personally to me, and every time I did His will, this was all by God’s grace, which works in all believers (Phil 2:13).
For me, this was an important revelation because it enabled me to stop striving every day to love perfectly. It enabled me to trust God that His grace is sufficient to perfect my weaknesses. My own attempts of trying to love God and others better never changed me, it was always God’s grace.
The speaker this week said that our only part, as true followers of Christ, is faith. Everyday we must choose to trust God that He will change us, guide us, and always have our best interest at heart. When we learn this, striving ceases. But faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17), so asking for the Holy Spirit’s help in learning God’s voice is necessary. When we practice hearing God’s voice and step out in faith, we are playing our part as sons and daughters of God, but even this is enabled through grace!
I believe striving and performance due to the lack of a heart knowledge of grace is the most pressing issue facing believers today. As Paul repeatedly admonishes: we MUST grow in the knowledge of grace. But not head knowledge that puffs up (1 Cor 8:1) and leaves our lives unchanged, but knowledge coming from the Spirit that sinks into our hearts, which is our inner being (Eph 3:16).
One book that helped me along my journey toward truly knowing the grace of God through Jesus’ death and resurrection was “Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship” by Jack Frost (yep, that’s his real name). Do yourself a big favor and read it immediately, and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you in all wisdom as you do.
My second revelation has been this: in spite of all the wonderful visions, revelations, and spiritual growth God has blessed me with, I still have a longing in my soul. Just as someone falls pray to chasing after achievements or recognition or money to obtain happiness, I have exalted personal godliness over God himself. Because of this, I still have a void in my heart that can only be filled by God himself. Maybe this is why the Greatest Commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind, because God knows every human longing will only be satisfied in Him (Psalm 145:16).
But the reason why the first revelation of God’s grace is still important is because it’s only be by grace, through faith, that I can be filled with the fullness of God. No striving on my part will get me closer fulfillment. I’m just getting myself in a position now to receive by faith.
As Eph 3:14-20 goes, my prayer is that I come to know in my heart the height and width of Christ’s love, to know Him and His love on a more intimate and higher level, so that God may finally fill the hole that exists for Him alone.