I asked the Lord that I might grow

growThe subject of spiritual growth has been floating around in my head for a while now. Not just knowing more or praying more, though these factors can be a consequence of growth, but really knowing the Lord in a real way. I wonder if people say, “That Jamie. When he speaks of Jesus it is as if he knows him personally.” I doubt people do say that. I imagine people’s response is more, “He is a Christian, though a bit dry and dusty.” 

The big problem with real growth is it’s a painful process. I know that for me to grow I must be bent to His ways. This may mean I have to be broken spiritually. To take up my cross and follow him is not to sit back, relax and enjoy the worldly pursuits of this life. It’s not to have an easy time of things. The Bible does not present it in such a way. To follow Christ is to sacrifice, to suffer. The problem is I rarely want to suffer, and I rarely want to give up my worldly pursuits.But talking will not change me. Only Christ can change me.

This hymn was shown to me by a friend yesterday. It is the story of John Newton, and my friend suggested it may help.

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

I read this through several times and it speaks of so much truth in my life. I beg God that he would subdue my sins and give me rest. I see my problem in the last verse. I am reluctant to become verse six. I am in desperate need of relief from sin, but for what reason?

Mainly self. To relieve myself. Rarely because I want to know Him, and be molded to His way, and to pursue His face.

If you would pray that I would grow, if we would pray that we would all grow, and be prepared to be broken to His ways, that my joy would be of Him and in Him for evermore. Amen.

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About

am Jamie, and I am a Christ follower. I love Jesus but more importantly he loves me and made the ultimate sacrifice of his son so that all the things I have done, and will do, have been forgiven. And now I know God, and I pursue to know him more. Motivated and transformed by his grace I live for God, to glorify him by enjoying him.

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4 comments on “I asked the Lord that I might grow
  1. jonnyboy87 says:

    yes.

    I was in prayer meeting the other week and someone prayed something so honest and insightful, that really sums me up….

    “forgive me LORD, because I ask to grow, but I don’t want anything about my life to change.”

    not going to happen.

    Jesus asks “Do you love me more than these?”

  2. jamiehurd says:

    I think it sums up the vast majority of us

  3. shoesy says:

    “I will feed the poor and hungry,
    I will stand up for the truth;
    I will take my cross and follow
    To the corners of the earth.
    And I ask that You so fill me
    With Your peace, Your power, Your breath,
    That I never love my life so much
    To shrink from facing death.”

    Your post reminded me of this song by Stuart Townend, which has recently been on my heart and mind. I think somehow it would be easier for life to change completely–like say, in some ways it would be easier to live the life God has called me to live if I picked up and moved to the African bush or something, truly taking to heart what Christ said about not just taking up the cross and following, but not looking back and basically leaving all of your worldly concerns (friends, families, jobs, bills, etc etc etc–the list is endless isn’t it?) … but its harder when just part of life has to change. You know? People complicate things, in particular, and it is harder to change when you are surrounded by people, places, and habits which are familiar.

    Your prayer is the same as mine, and I will certainly be praying for you, friend.

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