A mountain is not summited in a step. The orchard doesnâ€™t bear a harvest overnight. An infant doesnâ€™t reach adulthood in an afternoon. An instrument isnâ€™t mastered in a single lesson. A novel isnâ€™t written with one word. The acorn doesnâ€™t become an oak tree in the blink of an eye.
All these things illustrate that growth, maturity, mastery, and development require something: time. God changes our nature in regeneration, setting us apart to grow up into His likeness. But this is not instantaneous. Growth over time is one of features of the way God works.
Like a good hike to the mountain top, the view isnâ€™t beheld after just three steps. It takes a whole laborious day, plodding forward, traversing slope after slope, brooking creeks, exerting every single muscle. Christian growth requires faithfulness over time. We do not â€œarriveâ€ after resisting one temptation. We do not overcome sins in one sitting.
By grace, God strengthens your faith to take the next step forward. Time is not an enemy to this growth and maturity; God intends it to be a measuring stick whereby you might look back from time to time to survey the terrain Heâ€™s brought you through. When you â€œreviewâ€ where Heâ€™s brought you from, you can truly say, â€œIâ€™m not who I was.â€ But then you should turn and look to the summit, and say, â€œIâ€™m not where I belong.â€ Looking back should only be done to spur us forward.
You may ask, â€œwhatâ€™s the next step towards Jesus I should take?â€ The one right in front of you: this meal, kindness towards your family & friends this week, working hard with integrity, and diligence in prayer and the Word. Take those steps, habitually, and often say: â€œHither by Thy grace Iâ€™ve come.â€ So come and welcome to Jesusâ€¦