Over the years I have seen people starting to grow in their faith and walk with Jesus, then all of a sudden they stop growing. Their growth is stalled and becomes stunted. Sometimes they backslide for a while and get moving again. Other times they fall away altogether.
As I have seen this happen I have realised there are two worldly things that can stop our growth in Christ.
1. The world and all it alluring things
1 John 2.15-16 says “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
The world and everything it offers can be enticing, but we need to remember it is passing away. It has a use by date. As Christians we look forward to the great day when everything will be made new and we will live in the new heavens and new earth and when God will dwell among His people (Revelation 21:1-3).
2. The world and it choking effect
In Matthew 13 Jesus talks about seed being scattered on various types of ground. Some fell on the pathway, some on rocky ground, some fell on thorny ground that choked it and some fell on good soil.
In Matthew 13:22 Jesus explained His message. “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful”.
The world and all its pressures has a way of choking us. The lack of growth happens when the world presses in hard on us and we bow to its pressure. We become conformed to its patterns. Sometimes we get too busy, sometimes we get caught up in money and wealth, sometimes we are so tired we get lazy, sometimes we get worried about the future, sometimes we try to work it all out ourselves, and sometimes we get frustrated that we don’t see the fruit of our work and we grow weary.
The world and its alluring things and the choking effect it has can stop our growth in Christ if we allow it. We need to understand these things can effect our continued walk and growth in Christ.
A key verse that helps me keep on track is Matthew 6:33. It says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need”.
Focus on Jesus and His Kingdom and the world and its alluring things and choking effect will not have a hold on you.