FoundationsForGrowing

The Lasting Work of My Spiritual Life

by Joanna Pierce on February 16, 2017

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (I Corinthians 3:9–15, KJV).

God wants His children to understand our responsibility in taking ownership of our spiritual life—to partner with God and build with Him. We need to be invested in our spiritual maturity! All throughout Scripture, we see this common theme. The writer of Hebrews mentions if we are to grow in Christ, we must exercise our ability to know the difference between good and evil (Hebrews 5:12–14). We need to complete the work of salvation in our life (Hebrews 6:1). Repentance, baptism, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost are vital in our walk with God, but are the foundational elements to our salvation. Afterward, we need to build our spiritual lives.

The Lasting Work that Happens

Lasting Work Comes from Building with a Sense of Excellence

We need to approach our spiritual maturity with a sense of excellence. God is going to hold us accountable for what we do in this life. As referenced in I Corinthians 3:12–13, some people build with precious stones and gold, but others build with wood, hay, and stubble. Fire will purify the stones and gold, but will consume the latter.

Those living a stubble spiritual life will do the bare minimum in their walk with God. Our effort for God needs to be strong and purposeful every day that we live. We should ask ourselves if our effort is the same every day or do we have an occasional stubble day?

Lasting Work Comes from Everyday Attention

We need to persevere in our walk with God—stay faithful in reading the Word, prayer life, fasting, church attendance, holiness, etc. Paul admonishes the church to “build a foundation” with God (I Corinthians 3:12). The act of building is not a once-and-done event, and doesn’t happen overnight. Building a foundation with God is going to take time and effort; it’s a process.

Most Christians struggle with discipleship in their spiritual maturity. It’s hard to stay involved, faithful, and engaged. Coming to church on Sunday and going to a mid-week Bible study are really just stubble in our walk with God. But, the gold and precious stone foundations come in our personal commitment to God in our daily prayer and fasting-life. This happens when we seek God for the deep things; when we ask Him what we don’t know about Him, and what we can change in our lives to be more like Him.

God is more concerned with our progress in the spiritual maturity process. We aren’t in a sprint with a quick finish-line, but in a daily marathon. We need to run this life-long race with patience (Hebrews 12:1).

Lasting Work Comes from a Thought-Life that’s Based on the Knowledge of God’s Truth

We cannot exercise what we don’t know; therefore, we need to submit our mind to Christ. Our goal in our spiritual maturity is to stop thinking about negative things and start thinking about truth. Our lives will move in the direction of our strongest thoughts—this is why knowing God’s truth is so imperative.

We should seek wisdom and understanding from God (Proverbs 4:7) and allow Him to order our steps (Psalms 119:133). God wants us to use our minds to learn and apply His word.

Our steps to change our thought-life begin with reflection of where we’re at in our spiritual walk, and then a study of God’s Word. We should craft daily declaration statements God can use to renew our minds that are found in His Word (Galatians 3:26). When we speak the promises of the Word to ourselves, we are taking His truth and turning it into a declaration in our own life! Then, we can start exercising and applying the Word of God in our life.

Lasting Work Comes from Experience and Training in Applying God’s Word

Knowledge is necessary in spiritual maturity, but it’s not enough—we need wisdom! Wisdom is the Godly, correct application of knowledge. We can know something, but not know how. Our daily walk should help us glean experience and training in how to apply the knowledge the Godly way.

We need to learn to make decisions with a Scripture-based future conscious. We should take the filter of God’s Word, look forward to our future decisions, and know according to the truth of His Word, what the outcome of our decisions will be. Above all, we must be careful we don’t just have a superficial walk with God; nothing deep and rooted within us. We must have a deep, firm foundation in God, and build it up the rest of our lives.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on February 15, 2017 with Pastor Nave