Monday, 31 March 2014

Being tailor-made (continued)

Previously I wrote a post about being tailor-made, but I still feel like there is so much in my heart relating to the subject, so I have decided to elaborate bit on the growing process.

I feel that sometimes God needs to break us a bit in order for Him to put us back together again. It is not a process that we should be scared of, but it can be painful at times. As I mentioned in my previous post, we grow into our spiritual skin over the years and sometimes God needs to alter our understanding or beliefs, because they were formed by tradition or culture and not by Him. So sometimes we need to be broken in order for God to sift through the pieces. Like when making a quilt, He selects the correct pieces (revelations and truth) and discards the incorrect pieces (understanding formed by culture) and weaves together a new skin for us to grow into.

As you can imagine, being broken is a very vulnerable process. It might feel like everything is stripped away and you can't figure out what is new and what is old, what is truth and what is a lie. As I have mentioned before, it is a process. Don't try and do too much, too fast. Give yourself time to adjust to your new understanding and thinking patterns and embrace this time to rest in them. In times of confusion, don't try and figure things out with theological discussions, rather focus on the revelations and truth which you do know and which God has given you. Focus on the basics. God is love. No one can argue with that one. ;) know that God is in control of the entire process and He will complete it. God never forms anything that is not good and thus you can be sure that all things will work together for your good and according to His purpose. You are safe in His hands. Listen for His voice and follow His lead boldly.

Picture credit: Strawberry threads

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Being tailor-made

Sometimes explaining an abstract concept can by quite tricky, so I'll start with an illustration. Our skin stretched with us as we grew from children into adults. Spiritual growth on the other hand is a little different in my experience. It is almost as if your spiritual skin doesn't stretch and as you can imagine, this could be problematic when growth occurs. You would literally have to grow out of your skin and in my experience this is how it feels.

Your spiritual skin is made up of your revelations, beliefs and understanding of God and His word and these shape and grow constantly as we grow closer to God. We go through different stages, sometimes we are comfortable with what we understand and believe and sometimes we feel challenged by God or others. We need to be challenged, because there is no growth without challenge.

When we feel comfortable with our revelations, beliefs and understanding of God, we feel comfortable in our spiritual skin and super confident, but when God starts challenging our understanding or increasing our revelations, we become uncomfortable. Something needs to give way, somewhere the skin needs to tear and new skin (new revelation) needs to grow, and sometimes old skin (incorrect understanding) needs to be cut out and thrown away. The only way that this can occur is when we tear the skin and make the adjustment. This process can be confusing and vulnerable. We all like feeling confident, but when we have a tear in our skin and a new revelation needs to grow, we might feel vulnerable in certain spots and maybe a bit unconfident and not so sure of ourselves.

But not to worry, as we grow into the new skin our confidence will grow again and our new revelations will inspire us forward. The old skin being cut away will allow space for God to pour new understanding into our hearts.

It reminds me of this verse: "Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17 ESV)

Never become an old wineskin, God cannot put new understanding into old thinking, it will be too much for you to handle. We must rather keep our wineskins fresh, flexible, ready to be tailored and ready to grow. If you find yourself in the middle of a growth spurt, take heart, even though it feels like you are moving backwards, you are in actual fact moving forwards. God is taking you from glory to glory as He tailors you to receive more of His wonderful love and wisdom.

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