Spiritual Evolution

True spiritual evolution starts with a divine dissatisfaction with our current status. Recognition of our need for the Savior initially led us to becoming born again.

From that point on, we grew and made spiritual progress. Yet, when our journey led us to a wall, we grew increasingly appalled at the disparity between the promises of the Word and what was our current experience. The abundant life Jesus promised was only partially understood or incorporated into everyday life. We knew deep down we were falling short of the promise.

In this state, we strain against the limitations and discomfort of our mindsets and emotional trappings, yet are stymied at how to truly break free. Some resign themselves to “You’re only human. That’s just the way it is.”  But it is that continual, growing discontentment that pushes us to keep going, to keep looking for the answer.

Before you assume none of this applies to you, consider this question:

“Are you living in perfect peace at all times?”

If not, why not?

Consider the baby chick in the shell. For all of his existence, he has been nourished and has flourished in a place of comfort and security. Growing to the point that the former safe place, the protection from the outside has become restrictive and stifling, no longer is he satisfied with his status or environment. BUT he does not know what to do except to start pecking away at it! He has to do it alone without any outside help. It is his destiny to eventually break free of the shell.

He pecks and rests and pecks again until at long last, he is free. Only then does he find a new world has opened up to him. Selah.

Longing for Liberation

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”  (2 Cor 3:18 NAS)

Outward change where others may notice is not enough. It is the secret, hidden place inside that desperately longs for liberation from worry, fear, disquiet, endless planning or rehearsing the past, self-made dramas of imaginary conversations. While yearning for the promised rest, peace, and contentment, the internal conflict remains.

Nothing the mind can come up with successfully deals with the very root of it all. Why?

To finally admit to ourselves that it’s not working takes courage. To evolve, to go past where we have been, we begin to be willing to give up what we thought we understood, to see the words of Jesus with fresh eyes and a newly opened heart.

Just as with other crises of faith, for those who are hungry enough, this one takes us way out of the comfort zone to launch us into the deeper things of the Spirit.

“Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.”  (Ps 42:7 NAS)

“For to us God revealed {them} through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”  (1 Cor 2:10 NAS)

“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”  (1 Cor 2:14 NAS)

Going into the depths means letting go of the shallow waters we were accustomed to. Things may no longer make sense and we are baffled at how to proceed. We find ourselves over our heads, literally.

Evolving spiritually means no longer living out of the mind or emotions, but living from, out of, and by the spirit. It means distinguishing between the soul and spirit, so that the soul is quieted and the spirit is dominant and freedom reigns!

This is a new approach. Out in the deep is a constant serenity. We are no longer tossed by every wave, but are unmoved deep inside, holding the love of God in steadfastness.

Pecking Away

Friend, know this: Once you decide you don’t need the past comforts and security that made up your identity any longer, life is better on the outside of the shell.

You will not get all your questions answered in this process. You may have no idea of how things will turn out. You only know that deep down SOMETHING has to change.

In the parable of the Pearl of Great Price, the man sold everything to obtain the one thing that was most valuable to him.

We may not be required to give up a position or a role in life, but we most certainly will find it necessary to relinquish its importance to us.

Even more than that, our ideas of how things ought to be will have to change. Rather than fight life, let us learn from it. “It is hard to kick against the goads”, Jesus said to Paul.

Humility is the first step.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  (Matt 11:29-30 NAS)

Ask your Teacher to show you how to take His yoke in exchange for the one you struggle under. Be prepared to learn some things about yourself and about His better way.

Your dissatisfaction was divinely ordered, and so your liberation awaits. Because Jesus is the Author and Finisher of your salvation, you are in good hands.

“{For I am} confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  (Phil 1:6 NAS)