Before having kids my husband and I were pretty good at keeping plants alive. At one point we had somewhere between ten and twenty plants. The only problem was we would go on missions trips in the summer and have to find someone to plant sit. At the end of each summer we would end up with less plants than at the start of the summer. But when you have that many plants it's hard to remember which plant was missing (aka died under the sitters care.) Now that we have almost a half a dozen kids, our one plant seems like an incredible core to keep alive.
The reality is, is that plants only need four things to grow; water, sun, soil and oxygen. Heck, we don't even have to make those things ourselves, God already made everything they need. It should not be that hard. But getting even those four essential things to our one little plant sometimes seems like the hardest thing in the world to do since there is so much else clamoring for our attention.
Our spiritual growth can seem the same way. We really need only four things to grow in a relationship with the Lord; God's Word, connecting with other believers (fellowship), sharing the gospel with non-believers (evangelism) and prayer. But when there are a thousand things to do, those four things can easily be pushed to the back burner or become something to check off a list rather than an opportunity to really connect with the Lord. And when we do these four activities in our own strength and ability it doesn't actually produce growth anyway, just pride. Just as a leaf or fruit grows by staying connected to the branch with the four essential ingredients the same goes with our spiritual growth. We can do nothing of eternal significance, including manufacturing our own growth without remaining dependent and yielded to the Lord.
But when we allow the Holy Spirit to empower us and we actively and intentionally give time to these four essential growth elements the Lord brings about beautiful life transformation.
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has four kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks to college and women's groups. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.