Dear Church Family:
How are you developing spiritually? Many of us tend to view spiritual development as the self-driven portion of our walk with God. As we learn more about God and His character and desires for our lives, we become aware of areas of our life which do not line-up with this divine direction and correct those behaviors. This is a good thing, to be sure, but can be a heavy burden to carry at times. This was my view of how spiritual development occurs until I read the following.
In his book Invitation to a Journey: A Roadmap for Spiritual Formation, Robert Mulholland talks about spiritual development as a reversal of cultural norms. We give ourselves up to Christ and allow Him to form us as he sees fit. “Spiritual formation is the great reversal: from acting to bring about the desired results in our lives to being acted upon by God and responding in ways that allow God to bring about God’s purposes. So to lose one’s self in this context is to give up the deep inner informational-functional orientation that governs the lifestyle of our culture.”
Allowing God to develop us as he sees fit, rather than how we would want Him to develop us can be a very painful experience. I can’t speak for anyone else but going through this pandemic has forced me to confront some things in myself that I had allowed myself to overlook when I was attempting to drive my own development. But know this: as painful as that experience may be, Jesus experienced it too. My prayer for each of us is that we can look at our lives through clear lenses and mimic Jesus’ prayer in the Luke 22:42, “not my will, but yours be done."