All Posts Tagged: Step 11
“Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 3:18
What stimulates growth? The primary ingredient is a growing intimacy with Jesus. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you REMAIN in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Like the growth of human relationships, a growing intimacy with Jesus requires: faith, trust, communication, honesty time, risk, to name but a few.
Step 11 of Alcoholics Anonymous captures the essence of the above. “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God.”
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all You have done; I reflect on the work of Your hands. ” (Psalm 145:5) The word “meditate” is a rather humorous, Hebrew word. Literally it means: a cow chewing its cud.This implies solid food. “Solid food’ is only for the adults ....” (Hebrews 5:12) Hence, meditation is the practice of eating a portion of God’s Word. “Let the word of Jesus dwell in you, enriching your life ….” (Colossians 3:16) “Father told me, ‘Son’, Eat this book.’ Make a full meal of it!” So I ate it. (Ezekiel 3:1-3) The portion size is dependent on ones growth level. After ingestion (taken it into ones heart) one begins to chew on the food. Like a cow one might chew on the Word all day, regurgitating (sorry, a little crude!) it for deeper meaning.
“In prayer the human spirit can send invisible waves to eternity.” (Guglielmo Marconi) Prayer is connection via conversation. It involves both speaking and listening. No subject is “off limits”! (“The Maintenance of Life -Intimacy with Jesus“ ) Remember this: in both mediation and prayer one is enamored with a person, Jesus, the Living Word. “In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God. John 1:4) “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. (John 1:14) “The reality is, my prayers don’t change God. But, I am convinced prayer changes me. Praying boldly boots me out of that stale place of religious habit into authentic connection with God Himself.” (Lysa TerKeurst)
Like a coin pray and meditation are one activity of intimacy. That upon which we meditate becomes the subject of our prayer as it relates to our current lives.
Jesus spit on the eyes of the blind man and put His hands on him.
He asked, “Do you see anything?”
The blind man looked up and said, “I see men but they look like trees walking.
Jesus put His hands on the man’s eyes again and told him to look up.
Then he was healed and saw everything well.”
About the text above Dr Pritchard wrote: “The text merely relates the story. It doesn’t explain the deeper meaning.” Confession: I don’t know the deeper meaning. What I’ve asserted is that the two-stage miracle is a perfect symbol of justification and sanctification. Whereas justification is the first stage of the miracle, sanctification is the second. Whereas justification is a one time happening, sanctification is a life long process. More about this later.
A baby is born but once; however, growth is a life long adventure. Just as each baby is totally unique (DNA) so is his growth progression, depending on heredity and environment. Similarly, when one gets connected to Jesus, she is “born again”. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.” (1 Corinthians 5:17) This happens but once. At that point the person is a baby, spiritually speaking, no matter what her chronicle age. “Brothers and sisters, when I was there, I could not talk to you the way I talk to people who are led by the Spirit. I had to talk to you like babies in Christ.” So, to remind the newly born person I suggest that he put on some Depends and look in the mirror. Yes, it’s hilarious; but, it makes the point!
Parents desire but one thing for their child, that she becomes mature physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, relationally and spiritually. Sanctification is the process whereby baby Christians become mature. “We are not meant to remain as children. But we are meant … to grow up in every way into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:14-16) “To be mature is to be basic Christ! No more, no less.” (Colossians 1:29) In other words, sanctification is the process by which the baby Christian becomes a Jesus-version of their fully matured person. The Creator does not discard His original template of your person.
Interestingly, an infant begins with milk. So, Peter says: “Desire God’s pure word as newborn babies desire milk.” (1 Peter 2:2) Sadly, there are those who are content with milk years beyond infancy.
“You have become people who need a milk diet and cannot tolerate solid food! Anyone who continues to live on “milk” is obviously immature—he simply has not grown up.” (Hebrews 5:12)