“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” – Mark 11: 22-24.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
If you ask ten different children that age-old question, you’ll likely get ten different answers–all delivered with the determination and optimism that comes with the innocence of childhood. As adults, swept up in the hectic demands of work, family, and endless obligations, we’re faced with the realization that we are not living the life we thought we would live.
It can spring into your mind in an instant. You are doing life when a neighbor tells you about her life-defining accomplishment. Her accomplishment gets you thinking and with that thinking comes the realization that any significant accomplishment is missing from your resume and sadly, you are not living the life you imagined years ago. The reality of life is often different than what we imagined. Is our life spiritually different than what we imagined as well?
At some point in our life, we became a follower of Jesus. From that point, our faith grew as we grew in both understanding of and dependency on Him. Our faith, our understanding of scripture, and our idea of God himself should change and grow over time.
Think about the relationship with your wife or husband. Over the years it has changed. You have both grown as individuals and you have also grown in your understanding of each other. Perhaps some of the early romance or unpredictability has gone, but then so has much of the minor things that cause arguments. You may have new shared interests and find yourself on the same page more often than in the early years. Or think about your relationship with your parents. As we grow older this changes as we transition from dependency to an acknowledgment that they are a whole lot smarter than we gave them credit for and we find ourselves being more like them than we could have imagined.
Over the years, your faith has changed–and your faith has changed you. Maybe you have learned to control your temper more, to love other people more, to understand your circumstances better, and so much more. God will widen your horizons and will make your heart bigger. He restores what we had lost, and He replaced it with something even better.
God himself is unchanging but our understanding of Him must change. The only way our understanding of God and His word could never change is if it was perfect, to begin with. But the only person in this universe who has a perfect understanding of God is God Himself. We are not God. As we grow God shows us more of Himself, and importantly, more of ourselves. This will change us, as will the triumphs and tragedies of the life we live.
1. How has your faith changed or evolved over the years?
2. How can we ensure our faith continues to grow?