The Listen When He Speaks theme for May is GROWTH. No matter how long we have followed Christ, there is always room for spiritual growth. But does growing in Christlikeness always feel good?

Listen When He Speaks, May 2017: Growth

No matter how long we’ve followed Christ, there’s always room to grow in Christlikeness. Which is why our Listen When He Speaks theme for May is GROWTH.

As spring gets hold of my corner of the world, all the green things wake and practically burst with vital new growth. Spring loses her reticence and overcomes the seeming-death of winter.

From Redemption to Growth

April’s reminder of the soul-deep reach of redemption, and what Christ was willing to suffer to redeem me, was good and necessary. But a saddening fatigue still lingers. I pray that the quickening of spring for those of us in the north, and our look at Biblical examples of growth, quicken our spirits and encourage us to pursue growth.

Have you ever tried to till the ground to create a new garden, or reclaim an old one? The ground is hard. A solid surface inhospitable to the growth of good seed. When you walk across the freshly-tilled ground, it feels completely different. The deeper it has been tilled, the softer the ground, and the deeper your feet will sink.

How many of our hearts hide hard patches of soil that need breaking up?

No matter where we are in our walk with the Lord, there is always room for growth. The process of preparing the soil, and the process of pruning, can hurt. But they're worth it.

God’s Word is good for that, as it is good to water and feed seeds of the Gospel planted in our lives, and grow them to fruition. In areas of unhealthy growth, God also uses His Word in the painful process of pruning.

Whatever we need for spiritual growth, God provides. It’s up to up to accept.

Read more: During Lent, I wrote about the necessity of giving up for growth.

Growth isn’t as straightforward and simple as we’d like. But we can grow whatever season we are in. Often, the hardest times are the most productive spiritually. They beg us to cease striving and rest in God’s Sufficiency. As our roots go deeper, our growth will be hardy.

It’s easy to forget our need for God in seasons of plenty, when we receive things we have worked for or merely want. We may look prosperous, but we will wilt spiritually as our roots shrivel.

Whatever overwhelms or distracts us, we must not let it eclipse God’s Light, or trick us into seeking water from a toxic source.

May Reading

This month, we’ll visit the Old and New Testament for snapshots of God’s work in His children’s lives. We’ll spend several days with Jonah to remember how God used one of His massive creatures to remind His runaway prophet of His Sovereignty. Jonah learned the necessary lesson that you can’t run away from God. Jonah returned to obedience. Sadly, after the Ninevites were saved, Jonah still wasn’t onboard with God’s plan. Jonah knew the Ninevites didn’t deserve mercy.

Jonah didn’t, either. He ignored God’s direct command, but God gave him a second chance by reaching into his failure in a miraculous way.

Do we deserve the mercy and grace we have received? No. Yet God came to us. We obtain salvation the same way the Ninevites, and Jonah, did. By recognizing our sin, and repenting.

Like Jonah, we’re too quick to remember that others don’t deserve grace, and forget we don’t deserve it, either.

Yes, there’s always room for growth, even in the life of an Old Testament prophet.

Before we embark on our trip through the theme of GROWTH, let’s pray for hearts open to the cultivation they need, so we end the month more like our gracious Savior.

Sow righteousness for yourselves,
    reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
    for it is time to seek the Lord,
until He comes
    and showers His righteousness on you.

Hosea 10:12, NIV

As we explore our theme of GROWTH in May, we'll visit the Old and New Testament for snapshots of God's work in His children's lives and how we can pursue spiritual growth. Care to join us?

Our Scripture Memorization for May

Our suggested memorization passage for May is Philippians 3:12-14.

Read more: Why do we memorize Scripture?

Listen When He Speaks is a daily Scripture reading and writing plan. New themed lists posted on Fruit of Brokenness monthly. Learn more about Listen When He Speaks here! Ready to join us? Sign up here!

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2 thoughts on “Listen When He Speaks, May 2017: Growth

  1. What a wonderful post. I am currently in a season of growth (extensive pruning and growth…but aren’t we always lol) . After being a “Jonah” myself, I am so grateful that our God is so patient, loving and merciful. This reminds me always that I must also extend grace and mercy to others. This is what God expects of us. It is not always easy. In fact often it is not easy until you remember (I remember) that we love because He first loved us. So much to ponder from this post. I intend to be more diligent in my time spent with God the Father.

    Thank you for doing these plans for us to participate in. Very grateful

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