God Is Abundantly Merciful Toward Those Whom He Cares About, and Profoundly Wrathful Toward Those Whom He Detests and Rejects
How Do Christians Grow in Spiritual Life?
By Wang Wei
On the African grasslands, Giant King Grass, which is called “the king of grasslands,” grows there. As the spring is approaching, the plants on the grasslands grow rapidly. Only Giant King Grass still remains around an inch high, thus looking so pitiful. However, after half a year, moistened by rain, it can reach around 1.6 m or 1.7 m high in a week, becoming a beautiful green wall on the African grasslands. As a matter of fact, in the six months when other plants run wild, Giant King Grass constantly pushes its roots toward the depth of the ground, and the deepest roots can reach more than twenty meters. These roots firmly store the nutrients and moisture from the soil. When the accumulation of energy can meet the needs of the growth of Giant King Grass, it will quickly reach up so high.
The process of the growth of Giant King Grass enlightened me: That it is able to reach almost two meters high is not an accident. Instead, that all comes from its daily accumulation. When other plants grow to their heart’s content in the face of the spring breeze, it does not care about others’ high stature and their disdainful look, but chooses to take root into the ground secretly and absorb the nutrients from the soil, focusing on the internal growth of roots. When everything gets ready, a heavy rain comes, which just gives Giant King Grass an opportunity to grow, allowing us to witness its magical growth. Though it is only a kind of plant, its “growing magic” gives us great enlightenment. Actually, as Christians, we are more than eager to lay down a foundation in the spiritual life so that we can bear up against the attack by “wind and rain,” like Giant King Grass. Maybe we have read many scriptures and listened to many sermons, but what we often pay attention to instead was the abundant spiritual theoretical knowledge and letters and doctrines. It looks as if we were very spiritual and lofty, but we do not place importance on experiencing and practicing God’s words in the little bit of matters in our life, nor do we focus on knowing God or seeking His will. When encountering trials, we usually easily collapse, either being too negative and weak to stand up or becoming full of misunderstanding and blame toward God, and in serious situation, even betraying and leaving God.
In the Bible the Lord Jesus also gave the parable about sower: “Hear you therefore the parable of the sower. When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; Yet has he not root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution rises because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some an hundred times, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:18-23). The Lord told us: Those who have heard the Lord’s words but don’t root in their heart will surely be captured by Satan when encountering trials. Only those who usually emphasize allowing truth to take root in their heart, like Giant King Grass which focuses on striking root deep into the ground and accumulating energy, can stand in witness when facing trials. It’s just like Job: Though he was wealthy, he didn’t show off at all, nor was he willing to enjoy that high life and fine meals. Instead, he, just like Giant King Grass spreading its roots, paid attention to the growth of his inner life. In his everyday life, he often prayed to God and set strict demands on himself to satisfy God’s will; he often knew God’s sovereignty under the circumstances arranged by God, accumulated his knowledge of God and focused on pursuing to know God, fear God and shun evil. So, through his many years of experience, he had a genuine understanding of God’s sovereignty and God’s disposition, and this understanding also became the foundation of his belief in God. At the age of seventy, his spiritual roots had been quite deep and then an opportunity, just like that great rain coming upon Giant King Grass, came upon him, which allowed him to show the worlds that he feared God and shunned evil. With the arrival of this “violent storm,” he was faced with Satan’s temptations—losing all his possessions and sons and daughters. Such a “violent storm” was a blow toward other people, while it was a chance for him to witness God. During this trial, his confidence was perfected by God and his life was also elevated. He made a strong and resounding witness for God before Satan, and as a result, he also became a model for the faithful.
God’s word says: “If, ordinarily, you are able to put the truth into practice and satisfy God with a heart that truly loves Him, then God will surely protect you during future trials. Though you are foolish and of little stature and poor caliber, God will not discriminate against you. It depends on whether your motivations are right. Today, you are able to satisfy God, in which you are attentive to the smallest detail, you satisfy God in all things, you have a heart that truly loves God, you give your true heart to God, and although there are some things that you can’t understand, you can come before God to rectify your motivations, and seek God’s will, and you do everything needed to satisfy God. … If you always practice in this way, you will be protected when great trials come upon you” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”). From these words of God, we can understand: Our life can’t grow up at once; this requires us to accumulate and practice the truth normally and to be down-to-earth in going ahead. So, usually, we must focus on obeying God’s work, experiencing and implementing God’s word, seeking the truth to know God’s will in the smallest detail that happens to us every day, taking the truth we understand into our practical life and practicing in accordance with God’s demands. Only by accumulating the truth bit by bit can we firmly lay the foundation. Only when the truth takes root deep inside of us and becomes our life, can we, like Job, stand witness to God during a major trial, make our life thrive and become a person who can receive God’s joy and blessings.
You may be interested in this article: The Story of Ore and Fire – Christian’s Spiritual Growth Needs Refinements
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