Recently during my devotions, I felt the Holy Spirit drop the word “progression” into my heart and immediately that word was like a zip file that began to unpack itself within me. I’d like to share some of these thoughts with you.
Progression is not just about moving forward. It’s also moving upward. When you combine these two actions together of moving forward and upward, you get the picture of someone climbing up a mountain. Psalm 24:3-5 (NLT) comes to mind: “Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their Saviour.”
Everything that we do for the Lord, to serve Him and move His Kingdom forward must also result in us getting to know God more and more. There’s so much in God that He wants to impart to us and through us, but we’re not ready to receive them yet. Hence the different levels of faith, of worship, of prayer, etc. And with each level of revelation, there’s a greater level of consecration required on our part, till we come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
For me, one area to take it forward and upward is my personal prayer altar. I can almost hear the audible voice of Leonard Ravenhill admonishing me that “no man is greater than his prayer life.” And he’ll add on, “The pastor who’s not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We’ve many organisers, but few agonisers; many players and payers, few prayers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”
The other thought I had was progression in the things unseen. In 2 Corinthians 4:18, the apostle Paul reminded us that “the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Hence, the reminder to focus on what’s truly important.
The only constant in this world is change. Businesses which are seemingly stable today can suddenly become unstable when disruption caused by the collaboration of innovation and technology enter their space. Just look at the impact of Uber and Grab on the transportation and food and beverage industries, and the FinTech initiatives on the traditional financial industry.
Even in our personal lives, we’re constantly improving our skills, taking on more challenging roles at work, being promoted in our jobs, upgrading our houses and cars, travelling further and choosing more exotic places as our holiday destinations, and the list goes on. While these are God’s blessings for us to enjoy, even more so we need to apply this intensity and desire for progression into our spiritual lives. When we think of “life”, we often think of the life we live here on earth. But we forget that “life” also refers to the eternal life that God has given to each one of us, and how are we’re stewarding earthly resources (time, treasures, talents, testimonies) to invest in eternity. I remember how Dr. Bailey would repeatedly warn our leaders, “You must prepare the people for eternity.”
The possessions and material things we have on this earth, which are visible, are temporary and will soon be gone. But the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable. Jesus warned us in the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:18-19, not to let the “cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things” creep into our lives and choke us and strangle the life of God out of us, making us unfruitful.
As we reach the halfway mark in 2017, let us take stock of how we’ve built our lives so far. Is it on Christ the solid Rock? Or is it sitting on sinking sand? We still have a good six months to go and we can finish this year strong! May we allow the Holy Spirit to search us and speak to us in the areas to re-calibrate and realign, so that we’re progressively being transformed into His image from glory to glory.