Summary: Most common and obvious hindering factor in our spiritual growth is when you do not have life to begin with
Barnabas C. Park
4 most common hindrances for Spiritual Growth.
1st Factor: Being born again
Romans 8:29: For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;
Beginning today on, I would like to share concerning 4 most common hindrances for our Spiritual Growth, one hindrance at a time. As I share with you this afternoon concerning the four most common hindrances for spiritual growth, I guess, I need to define what I mean by the spiritual growth. If we talk about physical growth or mental and social growth, no doubt that most us have very concrete Idea. That¡¯s what our parents has been yearning for many years, feeding us, sending school, and encouraging us to be around with good friends and persons so that we may function as we should be in our society. Likewise, our heavenly Father also has a desire for us to grow, that is what the spiritual growth is all about.
According to the passage today, it is evident how God wants us to grow.
¡°For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren¡± Romans 8:29
What kind of growth God wants to see us growing? It says, "to become conformed to the image of His Son¡±. In other words, God wants us to become conformed to Christ.¡± Christ is our model for the spiritual growth.
Then the passage says, ¡°being conformed to the image of Christ¡± is the very reason why God foreknew and predestined us. It affirms that ¡°being conformed to the image of Christ¡± is more than an option. Moreover this is even more than obligation; this is God¡¯s design and our destiny. Unfortunately, in spite of such significance of the spiritual growth, we tend to neglect it for so many reasons. I pray that as we study the 4 most common hindrances for our spiritual growth, we all have a strong and urgent desire to grow spiritually and understand more what is involved in the spiritual growth and make specific decisions to grow spiritually.
The first and most common and so obvious, but so often ignored factor that hinders the spiritual growth is when you don¡¯t have spiritual life. In other words, you can¡¯t grow without being born spiritually.
Spiritual growth presupposes spiritual life just as there wouldn¡¯t be physical growth without physical life to begin with. It is so obvious reason, yet most common reason. Do you know why? As far as physical, social, mental growth, you have objective measures through which you can determine the growth. But, when it comes to spiritual growth, it is not visibly as objective as other type of growth. It¡¯s like to distinguish natural flower from artificial one. You can do all kinds of the activates, attending church meeting, praising, thanking God, praying, offering, fellowship, bible study, even casting out demons, acting like prophets, that is, working as ministers and pastors. In fact, many, not few, would do such thing, yet they are not at least genuine Christians
"Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22"Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles" And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.
Jesus said to them, ¡°I never knew you.¡± I am sure that all their life, they might have thought they were Christians when they never were.
Then how do you know if you are genuine Christian or not? Let¡¯s consider again the flower thing. Whether natural or artificial flowers, they look alike. Does it mean there isn¡¯t any intrinsic difference between them? Of course there is. One grows from a tiny seed, the other without any seed. Natural flower grows because the seed has the life and power. Whether you have a genuine faith or not also depends on this seed. This seed is the word of God, more specifically the gospel.
1 Peter 1:23-25 You have been born again, not from a seed that can be destroyed, but through God¡¯s everlasting word that can¡¯t be destroyed. That¡¯s why Scripture says, "All people are like grass, and all their beauty is like a flower of the field. The grass dries up and the flower drops off, but the word of the Lord lasts forever." This word is the Good News that was told to you.
Verse 24 says, You have physical life like flowers, but your physical life is temporal because the physical seed is temporal and can be destroyed like flower. But the seed that gives us spiritual life is everlasting and can¡¯t be destroyed. Our new life in Christ is such that it is eternal and everlasting. What is this everlasting word of God? Let¡¯s go back to verse 25, it says, it is the Good News that was told to you.