Summary: Part 5 of series Every Thought Captive. Here Dave takes on the lie, "I’ll Grow Into It." This is when people assume they’ll grow spiritually as they age physically. Contains an explanation of where the lie comes from, the problems it causes, and what t

“I’ll Grow Into It”

Every Thought Captive, part 5

Wildwind Community Church

February 18, 2007

David Flowers

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Taking every thought captive… The last four weeks we have looked closely at a few lies Christians believe that keep them from living spiritually productive lives, with the intention of taking these thoughts captive, of de-clawing them, diminishing their power over us. We introduced the topic in week one, exploring the critical link between thoughts, feelings, and behavior. This link is the reason lies are so powerful, because they work on the most fundamental level – the level of our thoughts. Thoughts lead to feelings lead to behaviors lead to consequences. That’s why lies matter, and why truth matters. Week 2 we looked at the lie that spiritual experience is all in our heads, that we’re just wishing it into existence. Week 3 was the lie, “I’m too weak to serve God.” Last week was, “God can’t really expect me to live like Jesus said to live – that’s impossible.”

Today in week five I’ll talk you through the lie, “I’ll grow into it.” Next Sunday I’ll be out of town, and Dr. Joe Hendricks will bring this series to a close with a look at the lie, “I’m missing out – my old life before God was better.” Our series is called Every Thought Captive. In saying those words, “We take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ,” Paul told us a great deal. He told us that there are thoughts we have that are naturally disobedient to Christ. He told us that there’s an element of intention, of intensity, that’s necessary for us to identify and pursue these thoughts. He used the language of capture. That’s intense language. And he told us that we have to make our thoughts obedient to Christ. Do you know what this means? It means there are thoughts in your head that are keeping you from Christ, and unless you identify them, capture them, and force them into submission, they will run roughshod all over you. That’s Biblical. They must be captured and brought under discipline. Too many Christians are living laissez-faire lives, just allowing anything to trip through their heads whenever, not even consistently asking the question, “Yes, but this thing I’m thinking – is it true? Does it lead to freedom? (Because remember, truth always leads to freedom). Or does it leave me confused, upset, panicked, and stressed?” Today we launch into a look at another lie that will stall your spiritual life, and that’s the lie that you can just kind of mope along and God will come alongside you eventually and magically change you into a spiritual person. I’m calling this lie, “I’ll Grow Into It.” I’ll just let time go by, and eventually I’ll grow into this and become closer to God. I don’t really need to pray or read God’s Word or be in a small group or go to church, or whatever – my heart’s in the right place and eventually I’ll just learn through osmosis the things I need to know.” I want to talk to you about where this lie comes from, the problems it causes when we believe it, and what we can do about it.

I think we believe this lie because of three misunderstandings, and they all start with the letter G. Well, actually I have forced them all to start with the letter G, hoping you will remember them better that way. Ever wonder how it is that some preachers look in the Bible for spiritual lessons and it just happens that they all start with the same letter? Confess, Conform, Commit. Pursue, Produce, Praise. See it. Say it. Share it. It would be great if God wrote the Bible fully alliterated for us, but unfortunately it doesn’t come that way, so you have to pay Bible teachers like me to sit around with thesauruses open coming up with memorable ways to say things. Which I have done for your benefit today!

Back to the subject at hand, which is three reasons why we believe this lie that we can just sit back and wait for spiritual growth to occur. They all misunderstandings . The first is a misunderstanding of growth. We figure, hey, physical growth happens naturally. You don’t have to actually do anything. The problem is that’s not true! Physical growth does happen naturally, but it happens naturally as you do a certain number of things, without which it would be impossible. You eat two, three, four meals a day. That makes physical growth happen. You sleep at night. That makes physical growth happen. You take medicine when your body is sick, which keeps you from dying, which allows growth to keep happening. All of these things and more are habits you have gotten into that allow growth to happen. Understand they do not CAUSE growth. You take a rug and rub food into it, pour medicine on it, and not much will happen, other than you’re up cleaning the rug all night. Food and sleep and medicine do not CAUSE growth, they just allow it.

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