Artwork for podcast Wisdom-Trek © - Archive 1
Day 283 – Principles of Spiritual Growth – Preparation #2
9th March 2016 • Wisdom-Trek © - Archive 1 • H. Guthrie Chamberlain, III
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Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy

Welcome to Day 283 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.

This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom

Principles of Spiritual Growth – Preparation #2

Thank you for joining us for our 7 days a week, 7 minutes of wisdom podcast. This is Day 283 of our trek. Yesterday and today we are hiking our 5th trail which is the Trail of Preparation. This entire 18 trail trek which we are currently navigating is adapted from a short book called Principles of Spiritual Growth written by Miles J. Stanford.

This book contains a series of practical lessons and was instrumental in my spiritual growth as a young man seeking to create and live my legacy. I trust that you will also find this trek valuable in your own life, regardless of where you happen to be on your faith trek. Each of the trails that we hike builds on the previous one, so if you miss any of our Wisdom-Trek, please go to Wisdom-Trek.com to listen and read the daily journal.

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Hiking the Trail of Preparation

We are recording our podcast from our studio at Home2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our youngest son Fred was able to come over on Tuesday night for dinner, and we worked together on preparing his income tax return. Since we have been involved in tax preparation for companies and individuals for many years, we count it a privilege to assist him, at least until he feels comfortable enough to handle it on his own.

Paula finished up another quilt this week for a great niece who was born last month. We have three more nieces expecting so Paula’s quilt-making calendar is full. Her quilts are all beautiful, and she makes each one unique. I do help her in the preparation stage by going with her to select the fabrics, which provides us an enjoyable break from our otherwise busy workload.

Preparation in any aspect of life is important, and to have solid spiritual growth, God needs to prepare our hearts and minds. Let us continue today on the 2nd part of the Trail of Preparation. This is the 5th of 18 trails, which makes up the trek we call…

Principles of Spiritual Growth – Preparation #2

On the first part of the Trail of Preparation, we learned that solid growth takes time and may be filled with struggles. As we fulfill God’s purpose in our lives by becoming more like His image, we are also instructed that we can find rest from the struggles in Christ.

None of us like struggles and failures in our lives, but that is what life is made of. We need to acknowledge this fact, and accept life as it is, not as we wish it were. Much of God’s preparation in our lives consists of setting up this struggle, which allows us to see self for what it is, and the struggle to get free from its evil power and influence.

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Life is made up of struggles and failures – Keep pushing anyways

Paul described this in his letter to the Church found in Romans 7:18, “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.” There is no hope of consistent abiding in the Lord Jesus as long as we are under the dominion of the self-life. So is there any hope? Yes, there is, as we explored on our trail yesterday in Galatians 2:20, “My old self has been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Once we are willing to allow God to unlock and remove the shackles of our old nature, we can then be set free. Oh yes, the struggle will continue. We have become accustomed to, and in a strange way, enjoy the shackles of life, but once removed, we do not have to allow them to restrict us. Our personal, heartbreaking failure in every phase of our Christian life is our Father’s preparation for His success on our behalf. This negative processing of His finally brings us into His positive promise of Philippians 1:6, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”  His “good work” in us is begun through our failure and will continue on into His success by His performance and not ours. Philippians 2:13 – For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. There is no question that we all began our faith trek by sheer grace, and we must continue and arrive on the very same basis. The shackles have been unlocked and removed, we should not be putting them back on ourselves as Galatians 5:1 tells us, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”

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We have been set free through no effort of our own. John 8:36 tells us, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” We need to grasp an important concept here. The effortless life is not the will-less life. We use our will to believe, to receive, but not to exert effort in trying to accomplish what only God can do. Our hope for victory over sin is not “Christ plus our efforts,” but “Christ plus our receiving.” To receive victory from Him is to believe His Word that solely by His grace He is, this moment, freeing us from the shackles of sin. And to believe on Him in this way is to recognize that He is doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We learned this principle at the time of our spiritual birth, and it seems that most of us have to learn it all over again for our spiritual growth and service.

1_2450616As part of our preparation to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives, which is to make us into his image through Christ, we can expect difficulties on our trek of life. Why do we doubt His love for us when our trail is scattered with rocks and obstacles? During those difficult days, we would do well to remember Romans 8:35-39, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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Let me ask you this question today, “Are you ready for the overwhelming victory that is yours through Christ?”  If so, then you must also be ready to go through the preparation necessary for that victory.

On our trek Principles for Spiritual Growth, today we explored the second part of Trail of Preparation. Let’s keep the shackles off of us so that we become more like Christ and enjoy the victory that is ours. During the next two days, we will hike the Trail of Complete in Him, where we will discover that we have everything that we need for the trek of life, which God has prepared for us in the future. Every trail that we hike will help us to create and live our legacy each day. So encourage your friends and family to join us, and then come along tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.

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That will finish our podcast for today. As you enjoy your daily dose of wisdom, we ask you to help us grow Wisdom-Trek by sharing with your family and friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, or in person, so they can come along with us each day.

Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal each day.

As we take this trek together, let us always:

  1. Live Abundantly (Fully)
  2. Love Unconditionally
  3. Listen Intentionally
  4. Learn Continuously
  5. Lend to others Generously
  6. Lead with Integrity
  7. Leave a Living Legacy Each Day

This is Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Every Day! See you tomorrow!

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