Thank you for joining us for our 7 days a week, 7 minutes of wisdom podcast. This is Day 282 of our trek. Yesterday we finished hiking on our 4th trail on our current trek, which is the Trail of Purpose. Today and tomorrow we will hike our 5th trail which is the Trail of Preparation.
This entire 18 trail trek that 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 your spiritual background or perspective. 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.
We are recording our podcast from our studio at Home2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. We have a variety of activities scheduled for this week. I am being interviewed on The Positivity Effect Podcast, we have one more company tax return and several personal tax returns to work on, we have time set aside for work on Your Life Plan Blueprint, and we have our usual client work to accomplish. It should be a busy but productive week. We have prepared well and will forge ahead taking one day at a time.
Speaking of preparing, before we set out on our daily activities for our trek of life, we need to make sure that we do prepare for whatever we may encounter. It is now time to break camp for today and head out on our new hike for the first part of the Trail of Preparation. This is the 5th of 18 trails which makes up the trek we call…
We have already hiked the trails of faith, time, acceptance, and purpose. Once we know God’s eternal plan and purpose for us, we need to understand His method and process of preparation. In doing so, we will be able to reach the place of rest and confidence. Anytime we desire to grow, we must first understand our need. In the same manner, God’s basic ingredient for growth is need. Without the understanding of our personal needs, we will not grow in our Christian life. The reason our Father creates and allows needs in our lives is to shift our focus from all the religious trappings that are outside of Christ, centering us in Him alone. As part of this preparation process, we need to integrate the concept of Galatians 2:20 into our lives, “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.”
For both our growth and our service, it is all essential that we see and understand this principle. When we understand our need for Christ to live in us, it causes us to reach out and appropriate by faith, from our Lord Jesus, the strength which we require. The simple fact in everyone’s life is that the true value of anything is known only when it is desired. If we do not desire something, we will never know our need for it. God makes Himself known to us through our needs. Those needs could be material needs, but it is likely that we will determine that we can work to fill our material needs. Spiritual needs are something quite different. We can never fill our spiritual needs apart from God’s Spirit living in us.
In this light, our needs are invaluable! We must face up to the fact that without spiritual hunger, we cannot feed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 5:6 should mean much to every one of us, “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.”
All too often believers are encouraged and even pressured to grow before there is an acute awareness of their need, before there is true spiritual hunger. True and lasting growth of any kind comes through the proper planting, watering, nourishment, and environmental conditions. Spiritual growth is no different.
In many instances when there is real heart hunger for spiritual growth, there is very little spiritual nourishment offered. Spiritual nourishment can come from wise and Godly counselors, but it also requires that we individually take the time and effort to acquire this nourishment through meditation on God’s Word and through prayer. The timing and conditions must be right, and we must be prepared for growth. Jesus understood this as he was preparing for his crucifixion and told his disciples in 16:12-14, “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.”
We must be prepared ourselves before our lives will generate a hunger for Christ in others. This is part and parcel to us living a legacy each day so that we can leave a legacy for eternity.
Watchman Nee puts first things first in saying, “God does not set us here first of all to preach or to do any work for Him. The first thing for which He sets us here is to create in others a hunger for Himself… No true work will ever begin in a life without first of all a sense of need being created…We cannot inject spiritual appetite by force into others; we cannot compel people to be hungry. Hunger has to be created, and it can be created in others only by those who carry with them the impressions of God.” One of the main reasons why so much evangelistic effort and personal witnessing comes to little or nothing is that truths are forced on the “victims” to be saved before they are aware that they are lost.
There will be many seasons of preparation within our lives where our trek appears difficult. That is part of shaping us and conforming us to fulfill our primary life purpose, which is to be in God’s image. These times of preparation are needed if our life is to be Christ-centered, our walk controlled by the Holy Spirit, and our service glorifying to God. Sooner or later, the Holy Spirit begins to make us aware of our basic problem as believers—the infinite difference between self and Christ.
During these times of preparation and growth, we will grow tired, we will become discouraged, and we will be tempted to lose hope. Remember if we want to stand strong like the oak tree, it will take many years before we are able to produce a bountiful harvest. We are not in this season of preparation by ourselves. Jesus gives us a place to rest during the difficult uphill climbs on our trek of life. Matthew 11:28-30, “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’”
On our trek Principles for Spiritual Growth, today we explored the first part of the Trail of Preparation. Preparation is usually not easy, or considered enjoyable, but it is necessary to grow and flourish. Tomorrow we will continue on this trail and learn more valuable lessons about preparation. 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.
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:
This is Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Every Day! See you tomorrow!