Buried treasure? You’ve got it right there in your “backyard.” The treasure I’m talking about is spiritual growth; your backyard is your past. When I saw this last night, I broke out in such a huge grin—the Lord really knows how to “hide” things in plain sight. Let’s break this down:
First, consider that what you need most in life is spiritual growth. Genuine spiritual growth always means that in one situation after another you are learning to live with far more peace, joy and freedom than you used to do in those same kinds of situations. Why? Because you are learning how to handle them God’s way and you are becoming more like Jesus (and more filled with His Spirit) in the process.
This naturally means less of your old ways taking over; more of His new ways shining forth. Who wouldn’t want more of that? Growing “in grace and favor” means you are increasingly thrilled by who you are in Him—no matter what comes your way!
Next, gain eyes to see a spiritual growth opportunity when it comes your way, so you can take advantage of it and reap the blessing God intends. How can you recognize a spiritual growth moment? This is blindingly easy. It is any moment you don’t like! (See “Spiritual Growth ABCs“)
The moments you like—if they are legal and moral—are spiritual blessing moments. They arise in our life due to previous growth and its consequences. With spiritual blessing moments things come together and we flow through graced events with a sense of confidence based on what the Lord has previously worked into us. Life is sweet.
Opportunities for Spiritual Growth
There’s not a thing in the world wrong with such moments, except that they aren’t opportunities for spiritual growth. You’re flowing, but you’re not growing. Well, “OK,” you say, “Give me those moments and who cares about the growth!” Evidently, God does. Because in His sovereignty He allows other kinds of moments to come into our life, moments we don’t like. These are those moments we can’t flow through singing “merrily, merrily, merrily” as we travel down time’s ever changing stream.
Why do those moments happen? And why can’t I flow through them better? Is it the devil running loose? Is it the world of sinful souls rubbing me wrong? Oh, I know—it’s me; it’s my messed up, goofed up weaknesses and inadequacies. No doubt these things play a part, but God is still sovereign and He has already told us what He is doing: He is working through EVERYTHING that He allows in order to grow us up into Christ (see Romans 8:28-29).
“Hidden Treasure” in Present Moments
God is at work in every moment to grow us into becoming more like Jesus. We like the growth we have gotten so far—those areas of our life flow well. It’s the moments that cause us to lose the peace of Christ—that throw us into worry, anger, confusion, anxiety or despair—these we don’t like! Yet, this is exactly where we need spiritual growth the most.
In any moment that I don’t like, I have a choice. I can let my “pre-programmed” negative emotions take over and shoot my life with Christ in the foot. Or, I can cling to Jesus, call on Him for immediate help, and carry the junk I’m feeling as a captive to Christ and deal with it His way (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
“Buried Treasure” in Past Moments
This means that every situation I don’t like has the latent power to press me deeper into Jesus and His ways! As I do the forgiving, the releasing, the trusting, or the reconciling that’s required by Him, I come out of the experience on “the other side” where there is even more peace, joy and closeness with the Lord than there was before trouble showed up.
Am I only allowed to feel this good in the wake of present moments once I have gained spiritual growth? Oh no, it’s much better than that. Turn your sights to your past. If you see any situation in your past that you didn’t like and wish had never happened, you are looking at a memory crying out for spiritual growth!
Carry those memories captive to Christ and do what He wants you to do with them until so much healing, peace and freedom comes to you that you are actually glad—not that it happened—but that you have come out on the other side loaded with so much growth. My backyard was full of buried treasure. How’s yours?
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