Maybe you have asked yourself this question in the past? I know that I have. Now, there is not one answer that applies to each person. But there are several common reasons why you might be frustrated with where you are spiritually.
I have faced many of these different reasons in my own spiritual journey over the last 40 years. Let’s take a look at several of the most common. The first, and most important reason, that many just skip over is that “I do not know the Lord.” I have encountered numerous individuals over the years that thought they were a follower of Jesus, but had never been born again. They were religious. I am talking about good people. Jesus reminded the religious leader Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) It is common for those that have not experienced a life change to be frustrated. The solution here is to surrender your life to Jesus.
A second reason may be “I have neglected my spiritual development.” The Bible reminds us that spiritual growth requires investing in our spiritual development. Paul refers to this process as changing the way that you think. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) These are often referred to as spiritual disciplines. This would include reading your Bible, prayer, attending church, getting involved in serving others and even giving as a few. The purpose here is to produce Godly character in you. I have met many over the years that are frustrated because they have neglected this area of their lives. I often say, “We often sacrifice what is best on the altar of what is good!” This means that we allow good things to take the place of what is best.
A third reason may be, “I have unbiblical expectations.” This flawed view of Christianity views “Spiritually” as an event rather than as a process. This hit and run approach to spiritual progress leaves you frustrated. Now, in fairness, this mindset is encouraged by our culture. The Bible reminds us that spiritual growth is an ongoing process that takes a lifetime. The Apostle Paul communicated it this way, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) We should add that spiritual growth is the work of the Lord in our lives that happens over time. I like the wording, “from one degree of glory to another.” Think of that improvement happening one notch at a time. God’s work in your life is to make you like Jesus. This work takes time. You cannot rush this process. You need to embrace what the Lord is doing.
So, what would be a couple take-aways to implement in your life. First, make sure you know Jesus. If you have questions talk to your pastor. Second, if you have neglected your spiritual development, I would encourage you to start by reading the Gospel of John, or the book of Ephesians along with Proverbs. And third, for those expecting too much, take a deep breath and enjoy what the Lord is doing in your life each day.
There is much more that could be said here. The questions to ask yourself is, “Why am I frustrated with my spiritual development?” And if needed, seek out a Pastor of a Bible teaching church to help you. You will be thankful you did!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson