There is a story I once read about a little boy who buried his little feet in the soil of his mother’s garden. And when his mother found him there, she said, “What on earth are you doing?” Without pausing, (for he had thought his plan through, as only little boys do), the little boy responded, “Mommy, I am trying to grow to be a man.” To this response she laughed out loud and with a big cheerful smile she said, “My dear child, you can never grow bigger by trying. Come on inside, eat plenty of good food, and enjoy many hours of play, and soon enough, you will grow to be a man without even trying.”
I think there is a good lesson here about how we are meant to grow spiritually. Come, Eat, Play.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NASB)
Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry…just as the living Father sent Me and I live by the Father, even so [whoever takes Me for his food and is nourished by Me] shall live through and because of Me. This is the Bread that came down from heaven…he who takes this Bread for his food shall live forever.” (John 6:35a, 57-58 AMP)
Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10b, AMP) And in the book of Psalms we are instructed, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4, NASB) Enjoying the life that Jesus gives and delighting yourself in the Lord is the secret fertilizer for growth. How many have come to the Lord and are fed by Him, but then religion seems to get in the way, and growth remains elusive?
You have to play! The promised desires of your heart, means that as you delight yourself in the Lord, as you spend seasons of play and enjoyment with Him and in Him, He will place His desires for your life in your heart. And from this place you will be led in paths of joy and peace and growth. He will grow you in ways that you never imagined. He will grow you in ways that you never believed possible.
So if you desire to grow spiritually, come to Him, be fed by Him, and delight yourself in Him. And most of all, stop trying.
The Bible says it this way, “Cease striving, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10, NASB) As you do this, you just might hear the Father whispering, “My dear child, you can never grow bigger by trying. Come on inside, eat plenty of good food, and enjoy many hours of play, and soon enough, you will grow to be the person I intend you to be without even trying.”