Spiritual development and natural development are similar. They both take time and effort. The scriptures tell us that we are born into the kingdom of God. Because our spirits are born anew, our spirits needs development. 1 Peter 2:1-2 tells us to desire the sincere milk of the word that we may grow. Jesus said in Mark 4:30-32 the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that is cast into the ground, it is the least of all seeds when it is planted, but it grows and becomes greater. From study of the scriptures I have learned my spiritual development and growth is my responsibility. God has provided the material, examples, teacher, and power.
Why does it seem difficult to develop spiritually? Maybe it is because we have not given ourselves to the things that encourage spiritual development. Let’s read Matthew 11:28-29, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me…” I would like to draw your attention to the last part of verse 29 …”take my yoke upon you and learn of me.” We have an invitation from Jesus to learn about God. In verse 30 Jesus said, “…my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” A yoke is a harness placed on the neck of an ox to help pull a load such as a wagon or plow. The yoke allows the driver to lead the ox in any direction he chooses.
Jesus is simply saying taking directions and learning from him is not difficult. Let’s examine the same passage of scripture from the Amplified translation. Mark 11:28-30 “…come to me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For my yoke is wholesome (useful, good – not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and my burden is light and easy to be borne.” Jesus is an easy teacher to learn from. Have you ever head a teacher in school who was good, pleasant, and helped you learned everything you needed to know about a particular subject? It is the same way with Jesus if you are willing to learn.
Jesus explains in John 14:26 the Holy Spirit would be our teacher and he would remind us of the things he said. The Holy Spirit’s job is to guide us into all truth. (John 16:13-15) According to Jesus, the word of God is truth. (John 17:17) Begin to expect the Holy Spirit (your personal teacher) to help you understand the scriptures, ask him to guide you, help you understand the word. Expect his ability, and power to strengthen you as you apply what you have learned from the scriptures. (Philippians 2:13)
The bottom line is …are you willing to learn? Are you willing to give your time and attention to develop spiritually? Jesus is waiting. Jesus said in John 16:15 (Amplified) …“Everything that the Father has is mine. That is what I meant when I said that He [the Spirit] will take the things that are mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you. There is nothing Jesus is holding back from us if we are willing to believe and pursue the education of the spirit. Think for a moment, people will travel hundreds of miles away from home, spend five or more years of their life, and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to earn a degree. But will not spend thirty minutes a day to learn from the one on the inside of them who knows in detail the purpose for their lives. Again, I ask the question …are you willing to learn?