The pain of spiritual growth

The pain of spiritual growth By Hedieh Mirahmadi, for Christian Post

“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.” – 1 Peter 2:11  

Like so many other great men and women of the Bible, Peter loved God but failed miserably. Peter was the rock on which the Lord would build his church, but he was also the one who denied the Lord three times moments after He was captured. The Prophet Abraham left paganism to follow God and was the father of all nations, but he also passed off his wife as his sister to avoid the wrath of a King. King David, a man after God’s own heart, a great warrior and statesman, stole someone’s wife and killed her husband to cover it up.

Peter’s warning could come from any one of us who has experienced the chastisement of the Lord. As citizens of Heaven, sin will wage war against our souls, and if we succumb to that desire, God will not leave us in that state.

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“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” – Proverbs 3:11-12

The pain of disobedience is my latest and probably most challenging lesson of becoming God’s disciple. When I first came to saving faith, it was easy to submerge myself in God’s Word and practice holiness. I was not married and had lost all my friends when I left Islam. Jesus and my daughter were all I had. Fast forward three years, and for the first time in my life, I am married to a wonderful man with a beautiful new family that fills my day with the adventures of five school-aged kids and local civic involvement. We are blessed with good health and provision to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I convinced myself that I was doing “enough” managing that responsibility. Then I started to hear the “soft, still, voice” of the Lord encouraging me to get back into an in-depth Bible study, serve at the church, and work more on my online ministry. Honestly, I rationalized that the voice was just the Type A overachiever in me that wanted to do more, so I disregarded it. This behavior went on for months. The Lord was prompting me, and I ignored it.

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