There’s an Amaryllis sitting atop the entertainment center in the living room of my family’s home. It’s got a beautiful red flower that is just now starting to open up. The picture to the right was taken about a week ago when the stem was still growing. Notice the way the plant is leaning toward the window to its right. This is a natural effect. The plant derives its life from the light of the sun, so it is reaching in the direction of that light in order to receive more.
There is something of a spiritual principle to be observed in a case like this. We are like plants; God is like the sun (or should I say, the sun is like God?). He is the source of our life. The light coming from the sun can be likened to spiritual illumination, or what I might call revelation. The spiritual “light” God gives us is for our growth and advancement in our knowledge of Him. God does not give out truth, or revelation of Himself, for no purpose. It is meant to spur us on in our pursuit and following of Christ. Like the Amaryllis reaching for the window in a natural effort to gain more light for its growth, so we must follow through in the direction of any “light” God gives us. Otherwise our growth will become stalled. The only way to receive further light from God is to be faithful and true to the light He has already given.
From time to time this becomes a real problem for me, personally. I am very slow to apprehend and follow the Lord. Usually I like to see the whole course laid out in front of me with all the necessary resources lined up at my disposal before I will really trust the Lord and move forward. I like to live on past experience, past revelation, and past encounters with God. So I get stuck begging for more light, desperate, frantically seeking some fresh insight and wondering why it seems my whole world has gone dark.
The problem, of course, is my own hesitation, or perhaps outright refusal, to take and practically apply the light I’ve already been given. Yet I know the only way to gain more of a knowledge of the Lord is to follow Him in whatever way He has already revealed Himself to me.
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that this is a big issue for a lot of folks. I can’t say I know of many people who truly continue to follow the Lord all their lives, right up to the very end. I don’t mean to say they stop loving Him, believing in Him, or being for Him in a general way, just that at some point they become stalled in their growth and fail to go on anymore. At some point the cost of responding to the light God has given becomes too great, so they go no further. And the rest of their life is spent living off of past revelation and experience of the Lord. Probably nine out of ten people end up this way, some sooner and some later than others.
Is that discouraging to you? I hope not. I didn’t write this post to be discouraging. Just sharing some thoughts I’ve had while pondering the Amaryllis. 🙂 If anything take it as an encouragement. May the Holy Spirit encourage each of us to go on with Him in the way of His revealing. May we find grace from the Lord to respond to every last ounce of light He gives us, no matter what the cost!