And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ– to the glory and praise of God. (NIV) Philippians 1:9-11
Recently while inspecting one of our orange trees I found thousands of little bugs eating away at the new leaves. Left untreated these nasty pests would devour all the young leaves on the tree. Fortunately, I had the right pesticide on hand and drenched the little culprits. Within a couple of days the bugs were gone – for good hopefully!
Left unchecked our spiritual lives can be devoured by nasty little pests! Pests like unforgiveness, unbelief, an uncaring heart, being unreceptive to God’s Word. . .pests like selfishness, greed, anger, jealousy . . .pests like lack of contentment, lack of joy, lack of prayer, lack of love. The pests in our lives may look like casual incidentals, just “small little” sins. After all, you think: “I live a better life than my neighbors!” But, just as one small insect began the threat to all new growth, one “small” sin will slow down or even bring to a halt, further spiritual growth.
What are the pests in your life? What is hindering your spiritual growth? And how do you treat those pests so that growth can begin again? Go to God now and ask Him to reveal to you anything that is sin in your life (Psalm 139:23). . .and no matter how big or how small. . .confess that sin to God and ask Him to forgive you and change you (1 John 1:9).