14 March 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
Lim Kah Hooi—National Director of FCCI Malaysia (an International Marketplace Ministry)—shared how today’s generation is different from the older generation at the DUMC Faith@Work Bootcamp on 1st of March in Chefoo, Cameron Highlands.
He found that while we can be occupied with a certain task, we could also be simultaneously preoccupied with something else! How many of us are familiar with being preoccupied with our mobile phones while eating dinner with our family? Our lives can be filled with so many activities, yet we can feel unfulfilled. We are the most connected generation for all time, yet we are so isolated emotionally and physically. What irony is the world that we live in today.
There are so many things to do, yet so little time. However, God still want us to grow spiritually in Him, despite the hustle-bustle of our life. While the world changes, God’s word remains true! Col 2:6-7 says, ‘So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.’
Far from the fast-paced and instantaneous world we live in, the word ‘root’ suggests a biological and gradual process occurring over time without coercion by will power. In fact, this process is plain to see in all living things. For example, a plant would still need time to grow despite its good genes, fertile soil, high quality fertilizer, and ample sunlight. Akin to the biological growth of a plant, we need to also allow time for us to grow spiritually in the Lord.
Hence, you cannot rush your spiritual growth in the Lord because it should happen naturally and gradually over time.
Spiritual growth happens when we obey God. This can happen during our quiet time with him. Do we trust God’s character? We can only obey Him when we trust in His Goodness.
Professor Brad Smith from Bakke Graduate University said, “Spiritual formation is the efforts we make to join God’s work in increasing our trust in His character. When that happens, obedience and greater joy will naturally result. To attempt to obey God in our actions without increasing our trust in God’s character is legalism. Too often, the means of spiritual formation (prayer, scripture, meditation, service, etc) become the goal rather than the means.”
While we absorb spiritual food in church and cell group, most of our spiritual growth happens outside of the four walls of the church. In other words, how you respond to everyday life circumstances and situations determine your spiritual growth. For example, how would you respond to mistreatment at work? How would you respond to an accusation? Our response over time determines how deep we will build our ‘roots in Christ.’ And the more we obey His teachings, the more we are strengthened in faith with overflowing thankfulness (v 7)
Spiritual growth happens outside the four walls of church based on our response to a difficult situation.
Finally, in closing, Kah Hooi shared 5 practical tips to grow spiritually:
#1 Use technology to work for you
Since our generation finds it a challenge to spend time daily in God’s Word, use available Mobile Apps to do our daily devotions. The Mobile Apps he used include Study Bible : Faithlife, Glo Bible, and Bible verses. They can be used for daily devotions, bible study and scripture memory on the go.
#2 Get out of your comfort zone
Spending time with God is an intentional activity and requires us to get out of our comfort zone to develop a good habit. Kah Hooi would usually seek God first thing in the morning before working. Maybe some of us would also want to develop a good habit of waking up earlier to spend time with God.
#3 Cultivate good habits
Also, practice what we learned in the Word at our work situations and circumstances. Character is not determined by what we go through, but how we choose to consistently respond through good times and difficult times.
#4 Manage your energy
Instead of always thinking about time management, we should begin to think of ‘energy management.’ Cut time for energy-draining activities. Anger drains energy! Begin to engage in emotions and activities that will renew and gives you energy. Start your day by investing time with God because we can be more productive throughout the day.
#5 Draw boundaries
Draw boundaries at work, which will help you to know when to say yes and no. A need does not constitute a calling! Find your calling and what is it that God has gifted you to do. If possible, pray and find a person or mentor whom you can be accountable to for guidance.
References for pictures