If you are not progressing then stop saying you’re a work in progress. After you become born again, we don’t just want to be ‘alive to the Lord’ we should want to ‘live for the Lord’. This means not only are we to be spiritually alive to God but we are to ultimately become fit, prepared and mature to be used by God. Most Christians only digest enough Word to keep them spiritually alive. In the natural, no one wants their baby to stay a baby. The joy we get from caring for an infant is in the hope that it will one day grow up to be independent, productive and make an impact on the world they live in. No one gets joy from an adult child that is dependant on others, non-productive and has little contribution to the world it was created to impact. Though it is possible to become stagnate, it is not the desire of the parent for their child to stay stuck in any stage of development. Spiritually, in order to grow we have to digest the Word of God. Like our parents use to say about us when we were children, “She’ll eat you out of house and home.” We ate up everything. Can The Lord describe you like that today? So, if you are not eating the Word of God, most likely you are not learning. If you are not learning then you are not growing in the way God wants you to grow! We can learn much from the life cycle of a butterfly. Their life cycle is phenomenally similar to that of a Christian.
The caterpillar is a caterpillar from 9-14 days. The only purpose of a caterpillar is to eat. They take few breaks even for resting. They eat to grow. They eat with a purpose. Innately, they are working to become something different. They don’t just eat to live but they eat to be transformed. Transformation can not take place until the Caterpillar is full grown. Caterpillars have 5 growth changes. In each stage of growth there is a visible difference. A hormonal (a signaling molecule) change in the 5th stage of a caterpillar, when eating no longer suffices them, they start wandering, until it instinctually begins to spin a little silk pad on the underside of a leaf. Then a metamorphosis (to change form) takes place, a biological miracle. During this process enzymes break down the flesh of the caterpillar and all that is left are the imaginal discs. The imaginal discs are progenitor cells containing the new DNA of the new life form. These imaginal discs were always present inside of the caterpillar but it’s not until the caterpillar reaches its full growth that hormones are released to start the metamorphosis. As long as it is a caterpillar it is considered, immature, adolescent. It is only after it transforms into a butterfly is it considered an adult. Its journey doesn’t end when it becomes an adult. Its purpose is not to flaunt its tremendous beauty or boast in its ability to fly but its sole purpose now is to reproduce. Before the butterfly reaches its end it either dies or migrates to a more appropriate climate to extend its life span.
When you first get born again, your only purpose should be to eat, with very few breaks. You consume the Word of God non-stop with a goal in mind…until you are transformed, until a metamorphosis takes place. All your attention should be given to growing. Educating yourself and growing in God should be your only focus. Too many times we are distracted and we lose focus to the cares of the world; jobs, careers and relationships. Unfortunately, there are experiences in the Christian life which hinder growth. Though you can’t avoid working, you have to remember your goal and purpose for the stage you are in. Many times we end up doing what we shouldn’t be doing or we enter into relationships that we aren’t mature enough for because we have pursued things out of order. You have to know the season you’re in. If you are focused, passionate and committed, though you may become distracted, you won’t be pulled off course. It's intersting that caterpillars don’t look for mates until after their metamorphosis; after they’ve become mature adults. It’s only after the metamorphosis do we have true clarity of our ultimate purpose. How many things have we started, established, founded or incorporated before we have transformed into the butterfly that we truly are?
Would our vision be different if we were looking from the air as opposed to on the ground? How many relationships have we entered into and have failed before the transformation? It’s no wonder why they’ve failed! They were temporary. They can only suit you in the stage you were in. But when you go into a new stage of development we tend to outgrow people, places and things? Our biggest problem is that lots of Christians don’t make it to the metamorphosis stage and as a result we no longer even know what beauty looks like. Where are the beautifully arrayed Monarch butterflies, in all of its splendor, whose flight graces the air? The Body of Christ has lost its splendor. Most Christians have become lazy, stagnate and grounded. We no longer see anything worthy to aspire to. When we first get saved we are very hungry. We eat up everything; whether good or bad. Most times we don’t know the difference. Don’t worry just keep on eating, practicing His presence and staying in His Word. God will do the pruning.
From the moment we were born again we have inside of us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). We have within ourself all the spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3) needed for our metamorphosis. So keep nurturing that incorruptible seed that was planted in you from the beginning. Allow yourself to grow into full maturity. It is when we are fully mature that we look most like Him. Then, when you look like Him you will be ready to reproduce; after His kind not, your kind. No, father wants his children to look like his enemies children. It is when we have fully matured do will emit a sweet smelling fragrance that triggers the metamorphosis.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (II Peter 3:18).
To understand the 5 stages of Christian Growth: http://www.cbcmidway.org/2011/01/08/bible-study-the-five-stages-of-spiritual-growth/