Growth in Christ is like a Long Steep Climb1
God wants and expects us to grow. It is purposeful. Obviously there is so much we can say about how God enables us to grow. God wants us to, He desires for us to grow. He also expects it to happen. When God is at work in your life it's going to happen.
1 Peter 2:2 says to long for the pure milk of the Word so that by it we may grow with respect to salvation. Ephesians 4 says that you should grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. 2 Peter 3:18 says "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
If your life has been changed by Jesus, you will be headed in His direction.
Your motivation? Your ambition? To be pleasing to Him. 2 Cor. 5 live for Him who died for you.
But what if it seems like you're not growing in Christ? Can you measure your spiritual growth?
So today I went mountain biking with two friends and I was at the top of a hill that I really wanted to peddle up the whole way but I had to walk part of the way. And stop part of the way. But my desire was to conquer the hill. That might be a good analogy to growing as a Christian you really want to but sometimes you don't even see the growth God is building into you. Because God is empowering the growth and giving the desire to grow. And sometimes it is imperceptible. Yes sure there are growth spurts at times but usually it's just slow and steady and sometimes it feels like we're walking in mud or going up a steep hill.
I also think the Bible doesn't make all the allowances we modern-day evangelicals do for seeming lack of growth or desire to grow on the part of professed believers. Kind of like Bonhoeffer's repudiation of "cheap grace" that really isn't grace but licentiousness. Grace changes hearts and the life and it is observable. Faith without works is dead. The works are fruit / proof that the Spirit has regenerated us and is working in our hearts. Sometimes the good work is just a good desire even though we may imperfectly perform or even fail in the process. God never fails. If we are faithless He remains faithful.
That's really good news and gives me hope. Even when it seems like I'm not growing. I desire to grow and God's desire to grow me is even greater. He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.