The Grow Up Plan

I invite you to read Belinda’s message to encourage you as you walk with Jesus.Woman walking cross country and trail in autumn forestBy Belinda Bullard

I love the Lord.   I love learning increasingly more about His Word and through it, His will for my life.   But I have to confess something.   As a home educator, I have often struggled with the correct placement, so to speak, of the Bible as a part of our educational process.  Over the years, I have seen the full gamut of how to use the Bible in children’s education.   I know parents who only use a Bible; the Bible is literature, history, and science within their homes.   On the other side of the spectrum, in my opinion, is the school of thought that studies the Bible as a comparative element in a full study of major religions.   This path, then, also covers the Koran and the Kanjur and the Tanjur, among others.   We were decidedly in the middle; much of what we use to learn is scripturally based, but did we actually need to include theBible?

My answer, based upon my own spiritual growth, has become a resounding yes.  Over the years we have read the entire Bible, minus a few books that I, in arrogance, thought might be boring for our children (and me).   But after completing the book of Revelation a couple of years ago, I decided to begin again, and to cover every word.   Genesis and Exodus are full of excitement, but I was admittedly apprehensive about books like Leviticus.  I will not even begin to discuss how the Lord might get us through Numbers.  Yet, I trust Him.

That simple act of faith has been amazing.   Though we are still in Numbers—two years later—God’s Word has been rich, and His promises to His people have been amazing to share and understand together.    One of the many places He has taken us is into a deeper appreciation for what is spelled out plainly in James 1: 2-4 (NIV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

You see, even in the Old Testament, God had a plan for his people.   He promised to give them a land flowing with milk and honey.   But there was one problem: most of the people that were sent to survey this haven were not prepared for it.   They were not ready to utilize God’s strength to fight for it.   They were unprepared to walk by faith and not by sight and so the giants scared them.   They were, at times, so comfortable with their past—even though they were slaves—until they became disgruntled with the discomfort of an uncertain future.   Indeed, we see that by the time the Israelites actually entered into the area, only Joshua and Caleb remained of a generation of adults who left Egypt.   Even Aaron and Moses were dead.

Arguably, the Lord needed His people to mature in some areas.   They had to grow up in areas where they were still babes—areas like trust, faith, submission and courage.   Don’t judge them.   If you have walked with the Lord for more than five minutes, then you know that, even in our technological age where nothing seems beyond our fingertips, those areas can be as tough to relinquish to Jesus today as they were thousands of years ago.

Thankfully, though our abilities to trust may waver, God’s consistency is the same.   And he has an unbelievable plan for us as we grow in Him.  His Word in 1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us that ‘eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things God has prepared for them that love Him.’   This is not a prosperity message.   Nor is this a feel-good post about resting in Jesus and walking in eternal happiness.   It is about growing up, and allowing more of God and less of you to show up in your life.

There are a number of life circumstances that stretch us, at times almost up to the breaking point in our lives.  We wonder why a Christian must walk through such dark places while the heathens seem to skate through life.   But that is not the right question.  (Besides, Psalms 73 already answers that one!)   Instead, consider asking yourself this: am I willing to trust God and believe that even through [name your circumstance], He is divinely orchestrating these events to work for my good?  He did it for the Jewish people.   He did it for countless non-Jews in the Bible.   He can do it for you.   Grow up and get ready.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you be successful wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:7 (NIV)

 

belinda with twist out march 2013Belinda Bullard is a wife to her best friend and a home educating mother  of three. Belinda is an author and the owner of A Blessed Heritage  Educational Resources, a literature-based history curriculum featuring  African-American presence in history, as well as the contributions of other  races to American history. A chemical engineer by formal education, she  also serves as adjunct faculty for college programs specializing in adult learning.    She is a regular contributor to Heart of the Matter Online and Home Educating Family.   Belinda blogs at Simply Belinda and Chronicles  of a Blessed Heritage

 

18 Responses to The Grow Up Plan

  1. Belinda, my friend, this was powerful! Too much for me to speak on but you closed it out perfectly:
    “Grow up and get ready.” To this I say, Amen!

    I believe that we are to all continually grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but sadly, all too often, the growth stops or gets stagnant in many peoples lives and they begin to doubt and question, murmur and complain against God when in fact, it is us and not Him, that somewhere along the way, has stunted in our growth and in those times we must be quick to get back in step with God and continue to grow because you can NOT GO if you’re not willing to GROW!

    Love you!

    • Amen, Lisa! I know that when I acknowledged my arrogance in trying to execute as I thought He would do (can you imagine the nerve?!!), my results were NEVER what other tasks, executed in total trust of Him, turned out to be. I, too, am growing up and getting more and more ready for each place He wants me to go!

      Thanks for the blessing of your words, and for allowing me to go with travel on this journey!!

  2. Belinda,

    This was so good!

    “They were unprepared to walk by faith and not by sight and so the giants scared them.” Out of all you said, this made my spirit jump because how many times have I let “giants” scare me in my Christian walk.

    You are right – it is time to grow up and get ready because greater is He that is in me than He that is in this world!

    Blessings,
    Dori

    • Dori, I have run from giants, too. The only difference in my life now (most of the time) is that I recognize what I’m doing and can stop myself mid-sprint. This has been part of my grow-up plan, and I’m thankful. Blessings, friend!

  3. Hi Belinda, this an awesome WORD from GOD!! Our church theme for last year and through this year is The Year of Maturity. As you said if you have been a Christian for any length of time no matter 5 min or 20 years we all have areas we need to mature in or as we know to grow up and get ready!! Thank you this reminds me to continue to grow and get ready!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow in Jesus Name Amen. I love it.

    • Thank you, thank you, Veronica, and may we all look forward to this season of eating meat rather than milk! As one of my friends often says, “It’s time out for ‘play-play!’ “

  4. Belinda,

    Awesome WORD! Thank you for the reminder to keep one foot in front of the other and allow God to lead the way! Greater is coming and God is pleased! Abundant Blessings my beautiful sister!

    Stacye

    • Oh, Stacye, how you bless me! I am just happy to be on this journey with such mighty women of God. I am sure that this time, too, is a part of MY grow-up plan. Blessings to you, too!!

  5. I, too home schooled my boys and was somewhere in the middle. Trusting my Savior is what got me through, b/c many times I wondered if I were giving them enough in every area. God bless you for sharing your heart.
    Hugs and prayers,
    andrea

    • I believe without doubt, Andrea, that He has a way of gently reminding us of our humanness and our constant need for Him, even in places that may seem inconsequential upon first look. Our children will form their first thoughts about God based upon what they see in us. Even a decision to simply open the Word, pray, and let it speak to you before trying to “play expert” with the kids can be a powerful example of how truly dependent we are. Thanks for the encouragement, sis!

  6. “Thankfully, though our abilities to trust may waver, God’s consistency is the same.”
    I love this Belinda! Thankfully God doesn’t waver like us.

  7. Very, very good thoughts today Belinda! As a former homeschool mom ( from 1983-1998) I can really identify with the struggle to get the right ”mixture” of the Bible in the teaching.
    I really liked when you said, ”They were, at times, so comfortable with their past—even though they were slaves—until they became disgruntled with the discomfort of an uncertain future.” What a great reminder that even though we may be uncomfortable at time in our journey, the end result is worth it all.

    • Marilyn, I remember when we began homeschooling, I could write whole sermons about uncertainty, especially in the face of public school teachers and their (often unsolicited) opinions about what we were doing. I didn’t have the maturity–physically, mentally or spiritually–that I have now, and so our journey was truly one of placing one foot in front of the other with the Father in front. SO glad His hand was upon us when we were yet “babes” in our faith.

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