FOUNDATIONS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH

© Rosemary Bardsley 2009,2014

 

INTRODUCTION

In these studies we are asking ‘What foundational biblical priorities and principles do we need to understand ourselves and our basic battlegrounds where renewal is needed, and in which we need to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ?’

These basic battlegrounds originated in Genesis 3:

The human quest for personal power and prestige commenced when Adam chose to usurp God’s sovereign role, and in doing so also initiated inter-personal power conflicts, in which we strive for dominance and control, and in which we seek to promote, preserve, defend and justify ourselves, usually at the expense of our fellow human beings. Forever seeking dominance, but always fearing loss of control and loss of self-worth.

Having rejected God as our point of identity and significance we lost touch with the fundamental sanctity of human beings imbedded in creation in the image of God. For many, sex has usurped God as the defining reality of human existence. Sex defines our identity, not God. Sex calls the shots, not God. Sexual satisfaction, and sexual power, has become the ultimate goal, not God’s glory. People, including oneself, are used, misused and abused for personal sexual fulfilment, but it is never enough; rather it allures one on into multiplied and increasingly degraded sexual actions. Forever seeking sexual power and excitement, but always fearing sexual failure and personal emptiness.

In the practical absence of God and separation from God personal security and survival became both a human focus and a human fear. Money has for many, like power and sex, replaced God as the reality by which one’s worth and significance is defined, and the accumulation and protection of material wealth dictates one’s choices, over-riding the values and standards embedded by God in creation and in his Word. Forever seeking security and value, but always fearing its loss and needing more.

In these studies we face several challenges:

What are Biblical priorities? Are these priorities my priorities?
What things are most important to God? Are these same things important to me?
And, specifically, how do these priorities relate to my expression of practical Christian spirituality in the context of the common human battlegrounds of power, sex and money?

If you are working with a Mentor:

Discuss these priorities and principles with your Mentor and prepare:

1.    A biblical plan for personal spirituality on the battleground of power
2.    A biblical plan for personal spirituality on the battleground of sex
3.    A biblical plan for personal spirituality on the battleground of money

Keep these in a Personal Development folder.