Why One Little Bitty Effort is Good
So what about that spiritual growth in your life? Do you feel as if all you do is fail? That you’re not growing at all?
First, remember God is the one who causes you to grow. Your response is obedience. That obedience can come in the form of a little bitty effort, and that’s a good thing! It’s certainly better than saying you love Jesus and doing nothing to respond to His prompting in your life.
When you first become a Christian, you are considered a baby Christian. Spiritual growth should happen in the same way it does in the natural. The problem is sometimes Believers will fight against that spiritual maturity in their lives. That makes me sad.
What a Little Bitty Effort Will Eventually Be
If you had 100 chances and failed on all of them except for number 57, then that’s 1 less time out of 100 that you failed. Changing takes time. It takes effort, diligence, perseverance.
Seeing good progress often seems like it takes forever to get there, but you need to remember that all of your tiny actions to make it right are eventually going to cause you to arrive at your desired destination. Celebrate the incremental victories. A friend on twitter is trying to stop cutting. She’ll post day 24. Day 11. Day 40. And yes, sometimes she messes up, but she starts over and is gaining good ground.
God is pleased with you when you make one effort to move toward change. One little bitty effort is good:
- Deciding to be free of a specific sin is an effort
- Casting down a wrong thought
- Switching your attitude mid-way through the response
- Looking up a verse or verses in the area you are working on
- Praying for help when you feel weak
- Waking up with a mindset that today is a fresh start (no matter how many days you repeat that)
So what will a little bitty effort be? Progress!
And this can apply to other areas of life as well. Like cleaning your house. Ever heard of going room to room and spending five minutes straightening or cleaning? What a difference that can make and after expending that effort you will be happy you did!
Victory Is at the End of the Tunnel
Remember that a small push to retrain your brain is better than no effort at all! The devil would try to convince you that your tiny actions are effortless and will gain you no headway, but he is lying to you! He’ll put a thought in your head along the lines of making you think you have to be Super Christian Extraordinaire before you can gain victory.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV
God has given you His power. He has provided His strength. Keep going; you’ll get run over if you just sit there. And when you take a little step His strength enters your feet and causes them to stand. You just keep applying the Word like it’s an ointment to an injury. Continue to be obedient as much as you can.
Then one day you’ll be seeing victory and you can share that testimony of spiritual growth to others! Share it with me too, because I love to see you thriving in Christ!
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NASB
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10 ESV
How have you made a little bitty effort lately?
*If you are passionate enough to not be satisfied with your sin and want to seriously be free of a specific shortcoming, then see the post How to Transform Weaknesses Into Victory.
*Dealing with secret sins? Check out How to Get Free of Secret Sins and Thrive in Christ (Even If You Want to Stay in It)
Amen, Kelly! Those fresh mercies each morning are gifts and God knows how we need them. It’s hard to remember that our slate is actually wiped clean, with no residue, when we lift it to Him each day, each moment…
Yes…each day and sometimes have to take it moment by moment.
Philippians is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I love those verses because I think, so often, we look at all the times we’ve failed and use those as the definers to who we are and what we do. I also love that this verse comes BEFORE the verses in Chapter 4 — I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13)
There is such a diligence and consistent effort to press forward. To move. In all circumstances — low and abounding — and then in all we find His strength.
Philippians is so rich. We’re studying it right now for the Maximize Your Mornings summer challenge (#hellomornings). I love Paul’s heart. He was so strong, yet just like we are. His dependency on Jesus’ strength was evident. Thanks for sharing. Love it!
Great post! I agree–sometimes positive spiritual growth is a discipline that requires practice, not just a blessing bestowed. I know it’s not scripture, but it also reminds me of a quote I heard recently…
“Even if you’re last, you still lapped everyone sitting on the couch.”
“…positive spiritual growth is a discipline that requires practice…” Yes! If only everyone would realize that! Love the quote. 🙂
I love your usage of that verse in the context of your post. “I have not apprehended, but I continue to press on”. There are so many areas of my life that I feel I have not yet apprehended my goals and there is no end in sight. It’s the encouragement of others and the strength of God that keeps me on course.
This was an encouraging read, Kelly! Thank you. 🙂
While I was writing this post I looked up that scripture in several different versions. I’d never done that before with that verse and Paul was basically saying he hadn’t arrived yet, but was certainly trying to get there. Pretty neat! I’m glad to hear that it was encouraging. 🙂
That was very encouraging! I’m a perfectionist and I usually want to reach my goals immediately, so if I take baby steps and then fail again, I feel like all my little efforts were useless and I’m back to where I started. I love Philippians, too, and I’ve read those verses many times, but I’ve never really understood it that way… thank you for giving me a new perspective. 🙂 I’ve been following your blog for a while, and I’ve liked all your posts… keep up the good work, God bless you!
Who doesn’t want to have an immediate change? 😉 I’m right there with ya, but just keep going. The hardest part is staying out of discouragement.
Thanks for the positive feedback! I really appreciate it.
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