God hard-wired every living thing for life and growth. This primal urge is imprinted in our human DNA, both physically and spiritually. The Fall subjected the created order to disorder, decay, and death (Romans 8:18-21). However, we have a divinely imprinted longing to live and grow. We seek to return our fallen world to the beauty and perfection that truly reflects the glory of our Creator.

Along the northwest coast of North America, the astounding truth of this life and growth principle is found around every corner. Years ago, huge glaciers carved out many of the valleys and shaped the landscape. The movement of these rivers of compacted snow shaped every rounded mountain peak. Today, most of these rounded mountain tops are covered with trees and vegetation. The lusciousness of these temperate rain forests is astounding.

This was not always true. After the glaciers receded, most of these rounded mountains were merely barren, scarred surfaces of granite. They had no vegetation and little or no soil. Yet through this yearning of creation to sing its Creator's praise (Psalm 19:1-6) helped change the desolate scar-faced mountains into lush forests. What began as small-celled growth gave way to mosses. These mosses grew and died, furnishing a seed bed for birds to unconsciously carry the seeds of other habitats. Little by little, these seeds grew, flourished, and then died. They then furnished an even richer seed bed for trees, bushes, and shrubs. Now the once barren land is teeming with life!

This process of life in the natural world, this divine re-creation, is intended to be even truer in the spiritual world. Paul said it this way:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 TNIV).

God literally re-creates us in His image (Colossians 3:10) so we can begin life afresh.

Just as in physical life, if we don't continue to grow in this new spiritual life, we know that something is wrong. This "Spirit-natural" process — if I can coin a term - is what we should expect (Colossians 1:3-6). Our holy longing is to move in the direction of Christ (Colossians 1:29), and is fueled by God's power (Colossians 1:11), the transforming work of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

I fear, however, that far too often we speak of only our conversion and Jesus' return. Yet so much of the salvation that is ours in Jesus is intended to help us break free and show God's glory in this fallen world. Our growth toward Jesus becomes the light in the darkness that people can see and find their way out of their own stagnant, decaying, barrenness of soul. They need living reminders that what feels desolate and scar-faced can become alive and lush, a living testimony that God made us for more and is at work to bring this more to life in us. And we, dear friend, are to be that living and growing reminder of God's creative glory.

What is a sign of growth, God's power, at work in you?

How has God continued to fashion you to be more like Jesus?

Can you say that God is re-creating life in you out of the barrenness and scars of your past life?

What is a sign of growth, God's power, at work in you?

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