In order for us to grow in life, we first need what life is. Life is NOT a gift, a power, an ability, or anything else – life is simply God Himself. God the Father is life, Christ is life, and the Spirit is life (John 3:36; 1 John 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:45).
You could say that the human life can be considered as “life”, but human life runs out and is ended at death. Only the life of God is really life, and we as men were created by God in His image and with His likeness with a human spirit to receive God’s life and be filled with God’s life.
Christ came that we may have life and may have it abundantly (John 10:10). We as Christians now have life because we have the Triune God in us as life, and this life is continually growing in us.
At the time of our regeneration we received the Lord Jesus as life into us, and daily this life wants to grow and expand in our being. The most prominent characteristic with life is growth – the divine life in us wants to grow!
Today we want to see what does it mean, in a positive way, the growth in life. We need to know what the growth in life is so that we may know whether we are growing in life or we are merely improving ourselves or trying to perfect ourselves.
The growth in life is simply put the increase of God in us and the decrease of our human element. More of God and less of us! He must increase but I must decrease (John 3:30)! No longer I but Christ – yet I live, and Christ lives in me (Gal. 2:20).
The Growth in Life is the Increase of the Element of God in us
What is growth in life? First of all, the growth in life is the increase of the element of God in us. The more we enjoy God, contact Him, spend time with Him, open to Him, and allow Him to mingle Himself with us and work Himself into us, the more the divine life grows in us, and we have the growth in life.
In Himself God cannot grow – He is complete, perfect, and fully grown; but in us, in the many members of the Body of Christ, God wants to grow and increase until we are filled unto all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19).
God grows in us equals life grows in us, and the issue is a corporate Body of Christ which is filled with all the fullness of God!
The Growth in Life is the Increase of the Measure of the Stature of Christ
When we first opened to the Lord and called on His name, repenting of our sins, we have received Christ into us – Christ was born in us! Every time someone receives Christ as his Lord and Savior, Christ is born again in a human being!
Now Christ wants to grow in us – He doesn’t want just to be born in us but to grow in us until we reach the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). As we love Christ, seek Him, and allow Him to make His home in our heart (Eph. 3:17), He will gain us and even live in us (Gal. 2:20), gradually increasing in us every day.
Christ is eventually being formed in us – He grows in us to the extent that even His image, shape, appearance, and form is seen in us (Gal. 4:19). The growth in life is the increase of the measure of the stature of Christ in us.
The Growth in Life is the Expanding of the Ground of the Holy Spirit Within us
The Spirit who gives life is in us today (John 6:63), and He operates in us to save us and transform us (2 Cor. 3:18) and even glorify us. Growth in life is giving the Holy Spirit more ground to operate in our being and obeying the teaching of the anointing (1 John 2:27).
When the Holy Spirit gains more ground in us, the divine life grows in us. When we yield to the Spirit in His transforming work and we listen to the inner sense given by the anointing of the Spirit, we grow in life.
The Growth in Life is the Decrease of the Human Element
On God’s side, He wants to grow in us, and growth in life is the increase of the element of God, the measure of Christ, and the ground of the Spirit. But on our side, we need to co-operate with His inward operating by allowing our old man to be put to death and our natural man to be eliminated.
The more God increases in us, the more we decrease (John 3:30). For God to increase in us, we have to decrease.
Growth in life is not merely “becoming spiritual”; it is having more of the element of God and less of our own element, and what others touch is not our natural zeal or love for God but the flavor and savor of God. The decrease of the human element is the increase of the divine element.
The growth in life means that a believer’s speech, actions, living, and working all impart the sense that they are not according to himself but according to God, carrying the savor of God (see Matt. 16:25; John 12:25).
This also means that our natural life needs to be broken, our gifts need to be stripped by God, and our shell of godliness and piety must be broken by God (see 2 Cor. 4:16-17). We will see more in the next article about the “negative aspect” of what growth in life is.
God needs to grow in us, and we need to decrease; what is then emanated from our being will be just God mingled with man…
Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see and really appreciate what life is. Show us what growth in life is. We want more of God and less of us. May the element of God increase in us until we are filled to all the fullness of God. May Christ grow in us until we arrive at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. May the Holy Spirit have more ground in our being so that the divine life in us may grow. Lord Jesus, grow in us! Triune God, expand and increase in our inner being!
References and Further Reading
- This sharing is inspired from brother Andrew Yu’s sharing and portions in, Further Talks on the Knowledge of Life, ch. 18 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, ITERO spring 2013 “The Experience, Growth, and Ministry of Life for the Body“, week 3 entitled, The Urgent Need of the Growth of Life and Growing in Life by Dealing with the Heart.
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Further reading: The Knowledge of Life, ch. 12.
- Hymns on this topic:
# O Jesus Christ, grow Thou in me, / And all things else recede; / My heart be daily nearer Thee, / From sin be daily freed.
# Grow in me; grow in me; / For the Body grow in me, / Through the rich dispensing of Your life supply; / For the Body grow in me.
# Less we would argue, Lord, and go our way; / More we would say “Amen” to what You say. / Grant us a walk to You conformed, / ’Til our living is transformed.
- Pictures credit: instagrams by me here and here.