The Principles of Spiritual Growth
Matthew McPheron, Co-director
With every man and woman that comes through our doors, we intend to let the Lord use us to regenerate, restore, and renew their lives. It took time to develop a program that could offer these qualities through the power of the Holy Spirit and not by the dictates of man.
In the Body of Christ, we have seen many well-intended programs get off track because it is easier to make someone conform than it is to wait for them to grow. This is one of the qualities that sets Miracle Center apart when it comes to sustainable change in the lives of our residents.
- We do not demand conformity, but empower for growth.
- Sustainability only comes through authentic spiritual growth.
- While conformity is attractive because it promptly causes suppression of sin, it is only sustainable as long as someone is there to make the individual conform.
I suppose as ministers, the question we should ask, regardless of what area we serve in, is this, “Do I want to make my life easier, or do I want this person to grow?” For those of us who are truly servants of the Most High God, we will answer that we want the person to grow no matter how uncomfortable it makes us.
Praise God that we are not able to make people grow! We may be accountable for their growth, but we are not able to make them grow. When the Lord sets someone under our authority, He expects us to let His Spirit flow freely through us. We must be diligent not to hinder the flow of the Spirit. Thinking we can cause people to grow spiritually through our own power is a huge hindrance to the work of the Lord. It is only the power of the Lord that can cause spiritual growth.
The spiritual principle of letting the Spirit flow through an authority goes hand-in-hand with the spiritual principle of submission. I always say, “Your authority only extends as far as your influence,” and “If you have no influence, you are standing on the power of your position, and have no authority at all.”
Influence is the building block and authority is the house that it builds.
At Miracle Center we work to help our residents develop a clear understanding of authority and submission early in their stay. We do this because they will not grow until we have influence in their lives. I truly believe this is one of the major developmental building blocks missing from the Church today. Really, addiction is no different than any other sin problem we see in the Church. It is just a more apparent symptom of our sin nature than greed, envy, malice and any number of other symptoms in the Church. Regardless what a person is trying to overcome, as ministers we must build influence so that the life-giving Spirit can flow through us.