Making Life Grow

Colossians 1:9-14
Then the way you live will always honor and
please the Lord, and your lives will produce
every kind of good fruit

I love food fresh from the garden, particularly
tomatoes. A couple years in a row, I had idyllic
visions of growing our own crop and having a
limitless supply of red, juicy deliciousness.
The first season, a vicious fungus ravaged every
last plant. The second season, our 2-year-old son
ravaged every last plant (sneaking into our garden and
snatching every fledgling tomato as soon as it began to
form). I believe I’ve had a few other attempts, but I’ve
conveniently forgotten about those disasters. For all my
desire and effort, I simply haven’t been able to grow

Often, we have strong (and good) desires for our
hearts to grow, our faith to grow, our obedience to Jesus
to yield results. God wants these things for us too. He
longs for us to “be strengthened with all His glorious
power” (v.11). We are regularly tempted to believe,
however, that our work is what actually makes the growth
take place. If our prayers appear to be unanswered, we
assume it must be because we aren’t praying right—and
we set out to find the right prayer formula. If we don’t
feel as close to God as we would like, we assume we
must not have hit upon the proper spiritual regimen.

The truth is, though, that we can’t make our spiritual
lives sprout any more than we can make a fruit tree
blossom. It is God who has “enabled [us] to share in the
inheritance that belongs to His people” (v.12). It is God who “has rescued us
from the kingdom of darkness” (v.13). We didn’t do anything other than listen,
receive, and obey. God did all the work. All of it.

Many anxious and restless days could be avoided if we rested in God,
simply obeyed Him, and trusted Him for “every kind of good fruit” (v.10).
—Winn Collier

Look back over
Colossians 1. How
many times does Paul
mention prayer? What
connections might there
be between the act of
prayer and our reliance
on God rather than self?

How have you been
tempted to believe that
the key to your growth is
your own effort? How
will you trust more in


God's Chisel