“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”
Growth is one of the keys the LORD looks for in His children. God commands the believer in 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace…” God’s desire for the believer to grow is found in several stories throughout Christ’s life, but maybe the greatest illustration of His desire for growth is found in the story of the fig tree. Jesus said when He saw no figs on the fig tree, “…Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.” (Matthew 21:19) It is very evident throughout the Scriptures that God not only wants the believer to grow, but He expects them to grow. However, what are the essentials to a believer’s growth? Five essentials of growth are found in the verse above. Let me share these essentials with you.
First, the believer grows through principle. The verse above says, “For precept must be upon precept…” A “precept” is a principle by which to live. You will never grow as a believer without building your life upon the precepts of the Word of God. God’s Word always gives the principles for growth. One reason you need to read God’s Word daily is so that you can learn the essential principles to help you to grow as a believer. The believer who lives their life without reading God’s Word will eventually see their spiritual life wither and die. Growth is always the result of principled living.
Second, the believer grows through order. The verse above says, “…precept must be upon precept…” God is a God of order, and you will never see growth in your life without keeping everything in its proper order. For instance, the believer rarely grows until they get baptized after salvation. The first thing God commands the believer to do after they get saved is to get baptized; this is God’s order. If you don’t keep order in your life, you will find yourself eventually falling for things that seem more exciting than precepts.
Third, the believer grows through repetition. You must establish good habits in life, and repeat those habits continually. God says that “precept must be upon precept,” which is simply God teaching the importance of habits. Instability is the result of not establishing godly habits, and worldliness is a result of instability. One habit you will find in every strong believer is that they all have godly habits they do over and over again. Repeating godly habits don’t create coldness or indifference; rather, they create stability and godliness. If you want to grow as a believer, you are going to have to repeat the godly principles you learn from God’s Word.
Fourth, the believer grows steadily. The verse above says, “…here a little, and there a little:” Growth is the result of steady habits. Get anchored in what you are supposed to do and growth will be the result. You must do right day in and day out to see growth. Just be faithful with what you are supposed to do, and you will find that growth will be the result.
Fifth, the believer grows through patience. Don’t become impatient with growth. Growth happens “here a little, and there a little:” Just stick with what you are supposed to do and don’t look for other ways. Be patient with the principles of God’s Word and growth will be the result.