“And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.”
I am often impatient with growth. I want everything to happen now, but God rarely gives rapid growth because He knows that I am not ready for everything at one time. God showed the importance of growing little by little in the verse above when He told Israel that He would not put out all the nations at one time. God knew that they needed to grow into the land that He was to give them, so He would only allow them to subdue those nations “by little and little.” There are several reasons why God wants you to grow by little and little.
First, God grows you little by little so you can learn to grow with your growth. You need to grow little by little so that you can learn to handle the growth you want. You could not handle everything you want at one time; therefore, you must grow into what you want. When the LORD sees that you are ready for more, He will always allow you to grow into it.
Second, God grows you little by little so He can see your heart. Slow growth often reveals to God what is in your heart. Slower growth reveals whether you are willing to compromise to get what you want. God often grows you slowly to find out if you will stand by what you believe if you don’t get the growth you want. God wants to be able to trust you before He lets you acquire the entire Promised Land of your dreams.
Third, God grows you little by little so your faith can grow for the next stage. God knows that you need time to get grounded where you are so you can handle where you want to be. Growing little by little helps you to be prepared for the next stage of growth if you learn to build yourself in the present stage of where God has you.
With these three principles of growth in mind, let me share some applications with you that will help you as you grow. First, don’t let your impatience cause you to change. Many people have changed just to get the growth they desired, but they lost the next generation to the world, which is never worth it. Don’t be so in love with growth that you are willing to lose the soul of who God meant you to be just to have growth.
Second, don’t compare your growth to another’s growth. The greatest mistake you can make is to compare your growth to another’s growth because you will set yourself up for discouragement by using the comparison scale. You need to appreciate how much the LORD has allowed you to grow, and you will never do so by comparing your growth to another’s growth.
Third, be faithful to work with what you have as if you had what you wanted. The greatest secret to growth is to grow what you have so you can be prepared for the next stage of growth. Don’t let growth cause you to become shallow in your Christianity. God’s order of growth often includes time of no growth so you can develop and stabilize what you have so you can handle the next stage of growth.
Fourth, never stop working towards the growth you want. Never become complacent with where you are, but always continue working hard in whatever stage you are in so that God can continue to grow you. Growth is never achieved without hard work, so keep working hard and you will discover more growth if you don’t quit.