Does spiritual growth really matter? Isn't it just a nice thought -- not practical? Why should we even want to make the effort to become more like Jesus? These are both healthy and honest questions to ask, whether you are a seasoned believer or completely unsure about Jesus.
It's one thing to know something; it's another to practice it. Ephesians 1-3 defines who we are in Christ -- we come to know our identity. Chapters 4-6 describe the real-life relevance of living out of who we are in Christ -- our practice.
A person can know everything about how a car works -- even be able to explain a specific vehicle down to its last bolt. But if they do not actually get in and drive, all that knowledge goes nowhere -- literally!
Look around. You will see a lot of distinctions and differences -- distinctions and differences in our culture, our world, and even in the church community. Our different backgrounds and different perspectives construct the diverse world we live in.
I can't recall ever meeting a person who desired his/her entire life to yield aimless wandering. Yet, our American culture is stuffed with distractions that consume us with the trivial -- filling our time with things that ultimately do not really matter.
Recently in the news, we have seen a volcano on the big island of Hawaii unleash its immense power -- eruptions that have thrown ash tens of thousands of feet away and lava that has destroyed homes and burned acres of land. This immense power, as it lays below the surface, goes relatively unnoticed. But when it finds its way to the surface, we are reminded of the strength that has been there the whole time.
Our faith in Christ is not so much developed while sitting in worship listening to a sermon or during a Bible study class. Those are good places to start, but the truth is our faith is developed in truly meaningful ways as we experience the tension between Who God is and the pain and challenges of life.