Words by James Autry

 ©1994 BIYN Words & Music


            A man grows from a baby into an adult in accordance to the pattern and timing that God has designed.  This pattern and timing is established and orchestrated by the genes within the cells of the man’s body.  There is no way that anyone can change the pattern or timing of growth that will occur in their body.  It is experienced as God has designed it to happen.  But man can help or hinder this process of growth through five different areas of his life experience.  The first is breathing, the second is eating, the third is exercising, the fourth is resting and the fifth is keeping his body clean.  To the extent that a man breathes, eats, exercises, rests and keeps his body clean is the extent that he will grow as God has designed for him to grow. 


            In the same way our relationship with God follows the example of growth for our body.  Just as God has designed the pattern and timing for our physical growth, he has also designed the pattern and timing of our spiritual growth, that is, our relationship with Him,  knowing Him as we are known by Him.  It is God’s responsibility and desire to draw us unto Himself, just as it is His responsiblity and desire to cause our physical bodies to grow to adulthood.  But is our responsibility to work with Him in the process and not against Him.  The only thing that God expects of us is our yieldedness, to be totally surrendered to Him and let Him bring us to Him.


            We can either help or hinder the process of knowing God in the same five areas of life’s experience.  As our body needs the free exchange of oxygen and carbon monoxide through breathing, so does our spirit require the free exchange of communicating with God, both a voicing of our heart to Him and our listening to His voice.  Just as one can not simply breathe only once a day, but needs to breathe 24 hours a day, so must we commune with God always.  As our body requires the eating of food to survive, so does our spirit require feeding on God’s Word.  Just as one can not eat all the time, but rather only several times a day, so must we feast upon the Word of God only what we can handle until we are in need again for nurishment. 


            As a body requires physical exercise and movement to grow, so does our spirit.  We must be obedient to the will of God in life and do only what He commands us to do.  It is the enemy that will command you to constantly exercise and wear your body out with over exertion.  God will not command you to do something that will not strengthen your relationship with Him.  As a body requires rest from physical exercise, God will be silent and not give clear direction all the time because He wants you to rest in His presence and know that He is God. 


            Finally, for a body to maintain healthy growth and freedom from diease and sickness, it must be kept clean.  The truth is, that we live in a dirty world and we are going to get dirty.  But we should not stay dirty or allow dirt to infect the wounds that come from living in this world.  So must we constantly cleanse the dirt from our lives and confess the sins that we find ourselves in and repent, change our mind about playing in those mud holes again.  Nor should we allow the ways of the world to infect the wounds that life brings, but rather keep them clean and allow God to heal us and make us whole. 


            To the extent that we do these five things in our relationship with God is the extent that we will grow in that relationship and become not only like Him but be close to Him.  The freedom comes in knowing that He is in control and that we are in the center of His will for our lives as we simply breath, eat, exercise, rest and stay clean before Him. That is all that He asks of us, just be what He has created you to be!

James Autry is the Station Manager of Kpraise in Portland, Oregon and if you would like to read for of his writing please visit
If you would be interested in a companion bible study please contact us.
A Word about mentoring… 
There will be works of God manifested through us, people will get blessed, and one or two will show gratitude and the rest will show gross ingratitude, but nothing must deflect us from going up to our Jerusalem.”

Oswald Chambers 9/23


These words, spoken by Oswald Chambers and recorded in the devotional My Utmost for His Highest so many years ago, can either encourage us or drive us away from the very calling and purpose God has for our lives.


Over the last 20 years, I have walked with many people, some through abuse and others through more simple spiritual growth. I always know when people are close to finishing their time of mentoring with me because they begin to give back in some shape or form. I have seen it over and over again. I rejoice when we get to this stage of the relationship and look forward to the releasing of the relationship into a new facet.


I think of Roger, who worked diligently to get to the bottom of the pain of his past. He made great strides as his wife and I supported him.  He never said thank you once as we finished working each week. However, after months of working, and even going to his hometown to meet in person with him, I received a $500 check in the mail. I was so surprised, and it came at just the right time to pay some of my ministry bills. Oh what a blessing this check was. I got two more checks from him over the next six months, and just before the final gift, he came to a place where God showed all of us that he was finished. I have never forgotten Roger, and he and his wife have never forgotten me. I have heard from Roger once since then, when needed to talk about an issue. He and his wife have also referred several people to me over the years.



All this to say that I have worked with hundreds of people without much thanks and even a few angry remarks, but it is those who say thank you in word, thought or deed that God brings in the darkest of times to remind me of the good God intends to do through my life.



If you are someone who ministers in any capacity to anyone, allow those moments which God provides to encourage you and be a catalyst to more forward in both your walk with Christ and the ministry for which you were designed.








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