Intimacy with God is the fertile soil that promotes healthy spiritual growth.
Have you ever wondered how people choose the Christian faith and then one day just fall away? Is it possible that they didn't understand how difficult it would be to walk by faith and deny themselves? No one forced them to become a Christian, it was their choice. When I look back at my own personal journey of knowing God, I see that it was hunger which produced intimacy that grew my faith. Once the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to my need for God, I chose to place my faith in Jesus and repent of a selfish lifestyle of helplessly trying to create my own purpose.
If we are being honest, at one time there was at least some fulfillment in living for ourselves. There was some satisfaction, sense of purpose, and maybe even a little bit of hope in satisfying our flesh. It isn't hard to figure out that humans are born with selfish desires. Ever see two babies fight over a toy? Unfortunately, when people get really good at satisfying their own selfish leanings, they often find it opportunistic to motivate others around them to achieve the same things in their lives. People always look up to others whom they wish to become like. One glance at any direction of popular culture proves my point. The celebration of the individual and the attainment of their own personal desires as a lifestyle has become of chief importance to our culture. American pragmatism says that what works for you is right for you and what works for me is right for me, even if they are contradictory to one another. Modern philosophy would love to do away with absolute truth. After all, if there is no eternal standard holding each of us morally accountable, then each of us gets to decide our own idea of right and wrong. Unfortunately, the nation that celebrates each individuals different idea of moral standards will soon no longer exist as a nation. Society as a whole will crumble under the weight of its own selfish desires. CS Lewis presents the idea in his book, Mere Christianity, that while we do all have natural instincts, we cannot go about constantly gratifying these instincts. Imagine if every time you were sexually attracted to another person you immediately satisfied yourself at their expense. Sounds ridiculous, right? Life cannot be just about satisfying our own desires.
Christianity starts in a moment of self denial. We repent of trying to do things on our own without God. The way we continue to grow in the faith is by pursuing God and learning the difference between our own selfish ambition and God’s way of life. Intimacy promotes growth. Simply put, life cannot be about satisfying ourselves. If Christians cannot learn to keep our flesh in check, we will find ourselves right back in the bondage of trying to satisfy a broken nature that was intended to be submitted to God. Ultimately, if you want to find the purpose of any creation, look to its creator.