Anita continued to experience the love and joy of Christ when she began living in accordance with the ways of God’s kingdom. She was thankful that God’s love had been poured into her heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). The Bible teaches that it is not about our love for God but God’s sacrificial love poured into our lives by His grace. We must ask ourselves, do we desire God’s love?
Anita learnt from the prayer of Paul that as her love for God would steadily increase, she would gain knowledge and depth of insight, so that she would be able to discern what is best and “be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ— to the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:9–10).
Anita began to reflect Christ-like character and the fruits of righteousness. Active participation in small group fellowship helped her grow and increase in fruitfulness. Anita was aware that knowledge was not enough, she needed to know how to apply knowledge in an in-depth way in order to develop purity that leads to the fruit of righteousness. Gaining insight includes receiving feedback, correction, having a deep look inside our own heart and soul, and praying to God specifically about our own character dynamics and patterns. As king David said, “But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.” (Psalm 19:12-13). We are not able to see and understand ourselves by ourselves. Insight comes from God and others. David asked God to show him the anxious and offensive ways in himself and lead him into good patterns (Ps. 139:23–24).
We can never grow by listening to a sermon once a week and then just go about our business. We must gain deeper knowledge about God’s ways and apply them to our own issues in life. Then we can grow.