All Christians traverse through the same conformation progressions, because it is the same Spirit working in them the same life of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:4). The desire to please the Lord is a two-fold progression which usually begins with our service to Him, and then we learn the superior significance of the other, which is our place in Him. When we finally learn that the latter is always of first importance, it is then we grow in the conformity, which in turn provides a greater effect in our service to Him.
The best depiction of this is disclosed by the Lord Jesus in Luke 10:38-42 where He told Martha she was, “worried and troubled about many things” (v 41), which were probably due to wondering if her service would be sufficient enough to please Him, in which case she is more concerned with how she thinks the Lord will consider her, instead of how He thinks He considers her. In Christianity growth is not how one considers self in Christ by service (which definitely has its place). It is not how one considers self at all but rather how one considers Christ and our place with Him (Col 3:3), and when this is predominant to service, then will service increase, because there is the increase in our “being conformed” (Rom 8:29) when we come from Christ and then to service (not the invert).
When we are beholding the Lord Jesus by thinking on how He considers us (always goodness) more than how we consider ourselves, we can apply His command of “let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1) towards all things. Fruitful service is always finalized by the peace it brings in knowing the believer will always be right with God in Christ, regardless the tempest outside, and the tempting and testings of the “old man” inside.
GROWTH FOR SERVICE -MJS