Do you ever get discouraged by your apparent lack of spiritual growth?
Do you frequently enjoy that spicy gossip that you can’t resist passing on?
Do you get up too late or even forget to read your bible and even pray despite you reminding yourself and making commitments on the same, even putting an alarm reminder?
Most of us want to grow. Most of us want to mature. Most of us want to be like Christ. Many times, we don’t know how to get started.
The Apostle Paul stated in Phil 1:6: “For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Paul assures us as Christians that what God started in us he will finish. It will be perfected or matured until the Lord Jesus returns.
The call to spiritual growth is the call to be a disciple of Jesus. It’s a call to be more like Jesus. It’s a call to submit ourselves to Jesus. In Matt 16:24, Jesus summarized the cost of discipleship with a vivid metaphor: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me”. This leads us to the importance of understanding what God has done and is doing in our life.
God is using at least three means to propel us in His direction:
- The empowerment of the Holy Spirit – The indwelling Spirit gives us the inner spiritual resources to overcome sin. He gives us the desires and abilities to resist temptation and overcome it. In Eph 5:18, we are told, as we submit to God’s commands following the leading of the Holy Spirit, we are “filled” with the Spirit. This is a continuous process in which we allow the Spirit to direct and control our actions.
- Trials – God uses trials to produce spiritual growth in our lives. In James 1:2-4, James writes: “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything”.
- Rewards – The Bible uses rewards as a motivation for our obedience. Paul writes in, 1 Cor 3:8-15, “The one who plants and the one who waters work as one, but each will receive his reward according to his work. . .
What Steps do we need to make to GROW?
The four Cs.
- The first C is – Consider the choice. In Micah 6:8, we are told, God is the one who determines what is right and wrong. Other people may give advice, some of it good and some of it bad, but we have to come to grips with the fact that God alone has the ultimate authority of what is the right course to take.
- The second C is – Compare it to God’s Word. What does the Scripture have to say about what God want you to do? In the Psalms 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to walk by, and a light to illumine my path”.
- The third C is – Choose the biblical way. Make a commitment that you will follow the biblical way as the way that God wants you to go. In Psalm 25:12, it reads “Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose”.
- The fourth and last C is – Count on God for protection and provision. As we follow God’s path, we can trust him for the outcome and blessing that he wants for us. In Deut 28:2, Moses wrote, “All these blessings will come to you in abundance if you obey the LORD your God”.
In conclusion, for us to ensure accountability in our path of growth, why not tell a trusted friend about areas in your life which you want to grow spiritually and ask the person to pray for and encourage you to be accountable?
Don’t put yourself under pressure, be patient…..You will grow as you allow the Holy Spirit to Work in you.
Ask God to give you patience with yourself and with others and to help you cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He shapes your desires and help you grow.