Christian spiritual growth.
Do those three words leap from your heart or cause you to step back? Maybe everyday life keeps you from thinking about where you stand on spirituality or for that matter Christianity.
Is your spiritual condition hidden underground but ready to spring forth into the light with the daffodils and crocuses? Or, are you already on fire for Jesus and can’t contain your excitement?
Most of us may fall somewhere in the middle because life happens. Christian spiritual growth takes a nosedive as commitments rise up and overtake your first love. Ten years or more can pass in a blip without growing spiritually. For instance, you don’t confront habitual sins, unbelievers surround you and go unnoticed, and your Bible gathers dust.
Wherever you happen to be on your spiritual journey, God meets you there. If life hasn’t played nice causing faith to grow cold, you can start fresh within seconds.
Jumpstart Your Christian Spiritual Growth
Getting your spiritual ducks in a row isn’t hard. Spiritual growth is a lot like walking. You get up on your feet and take the first step towards your destination. So let’s move forward.
Growing spiritually is intentional and requires setting goals to achieve growth. Consider these suggestions:
- Choose study topics that contribute to personal spiritual growth. If patience and humility are weak areas, select Bible studies geared towards improvement.
- Memorize specific scriptures to feed your spirit.
- Use a Bible translation that’s easy to understand. Many Christians stop in their growth-seeking tracks when they can’t make sense of scripture.
- Eliminate activities that prevent growth such as TV programs that cause spiritual stagnation. Devoting too much time on social media sites can also shipwreck spiritual growth.
- Use a journal to record your prayers, concerns, and goals. This detailed history snapshots your progress and helps you record your thoughts quickly before something else grabs your attention. Right off the bat, unless you like journaling you’ll grow to resent it.
- Schedule regular time with God that includes prayer, reading the Bible, and listening. Unless He becomes a priority, growth is unlikely. Spending time with Him is not a woulda, coulda, shoulda session to dredge up feelings of guilt. Enjoy Him as much as He enjoys you.
- Listen to how God wants YOU to grow. Get comfortable with your uniqueness because God grows us all differently. He won’t grade you on a scale of 1 to 10.
Congratulations. You’re on your way towards the next step—putting action to your growth.
Grow While You Transform Human Lives
Oswald Chambers wrote that we should become “broken bread and poured-out wine” for others. When you drink living water while positioned at the feet of Jesus, you want to pay it forward. You’ll be like the two men on the road to Emmaus talking to Jesus.
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us? (Luke 24:32).
When you are on fire for Jesus, you connect with The Holy Spirit and change lives. Together with God, your Christian goals start looking like those of faith heroes.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies (Hebrews 11:32-34).
Suddenly impossibilities become possible, details don’t crumple your faith, and you listen to the still small voice—you now recognize. Act on what you know to be true in your heart. Start small by giving smiles away wherever you go or buy a stranger a cup of coffee.
Once my husband and I ordered lunch from a drive-through restaurant and the person in front of us bought our meal—a total stranger. Just like that person, be real with people. They recognize genuine generosity and may want some Christian fruit of their own.
Maybe your next steps are to volunteer at a homeless shelter or lead a youth group. When you follow God first and engage with Him regularly, you know what to do. Additionally, submitting your will to God means you’re open to His plans. Then, you’re well on your way to reach your next level of spiritual growth.
Propel Your Christian Spiritual Growth Forward
After weeks of applying consistent Christian disciplines, anyone can slip back into old habits. Don’t stop progress. Make immediate changes to a growth plan that doesn’t work to avoid falling into a “quit and start again” cycle. For example, don’t schedule an early time to meet with God when you aren’t a morning person. You’ll mumble words even God won’t understand! Take practical steps toward growth and ones you can live with.
God is happy with any sincere effort to meet with Him even if you fall asleep. Your ultimate goal is to live daily around God so He guides your steps and energizes you by His presence. John Wesley would call spiritual disciplines a “means of grace.”
Be prepared to face discouragement because we all mess up. Growing up in Christ and becoming spiritually mature takes time. Paul was pressing on throughout his lifetime and he wrote the majority of the New Testament. You’ll make mistakes like Moses when he didn’t want to lead the Israelites and Peter denying he ever knew Jesus. Join hands with other discouraged servants when that happens and keep moving forward.
We’re all on lifelong spiritual journeys that we never complete on Earth. When the initial excitement wears off, don’t underestimate God’s calling on your life. Simply persevere and push through to the next level.
Do any of the questions below tick your spiritual boxes? Please use the comments section to add questions to the list. Your question and even your answer might catapult someone to the next spiritual level.
Consider These Questions
- What causes you to stop growing spiritually?
- How do you bounce back when that happens?
- What propels you forward to reach a higher level in your Christian spiritual growth plan?
- Is it hard to balance work, church, and home commitments? Why?
- Has there been a roadblock in your spiritual growth plan you can’t overcome?