The believer’s life is for Spiritual Growth. Believers don’t go to heaven the second they are saved. While waiting for heaven, we’re to be growing into the perfect man Christ Jesus. This is no easy thing, nor is it a thing that any of us are done with.
At the same time, Christian life can become very mundane and routine. Life is a long time. We lose focus, our priorities get out of whack, and our mind wanders.
Every believer desires growth. Most growth comes through pain. Tribulation works patience, patience experience, and experience hope. But life doesn’t always dump tribulation on us, so then what?
Make your own! Here are three ways to kick start spiritual growth:
- Do something uncomfortable
Visit someone in the hospital. Go to a funeral. Do evangelism. Contact that person you got mad at and apologize. Give away an inordinate amount of money. Fast. Set an unrealistic goal of Scripture memorization or reading and then do it. Read theology books. Attend that social event you avoid. Next time someone asks you to do something, say “yes” and then do it. Discipline your habits. Deny your desires. In essence–create your own tribulation.
- Be with other believers
Mature believers are out there. Find one and let them encourage you by their example and teaching. There is nothing sweeter in life than finding a spiritually mature person who knows stuff, but is also humble and loving (one of the key evidences someone is spiritually mature, in fact). You can even be encouraged to grow by someone you deem immature. Teaching someone what you know is a great spur to growth. Just remember to be humble with your knowledge.
- Develop your conscience
We are sinners surrounded by sinners. Fish don’t feel wet and sinners don’t feel sinful. Judgment Day is coming. The Bible warns us about this Day and reminds us that we will give an account for every deed done in the body. Imagine if God knew everything about you all the time. What would life be like? Cuz, um, God does know everything about you! Be mindful of eternity and your stand before the Lord. Everyone else may do it, maybe you shouldn’t. Other people’s sin offends you; how about being offended by your own sin?
Wanting spiritual growth is different from spiritually growing. It’s one thing to think about it; it’s another thing to actually experience it. What a great thing when it happens though!
Spiritual growth does not occur by “letting go and letting God.” Spiritual growth occurs by using energy and discipline to use what God has given us in Christ.
Paul said, “For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Christ has given you the power source; we need to use that power to strive for spiritual maturity in ourselves and to help others grow as well.
It’s up to you and the Holy Spirit to decide how to proceed. Spiritual growth is not for being impressive or living up to someone else’s standard. Spiritual growth is you before God.
Don’t sit back and take it easy. There is so much more of Christ you can have. He gives abundantly; do we hunger and thirst for it?
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.