A Recipe for Spiritual Growth
So many Christians never experience the true blessings of being one of God’s children because they refuse to exert the energy it takes to grow spiritually. Christianity is not a religion of relaxation; it is one of constant work and effort. The athlete does not become good at their chosen sport by simply putting on a uniform and then doing nothing to further their skills. It takes practice, dedication, effort, and persistence to become good. The same applies to Christianity. We are expected to grow, and if we do not, we cannot expect to benefit from God’s blessings. The athlete will never win without effort, and the Christian will never reach the goal of heaven without growing spiritually. Peter spoke of this very issue when he exhorted Christians to give “all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:5-8). There are some things we can do to add those things Peter spoke of in our effort to grow spiritually. Consider the following suggestions.
1. Spend some time in God’s Word every day. This is one of the most important things we can do because God has “given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3). The Bible has everything the Christian needs to be “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17). Our faith grows by reading and studying the source of our faith, the Bible (Rom. 10:17). We all need to be actively involved in some type of daily reading or study. There are many Bible reading schedules you can follow. If you have access to the Internet, use the “Daily Bread” sections of the “Preacher Mail” to give you an organized way to spend time studying each day. We simply cannot, and will not, grow spiritually if we do not spend time studying our Bibles.
2. Spend as much time with your church family as you can. Being part of a loving church family is one of the greatest blessings from God. Not only does it provide an important support system for the Christian, but it is also a source of spiritual growth. We all know the Bible teaches we should not “forsake the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb. 10:25). This is a vitally important part of God’s plan for us to spiritually grow, but it does not stop at just attending all the worship services. We need to be around our Christian brethren all during the week as well. We grow from being around other people who believe and cherish the same things we do. We can lean on one another, and learn from one another.
3. Dedicate certain times of your day to drawing nearer to God in prayer. Prayer is a time for us to thank God, praise God, and ask for His support and forgiveness; but it is also a time that we spiritually grow. We learn a great deal about ourselves while we pray. When we lay it all out there before God, we recognize those areas of our lives where we need to grow. We are not only talking to God when we pray, but we are also talking to ourselves. Prayer is a great opportunity for us to find out if we really are trying to conform our lives to God’s will.
It’s easy to fall into ruts of complacency regarding our spiritual life because of everything else going around us. Let’s all remember what truly is most important! -Ed