Last week I talked about why we should desire spiritual growth, This week I want to go into more detail about how to grow spiritually. Talking about spiritual growth can mean so many different things. God doesn’t take every believer down the exact same path in the same order as others. While the stops are the same, just because I feel convicted that I need to focus more on scripture memory, doesn’t mean that is where God will start with you. Here are some of the main components of spiritual growth for you to pray over.
Important Indicators of Spiritual Growth:
I touched on Prayer and Bible study last week, but I’d like to point out a couple more things about both. First, prayer should be an active part of your personal, private relationship with God. Ask God for wisdom on every decision that you make that impacts your life.
Prayer should also be something that you practice with fellow believers and model for your family. Do you really feel like you have a mature prayer life if you cannot speak out loud to your Father in front of your brothers and sisters?
Choose a time of your day that you are going to devote to prayer. It can be on your drive to work, a few minutes before breakfast, right when you wake up. Pick a time early in the day, turn off all distractions, put away your phone, and devote this time to prayer.
2. Bible Engagement
I specifically talked about Bible study in my last post, however there is more to mature Bible engagement than rigorous study. I don’t study the Bible everyday. Here is where I say that life gets crazy and there are days where it just doesn’t happen. However, I do engage with the Bible in some way every day. I may not have the mental energy sometimes to delve deeply into a chapter verse by verse, but I will encounter the Word throughout each day.
This could look like sitting down and reading the next chapter in a book I want to read through. Maybe it is listening to the audio Bible in the car with my kids. I’m not going to count on making time later in the day though. When I wake up, as soon as I am able, I am going to spend time with God. This is not something to check off at the beginning of the day and then move on with your life. This is looking for ways to continuously encounter God.
Make it your goal to read at least one chapter of the Bible each day. It can be audio or reading. Ask God to give you a love for his Word.
3. Discipleship and Evangelism
I grouped these two components of spiritual growth together because they flow naturally from the same motive. Discipleship and evangelism are the result of your intentional decision to let words about Christ overflow from your mouth.
Think about Deuteronomy 6:7-9 about speaking the words of God “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
My life should be so saturated with the truths of the Bible that when I am with unbelievers I am speaking his truth so that they may embrace it. When I am with believers I should be speaking his truth so that we can build each other up.
Choose someone you know to pray continually for opportunities to speak to. Pray that God would create time to talk and interest on their part. Take the first step to bring up the Gospel message.
4. Church Attendance and Fellowship With Believers
Fellowship with other believers is such an important part of spiritual growth. This is something that is a struggle with busy families. The week is busy all week long, often all weekend long too. It is so tempting to stay home from church in order to catch your breath. There are a few reasons why church attendance is important.
Fellowship with people who are different than you.
Listening to sermons on podcast or audio can be great when you are sick for a few weeks and can’t get to church, or when you are hungry for more teaching. But this doesn’t put you in a seat next to someone who is struggling, that may need your encouragement. This doesn’t let you worship next to someone of a different generation or race.
You need opportunity to serve.
If you are not active in your church you are missing out. God intends for believers to function like a family. Helping each other, praying for one another, serving one another. This doesn’t mean that you have to sign up to teach a Sunday School class. There are so many ways to serve at every church, and it is an integral part of your spiritual growth.
Go to church this week. Get up in time for Sunday School or find out about a small group to attend. Commit to go every week this month.
5. Scripture Memory
This is the area of spiritual growth where I struggle the most. It’s hard for me. There are week and months where I don’t do it. But again and again the Bible speaks of a heart that knows the Word of God intimately. I think that this is something that many struggle with in the age of technology. We can access so much information anytime that we don’t memorize much. This is still so important. Start small and just keep trying, write it down, listen to and audio Bible recording, say your verse out loud.
I have the most success when I read a Scripture out loud. Choose a verse like Romans 10:9 and learn it this week. Copy it on a card and keep it in your pocket to pull out when you can.
If you aren’t sure where to begin with your pursuit of spiritual growth, check out my 1 Samuel Prayer Guide. It is a great starting point to get you reading the Bible and to grow your prayer life.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.