Do you remember as a child experiencing growing pains? We know that in order to physically grow into maturity there is a growing process that takes place.
The moment we receive Christ we become born again and have to learn a new way of life, learning Gods word and living it out. Just like as a baby is born and grows into maturity, we also need to spiritually grow and mature. But that doesn’t come without work and some discomfort.
Philippians 3:12-14 (TPT) “I admit that I haven’t yet acquired the absolute fullness that I’m pursuing, but I run with passion into his abundance so that I may reach the purpose that Jesus Christ has called me to fulfill and wants me to discover. I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this;[a] however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. I run straight for the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus.”
Spiritual growth/maturity can look different for everybody! We are all at different stages in our faith walk. The important thing that we need to know is that we are continuing to mature in our faith. We cant remain stagnant and complacent, but going from glory to glory! Just as Paul states we press forward towards the goal.
There are a lot of scriptures that talk about us growing up as Christians. We want to read and take a look at just a few to emphasis the importance of us continuing forward progression in our spiritual growth.
The first scripture is:
Hebrews 6:1-3 (MSG) “So come on, let’s leave the preschool finger painting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ!”
Love how the message translation is in your face, very blunt and straight forward. Just like as children we enter school and we don’t remain at the same level but we graduate and move onto higher learning so we can be productive in life. We must moving in a forward progression growing in the things of God. Just like in school we learn the basic elementary principles and build upon them and grow in knowledge and understanding. This is a comparison to our spiritual growth. We must build upon the foundation that has been laid for us.
Ephesians 4:14-16 (NLT) “Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.”
We can not remain as immature children. Children are vulnerable, naive and easily swayed. God does not want us being gullible falling for anything that sounds good, but to know the word of God.
If you don’t know your word you are more easily deceived!
1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.”
Paul says “But the day came when I matured.” Paul is saying that we only see a glimpse now of our heavenly eternity, but one day we will see it all in heaven. Until then, we are maturing every day to get closer and closer to gaining more wisdom and understanding into the truths of the Word and our faith walk.
We should never stay the same, but see throughout the days, months, years that we have matured and grown in our walk.
1 Peter 2:1-3 – “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Just like a baby needs milk to nourish and grow the Bible tells us to feed on spiritual milk, which is the word of God. In order to spiritually grow we must read our word, get it inside our hearts, meditate on it. It’s fuel to our sprit so when pain and discomfort comes we have the word of God as our strength. We have to chew on the word of God that nourishes our spirit.
This was the measure by which my sister and I realized we had grown in our walk. The attributes by which we use to handle certain situations, more in the flesh were no longer present in our solutions to working out our problems.
Hebrews 5:12-14 “For you should already be professors instructing others by now; but instead, you need to be taught from the beginning the basics of God’s prophetic oracles![a] You’re like children still needing milk and not yet ready to digest solid food. For every spiritual infant who lives on milk is not yet pierced by the revelation of righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, whose spiritual senses perceive heavenly matters. And they have been adequately trained by what they’ve experienced to emerge with understanding of the difference between what is truly excellent and what is evil and harmful.”
We have to take what we learn and put it into practice. We can gain all the knowledge but we have to do something with it so we don’t become fat Christians. Just like in school we were given homework so we can put into practice the principles we have learned. We must do the same with Gods word, put his word to work! We can not just be hearers only but doers of the word.
There are many different things that help our growth, here are a just a few:
1. Stay rooted and planted in a church
It is so vital to stay rooted and planted in a church if we want to grow spiritually mature. We can not church hop, find a church and remain committed!!!
When we church hop it has damaging affects to our spiritual growth. Think about it this way, when a child continually moves schools it has an affect on their learning and even emotionally. WE know that! Spiritually if we do not remain committed in a church it can affect our spiritual growth. Also when a child has to switch schools its harder to build friendships, it’s the same for us in church. When we become rooted and grounded in a church we can build community and friendship that is vital to our spiritual well being.
Psalm 92:13 “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 “Discover creative ways to encourage others[a] and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. This is not the time to pull away and neglect[b] meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.”
Ephesians 4:11-13 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
2. Prayer – stay in communication with God
Prayer strengthens your faith.
Ephesians 6:18 – “Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers. And pray also that God’s revelation would be released through me every time I preach the wonderful mystery of the hope-filled gospel. Yes, pray that I may preach the wonderful news of God’s kingdom with bold freedom at every opportunity. Even though I am chained as a prisoner, I am his ambassador.”
The scripture says to passionately pray in the spirit. We believe in praying in ur heavenly language. The bible tells us that when we pray in tongues it edifies our spirit. We all need to be edified and speaking in tongues will lift our spirits!
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”
3. Feed on Gods word
1 Peter 2:2 (NLT) “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment.”
Just like we need food for our physical strength and growth, we need the word of God for our spiritual growth. We eat three meals a day and don’t go without feeding our physical bodies. We wouldn’t go days without food, we know the affect it would have on us physically. We would become lethargic, drained, not able to focus, even sick. So we can not go without feeding on Gods word!!! If we do not feed on Gods word we will become spiritually lethargic. We need to place and see the value of Feeding on God’s word.
Job knew the importance….
Job 23:12 (NKJV) “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”
We can not survive spiritually with out God’s word!
4. Trials and testing
Growth doesn’t come with out some pain and discomfort. Like we mentioned earlier, when we are little we experience growing pains, it’s part of the growth process. Our spiritual growth comes with some growing pains as well.
Romans 8:28 “All things work together for good to them that love God….”
See difficulties, trails as opportunities to learn and grow spiritually. How can you measure your growth without being challenged and tested. Once again paralleling as children in school we are tested to see our growth, to measure or level of knowledge. We will all go through hardships in life. But like the famous saying goes “what doesn’t break you makes you.” Its up to you if in those moneys you let them strengthen you spiritually or not.
In every situation and circumstance we can learn ad grow from them. Even in trials and tribulations look for the lesson!
Like scripture tells us we can rejoice and boast in our weakness, for that is the perfect time for God to shine the most.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”