Wife, author, boss, friend, daughter, teacher, professional coffee drinker, and now mama are just a few of the hats I wear. For over two years, I've been giggling at this parenthood thing. I've had twenty months of the most life-altering, heart-wrenching, joy-filled, bone-weary job I've ever had… and I've loved every minute of it.
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During my pregnancy, I distinctly recall being terrified of the enormous responsibility that would soon be placed in my hands. I was terrified at the prospect of raising a child without completely ruining her. “I feel more capable of being air-dropped into Afghanistan and finding my way out in the middle of a Taliban fire war than I do of parenting a child,” I told a friend.
God does not wait for us to be ready to stretch us before he stretches us. Whether I was prepared or not, my full-fledged education into the realm of parenthood began in November of 2016. I've discovered that He equips us even while we're in the thick of a mess. Now that I'm well into motherhood, I've learned that it's not something you can learn from a book; it's a hands-on, learn-as-you-go, trial-and-error process.
I'll be honest, every three months when we take Sydney to her pediatrician for her visit, I expect her to hand me a lollypop and a sticker because…
I'm joking, but it's true. For all the restless nights and countless prayers imploring Jesus to take the wheel, the infant gets shots, and we get nothing.
The best part about going to the pediatrician every three months is understanding what developmental milestones Sydney should hit at each stage. My doctor even gives me a checklist of things to look for and how to deal with different situations.
The anticipation of a youngster is that he or she will grow. Over the course of a few months, newborns grow from defenseless 8-pound infants to 28-pound toddlers intent on destroying everything in their path. I can't help but think about spiritual maturity as I've watched my little girl grow from infancy to the great adventure of toddlerhood. Our Heavenly Father rejoices as we grow and mature in our faith, just as a good parent rejoices when their kid develops new talents.
Spiritual maturity is the expected, not the exception, for all Christians, according to the Bible.
We are “born again” into God's family and then begin to mature as God's children, just as a newborn is born and then begins to grow. Despite the fact that this is the expectation, many Christians become stuck and stagnate in their faith.
The Apostle Peter describes seven “spiritual milestones” that should increase in our life if we are truly children of God in 2 Peter chapter 1. These anniversaries aren't meant to be a legalistic checklist on which we attempt to improve. These characteristics, on the other hand, show that a person is spiritually maturing.
Through our awareness of him who called us by his own glory and goodness, his divine power has given us everything we need for a holy life. He has given us his most significant and precious promises through them, so that you may share in the divine nature while avoiding the pollution in the world caused by sinful impulses.
Make every effort to add goodness to your faith, and goodness to knowledge, and knowledge to self-control, and self-control to perseverance, and perseverance to godliness, and godliness to mutual affection, and mutual affection to love. Because if you increase your possession of these traits, you will be less ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever does not have them, on the other hand, is nearsighted and shortsighted, forgetting that their past offenses have been forgiven.
Make every attempt, dear brothers and sisters, to affirm your calling and election. Because if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will be warmly welcomed into our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's eternal kingdom.
Born-again believers should evolve spiritually beyond their first conversion, much as my daughter Sydney no longer acts like an infant but has progressed to a healthy and busy toddler. The traits stated in 2 Peter as evidence of this progress include “faith, kindness, knowledge, self-control, holiness, and love.” Surprisingly, I've encountered teenagers who are spiritually more developed than some of the older adults I've met. Spiritual maturity has nothing to do with our age; it is entirely about our ability to grow in our relationship with God. If you've read this far, I'm guessing you're someone who wants to grow in her faith. Here are five spiritual growth keys that I'm working on in my own life:
1. The WordIn 1 Peter, we're instructed that drinking the “pure milk of God's word” helps us develop in faith. The analogy is clear, and one that I've personally observed. Milk is given to infants, and the consequence is a remarkable metamorphosis! Simply drinking milk causes those tiny fingers and toes, legs and limbs to expand, stretch, and develop! It's no accident that the Bible refers to itself as “pure milk” for spiritual development. A believer must feed herself the Word of God on a regular basis in order to progress in her faith. Going to church or Bible study once a week is insufficient. That would be the same of eating a meal on Sunday and then going hungry for the rest of the week. If we want to grow and deepen in our faith, we must feed ourselves the Word of God on a daily basis.
2. Christ-centered Community I can attest from personal experience that nothing has helped me grow spiritually more than being around by other Christ-followers who love Jesus, fear God, and want to live for His glory. We encourage accountability, we are challenged to know God better, and we have relationships with others who will pray for us when we face hardships or temptations when we surround ourselves with a Christ-centered community. Indeed, we are stronger when we work together.
3. Walk in the Spirit – Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as our “Assistant.”
He is the one who walks alongside us and supports us when we are weak. The Holy Spirit is the one who changes us from the inside out so that we might act, think, and love as Jesus did. God's Spirit develops us and produces Christ-like attributes in us as we stay in step with Him. We must continually ask the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and direct our steps, and to conform us to Christ's image.
4. Surrender – The only way to win in the Kingdom of God is to surrender. We can only begin to live the abundant life Jesus promised when we yield to God's will and walk in His ways. We begin to manifest the fruit of the Spirit when we surrender our will to God's will. Surrendering to God is what obedience entails. We mature and grow as a result of these surrendering moments. “Physical maturity is connected to time,” argues John Bevere. “Obedience is a prerequisite for spiritual maturation.”
5. Humility – Pride is the greatest significant impediment to spiritual progress. Pride deceives us into believing that we are doing fine. Instead of gazing at Jesus' perfection, pride compares itself to someone else. Our pride makes us blind to our flaws. Humility, on the other hand, is essential for maturity because it keeps us living in daily desperation for Jesus and clinging to Him for everything. “Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing,” the mature person knows.
As a mother, I'm inclined to clutch my child and hope she'd never grow up. Then I remember all of the amazing things Jesus has planned for her, and I realize that, as much as I enjoy the cuddles and sweetness that come with this age, I want her to blossom into a mature lady who loves Jesus and lives for His glory.
Friends, we are in the same boat. As we grow in our faith, the whole of heaven is rooting for us. As we grow from infants to great women of God capable of leading, teaching, and shepherding others, God, our Heavenly Father, watches over us and loves us.
How do you achieve spiritual growth?
1. Read literature that are spiritual and encouraging.
Consider what you've read and how you may put it to good use in your life.
2. Every day, meditate for at least 15 minutes.
If you don't know how to meditate, there are plenty of books, websites, and people who can teach you.
3. Develop the ability to relax your mind.
4. You are more than your physical self.
Recognize that you are a spirit with a physical body, not a spirit with a physical body. If you can accept this concept, it will alter your perspective on people, life, and the events and situations you encounter.
5. Take a look at yourself.
Examine yourself and your thinking frequently to discover what it is that makes you feel conscious and alive.
What are signs of spiritual maturity?
All of the great spiritual traditions encourage people to care for others who are less fortunate. It is quite easy to tune out the voices of the weak as we go about our daily lives. The spiritually mature individual is always conscious of the poor's needs and is motivated to act on their behalf. They recognize that in order for a society to be healthy, it must care for its most vulnerable members.
What are the 12 spiritual disciplines?
Spiritual disciplines are practices that are intended to help people change their lives. Their goal is to help us grow spiritually as Christ's disciples and improve our relationship with God. They're similar to spiritual training activities. However, just like any other form of exercise, we must choose to perform it on a regular basis in order to feel or see the benefits. So, what are these practices, exactly? Consider the following lists from two of the most influential publications on the subject from the twentieth century:
Dallas Willard's The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives
- Abstinence disciplines include seclusion, silence, fasting, frugality, chastity, confidentiality, and sacrifice.
- Study, worship, celebration, service, prayer, fellowship, confession, and submission are the disciplines of engagement.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to structure these lists of spiritual disciplines, as well as which disciplines are included. So, how did these practices come to be? Because they've endured the test of time, the majority of them are considered spiritual disciplines. Finally, Christians have decided to incorporate these disciplines into their spiritual lives because they are practices that Jesus himself practiced or taught about, according to the Bible.
What is a spiritual person like?
Being spiritual entails prioritizing self- and other-love as a top priority. Spiritual individuals are concerned about people, animals, and the environment. A spiritual person recognizes that we are all One and makes conscious efforts to honor that unity. A spiritual person is kind.
What are the four stages of spiritual evolution?
In the field of spirituality, a lot of work has been done. Much of it has been around for a long time, but we are only now becoming aware of it. There are two primary reasons why much of the work is only now receiving the attention it deserves.
The first is the introduction of the internet. The internet aided in the discovery of fresh ideas in a variety of fields. As people began to upload more information online and search engines improved, more and more historical items were unearthed.
The second reason is that spirituality has become more acceptable among people. Celebrities are expressing their spirituality in greater numbers. As the emotional turmoil of our busy life becomes more intense, humanity is turning to spirituality for solace.
Reverend Michael Beckwith proposed four phases of consciousness and spiritual growth in 1984. When no one was even talking about it, it was decades ago. The structure he outlined is so pertinent and straightforward that a path for our spiritual journey appears to develop. The Agape Institute, based in Beverly Hills, California, was founded by Michael Bernard Beckwith. He preaches in the local church and offers spiritual guidance to those who need it.
Michael Beckwith was a pioneer in the spirituality and positivity movement. He starred in the film The Secret and went on to appear on programmes like The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live. He's also a popular Mindvalley instructor who teaches the “Life Visioning” Masterclass. His Spirituality teachings and ideas resonate with a wide range of individuals and are easy to comprehend.
Let's get started with the four phases of Spirituality or Consciousness without further ado. They are as follows:
The map to consciousness is provided by these four steps. We need to chart the level of consciousness we are in right now through introspection of our life. It's crucial to realize that these stages are all non-linear, which means we could be in different stages in different aspects of our lives while you go through this activity.
For example, in terms of my health, I may be in the victim stage, while in terms of my career, I may be in the channeler stage. When determining whatever stage we are in, it is critical to be honest with ourselves. Let's take a closer look at each stage so you can get a better understanding of them.