How To Measure Spiritual Progress

One of the primary signs of spiritual advancement, according to Vedanta, is being more carefree, easygoing, and joyous. Life becomes considerably less serious and more pleasant. Your ego-self is a profoundly serious layer of your existence that is always fighting to maintain its sense of self-importance. You see spiritual practice as a toddler throwing a tantrum wanting to be heard, as it disenfranchises the ego and weakens its false control on your senses. You can laugh at yourself and your self-made melodramas, knowing that they are nothing more than a spiritual dance. You become less worried, less stressed, and more open to discovering delight in each moment.

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How is spiritual growth measured?

The extension of life's most significant values has always been and will continue to be a visible marker on the path of spiritual evolution. Love, compassion, forgiveness, and understanding become more and more the foundations on which you build your life. Concern for people, a compassionate heart, and a desire to alleviate suffering are the driving forces behind your thoughts, words, and acts. These qualities emerge organically without manipulation or mood-making when you live from the level of your soul. You can see the wider picture from your higher awareness vantage point; you exemplify these qualities because you understand that you are doing the best you can from your current level of consciousness. Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future in terms of spiritual development. To comprehend this process, you must live in a judgment-free zone where you radiate love, kindness, and light to all.

Can you assess your spiritual growth?

There are few experiences more joyful than the day you become a Father/Mother – you're so pleased about bringing a new life into the world while holding your little bundle of joy in your palm, and then you have the experience of watching him develop.

When new parents bring their infant home, they cuddle and care for him or her. Their infant takes precedence over everything else. If, after four months, the child is still the same weight and height as when he was born, we know there's a problem. Something isn't right.

When it comes to God, it's the same thing. We become God's children when we are reborn, yet God does not expect us to remain children forever. He intends for us to progress spiritually so that He might disclose more of Himself to us, show us more of His Glory, and clearly display His Kingdom through us time after time. However, we won't be able to do so unless we're mature believers. We won't be able to accomplish that until we've reached adulthood. Let's face it, giving your six-year-old the keys to your automobile necessitates a certain level of irresponsibility. He's not even capable of driving it. His legs might not even be able to reach the pedals. It's fine when he's sixteen…but definitely not when he's six.

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Sisters and brothers, I couldn't address you as Spirit-filled individuals, but rather as worldly people who are yet babes in Christ. I gave you milk instead of solid food because you weren't ready for it yet. You are, in fact, still not prepared.

So the fundamental question is: how do I “measure” my spiritual development? Because, let's face it, how can you know you're progressing if you can't measure it?

I'm delighted to inform you that the Bible is a comprehensive book that contains all of the information we require to live a victorious life. The Bible contains a wealth of information on how to assess our spiritual progress.

You must have a goal in order to be able to track your progress. There is nothing to measure if you don't have a goal. If my aim for this year is to read 50 books and I plan to read 5 books each month to meet that goal, yet I've only read 12 books by June (the midpoint of the year), I can assess my progress and see that I haven't made as much progress as I should have. I need to fasten my seatbelt. If my only goal is to “Read Novels,” then reading 12 books by June will be meaningless. There is no accurate way to gauge progress without a goal.

The fulfillment of God's special purpose for your life and your conformance to the image of Christ are the two aims of the New Testament believer. Every believer's top priority should be this.

What are indicators of spiritual growth?

Spiritual growth indicators are markers of how far your life has progressed after you accepted Jesus as your lord. They include things like a love for God, making better decisions, and being willing to proclaim the gospel, among other things.

Have you ever wondered if you're spiritually growing? You should, in fact! Because, as I indicated in my last post, God is not a squandering investor; He expects a return on His investment in you.

2 He prunes every branch in me that bears fruit, while he prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it bears even more fruit. Revelation 15:2 (NIV)

As a result, God expects us to produce fruit. Isn't it wiser to examine ourselves in advance of the Lord's big day if He expects us to bear fruit?

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31 We wouldn't be judged if we didn't judge ourselves. 11:31 in 1 Corinthians (NKJV)

As a result, this post will discuss several spiritual growth indicators. Hopefully, by the time you've finished reading, you'll have gotten a better understanding of your spiritual development. Or, at the very least, you would have refreshed your knowledge regarding spiritual growth signs.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on them, I may receive compensation at no additional cost to you. In any case, I only endorse items or services that I personally use and believe would benefit my readers.

What is spiritual growth in the church?

We go to church or meet with other Christians on a regular basis for instruction, fellowship, worship, communion, prayer, and to build one another up in the faith (Hebrews 10:25). (Acts 2:42-47). Spiritual growth requires finding a way to join in the body of Christ. Check out these information on how to discover a church that's right for you if you're having problems finding a solid church home.

What is Monvee?

Monvee is a ground-breaking approach to spirituality. This cutting-edge spiritual assessment tool identifies your personality, learning style, spiritual pathway, and key spiritual inhibitor that prevents you from becoming God's best version of yourself. You will receive a personalized spiritual development plan based on the evaluation, which will provide you with continuing, targeted suggestions for progress throughout your life. Monvee is being used by churches as a new discipleship paradigm.

How do you develop 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.

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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 is a spiritual inventory?

So let me be clear: we're not talking about religion or regulations when we talk about the spiritual element of recovery. We're discussing a connection between us and God. That is all there is to it. This relationship is critical to achieving peace and healing, so let's take a moment to consider the spiritual side of recovery before discussing how to create a “spiritual inventory.”

This lesson corresponds to Celebrate Recovery's 12 Steps and 8 Principles: Principle 4 and Step 4:

“Let us analyze and evaluate our ways, and then return to the LORD.”

—3:40 Lamentations

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Those of you who have been a part of Celebrate Recovery (CR) for a while know that our 12-steps are identical to the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps. This is a tried-and-true method that has helped millions of people recover from addictions and compulsive behaviors all around the world. The difference with CR is that we recognize Jesus Christ as the Higher Power who can restore us. No one is required to be a Christian to attend CR, though. It's fine if you don't believe in Jesus or aren't sure what you think about Him. You are welcome here, no matter where you are on your spiritual path, and you will find support and acceptance.

One of the AA lessons that we've carried forward is that people who battle with compulsive behaviors or addictions have “a bodily allergy and a mind fixation.”

What occurs is that when we've successfully abstained from our substance of choice and are feeling strong, a notion will come to us out of nowhere to take that drink, or drug, or act out in the way we do. And if we sit and think about it long enough, it will become a reality. This isn't a brand-new procedure. Jesus' brother James wrote about it almost 2000 years ago:

“However, each person is tempted when his wicked inclinations draw him away and entice him. Then, once desire has developed, sin is born, and when sin has fully matured, death is born.” —James 1:14-15 —James 1:14-15 —James 1:14

And that is precisely what occurs to us.

When we focus on a thought for too long, our desire transforms into action. And once we take action and consume that substance – whether it's booze, drugs, candy, or something else – it triggers a bodily need for more of that substance or activity, trapping us in a cycle.

The concept that the physical element of our sickness is a “allergy of the body” is one that I truly enjoy. Because it's similar to allergies; some people, for example, can rub their face in a cat's fur and it won't affect them in the least. (Though I'm not sure who would want to do such a thing!) But I'm allergic to cats, and if I did, I'd be in a lot of trouble. It's the same with alcohol; some people can easily consume a couple of drinks. However, because alcoholics have a “allergy” to alcohol, a couple of beers might turn into a world of pain for them. Food is the same way, especially at this time of year. Some folks can get by with just one Christmas cookie. For food addicts, however, one Christmas cookie turns to a dozen due to their body's “allergy” to sugar or processed foods.

As a result, we can see how mental obsession—dwelling on an idea for an extended period of time—causes physical obsession.

So, what causes the mental compulsion?

Why do we have those notions in the first place? Why do some people slip off the wagon and relapse into their addiction, even if they don't want to—even after years of abstinence?

We all know it's not about physical hunger. Alcohol is totally metabolized out of the body after a few days of not drinking, according to medical research. The same can be said for medications and even sugar. The chemical is physically worked out of the body after a time of abstinence.

That's a process I've personally gone through. I was diagnosed with diabetes last year, and I've written more about it here. Fortunately, it was discovered early enough that I was able to try to manage it through dietary adjustments. I began my fresh new low-sugar, low-carb lifestyle of eating the day after I received the news, which I dubbed the “no more happy” diet at the time. (In fact, it turned out to be fantastic!) During the first two weeks, I had a lot of bodily urges. Then, one day at work, I was going past a stack of donuts left in the break room by a wicked salesman when I discovered I no longer craved sugar. Don't get me wrong: I still craved a donut. But I recognized that the emotional payoff was more important to me than the sugar and lard.

So bodily cravings aren't the main reason we go off the wagon.

What about the psychological compulsion? If you've been in Celebrate Recovery or any other 12-step program for a while, you know that the mental preoccupation decreases over time for most people who are actively working the steps. Deb, my wife, came home after her first Overeater's Anonymous meeting, and I remember her smiling. She was overjoyed and exclaimed. “They said I'd be able to get rid of my eating compulsion.” “I don't believe them!” she added. But, sure enough, she stuck to the program, and her mental preoccupation was gone in a month or two.

So the main explanation isn't psychological. What exactly is it? The truth is that we have a spiritual problem, and God is the only way to solve it.

“We straighten out mentally and physically once the spiritual malady is overcome.” —From the AA Big Book

In other words, after the “spiritual malady” is overcome, the mental and bodily aspects of addictive and compulsive behaviors are placed into remission.

So, let's talk about conducting an inventory of our spiritual selves. An inventory is nothing more than a list—in our case, a list of persons and events who contributed to our problem. Asking ourselves questions is a great way to start constructing that list. If we're serious about recovery, if we truly want to be free of the behaviors that hold us enslaved, we must be brutally honest with our responses. No, it isn't simple. But, as the serenity prayer suggests, we accept adversity as a path to peace.

Let's look at two verses to help us prepare for taking an honest inventory of ourselves.

“God, search me and know my heart; test me and know my fears.” See if I have any offensive ways in me, and lead me in the way that is everlasting.” —Psalm 139:24–24; Psalm 139:25–26; Psalm

This is what fascinates me about this verse. We're not asking for God's help to see if we've done anything wrong or to get a better understanding of what we're about. Every secret we have, every lie we've said, and every dirty thought we've entertained is already known to God. He knows everything and still loves us. Because there is no healing or forgiveness without confession, we pray these words for our own benefit. If having to confess everything makes you nervous, know that the Bible does not teach, “If we confess our faults, God will judge us unworthy and smite us in anger.” Not in the least. It reads,

“He is true and just, and if we confess our sins, He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

That's incredible. As Christians, we have the opportunity to say, “OK, God, I'm coming clean.” Here's everything I've got: my sin, my lust, my bad decisions, my blunders, my character faults, my shame, and my fear. This is my inventory, and I'm willing to reveal everything. Do whatever you want with me.”

“I forgive you,” God responds after looking at everything. And it doesn't stop there. He also purifies us, according to this verse; our sins are not only forgiven, but also erased. They've vanished, and we've been declared holy in God's eyes. When we confess, God makes us righteous. Let me share some good news with people who aren't sure what to think about Jesus just now. Jesus says it himself:

“All of you who are tired and burdened, come to Me, and I will give you rest.” Take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “Because My yoke is easy and My burden is light,” says the Lord.

This passage contains a phrase that stands out to me: “All of you.” It is mentioned twice by Jesus. That's incredible because it indicates that no one is too lost, too messed up, too drunk, too filthy, or too dishonest for Jesus to welcome them. Everyone is welcome to take refuge in Him. That's fantastic news!

So, let's look at some of the questions we might ask ourselves to aid in the creation of our spiritual inventory list. We'll focus on four aspects of our lives in particular.

Where in the Bible does it talk about spiritual maturity?

The churches have all been declining for some years, despite the fact that the community around them has developed. A perceived lack of attention on discipleship ministries and spiritual growth could be one of the reasons for this downturn. Overall, just a few people participate in discipleship programs such as Bible study, Sunday school, and other small, accountability groups. The issue isn't that there isn't any discipleship going on; rather, many members of the charge appear to be content with where they are spiritually.

To address the need for spiritual renewal and to urge members of the Mooreville Charge to strive for spiritual development, I originally planned to establish a yearlong reading plan that would serve as the foundation for my sermons and Adult Bible study. Participants in the Bible study would write notes on the materials they read each week in a journal. As the year-long series came to a close, I realized I wanted to take a more targeted approach. After much thought, I decided to do an Ephesians sermon series to promote spiritual growth as the ultimate objective of the Christian life. I then added the layer of a Sunday night Bible study that would follow the sermon and delve deeper into the text and its context. I preached from selected verses from each chapter after spending a week on each one.

If you're wondering why I chose Ephesians for this series, it's because The concept of spiritual growth is one of the key themes in the text. In Ephesians 1:17-19a, Paul prays for the Ephesus church to gain “a spirit of wisdom and revelation of the understanding of,” as well as “enlightened” “eyes of hearts.”

Paul discusses the foundations that allow for spiritual growth in chapters 2 and 3. Paul characterizes the church, which is made up of both Jews and Gentiles, as being “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ the cornerstone” in 2:19-22. Paul prays for the Ephesus church to receive “knowledge” while being “rooted and founded in love” in 3:14-19.

Ephesians 4:1-16 is where the notion of maturity is most clearly displayed. The gifts that God has given the church are described by Paul as “equipping the saints for ministry” and “toup the body of Christ” so that everyone might grow spiritually (11-13). Paul exhorts the Ephesus congregation to have a mature faith, as Jesus did (14-16). Paul exhorts the church in Ephesians 5:1-2 to “be imitators of God” and to “live in love” as Christ did. Finally, Paul tells the church in Ephesians 6:10-17 to “put on the complete armor of God,” which will enable them stand firm in their faith in the face of spiritual attack.

In analyzing the importance of the Letter to the Ephesians for the church today, I found Rev. Dr. N.T. Wright's talk to be immensely intriguing and educational.