Spiritual growth is unquestionably a process of progress in Christ. During the refinement process, God will provide you with the power and grace you need to grow. The Bible depicts spiritual refinement as a journey, as seen by the following Scripture verses:
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- “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well,” Jesus says to God's children (Matthew 6:33).
- “Being confident of this, that he who started a good work in you will see it through until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
- Growth in Christ entails working out our sanctification within the church of Christ, not merely as an individual activity. “As a result, Christ himself gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to train his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:11-12).
What is the meaning of growing spiritually?
What Is Spiritual Growth and What Does It Mean? Spiritual growth is an internal process of letting go of old habits and ideas, incorrect thoughts, and erroneous life beliefs and ideas. It is a process of expanding your consciousness' horizons and discovering some inner truths.
What are examples of spiritual growth?
- Read the Bible from beginning to end. Set aside a few minutes each day to read some Bible verses. Reading the Bible in its whole is probably possible with 365 days in a year.
- Participate actively in church services. It's not enough to just show up. You must be physically, mentally, and spiritually present.
- Make it a habit to pray every day. It's enough to say a short prayer for a few minutes each day. It's something you can do every morning when you get up or before you go to bed. It will become second nature with time.
- Keeping a spiritual notebook is a good idea. It's a great place to write down your thoughts and everyday reflections. It's a great read for when you're feeling low.
- Forgiveness should be practiced. Forgiving someone who has harmed you will not only help you restore your relationships, but it will also help you grow as a person. It will also provide you with peace of mind.
- Return the favor. Donating to charity should not be limited to the Christmas and Thanksgiving seasons. Giving back should be done throughout the year. Every day, strive to be a benefit to others. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or donating your old clothes to the underprivileged are good places to start. (See also: 50 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Perform Today)
- Every day, have a conversation with God. Spend a few minutes every day alone with God. Tell him about the things you're grateful for today, as well as the things that are causing you concern. Communicate with him as if he were a buddy.
- Read books that will make you feel good. Inspirational literature, in addition to the bible, are a terrific method to find spiritual contentment.
How can a believer grow spiritually?
1. Begin by humbling yourself and praying.
It's all too easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget how fortunate we are. You may maintain these positives in your mind by taking time in the morning (and again before you go to sleep at night).
Request that God continue to bless and protect you and your loved ones. This is also a good moment to ask Him for assistance in keeping your mind on His plan for your life. When we ask Him a question, we may find that we immediately see opportunities in front of us.
2. Study and Read the Bible
Consider your Bible to be a manual. The pages contain more information about how to live your life than you may realize. Proverbs and the letters to the churches (such as Ephesians and Philippians) instruct you on how to live a Christian life. Life lessons abound in the Bible.
The teachings of Jesus can be found throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and then the teachings of the disciples may be found throughout the rest of the New Testament. The Old Testament tells you about Jesus' ancestors as well as stories of people who had strong faith. The more you grow in God's Word, the less external influences will cause you to stumble.
If you have the opportunity, try to delve thoroughly into a particular book, either in a group Bible study session or online, in order to gather some truth nuggets. This will also help you understand how this fact affects your life.
3. Find a group of believers who share your beliefs.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to find Christian groups that meet for a variety of reasons. Christian book clubs, Christian counseling groups, and faith-based exercise courses are examples of this.
There's a cliché that says you become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose persons who have a deep relationship with God and can assist you in your spiritual development as a Christian.
4. Help Others
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them,” Jesus stated in Matthew 7:12, “because this is the Law and the Prophets” (New King James Version).
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We've all heard the command, but how many of us actually do it? And what does it mean to serve others in order to get closer to God?
While on Earth, Jesus demonstrated how God wants us to live by caring for and serving others. Will people betray and injure us? Yes. They also harmed and betrayed Jesus. He continued to reach out to people and point them to God. We are feeding Jesus' chosen by feeding and clothing the destitute. “Feed my sheep,” Jesus stated to Peter after three times asking if he loved Him.
Please feed my sheep. It is our duty to look after others and to serve as the Lord's hands and feet. The key to a closer connection with God is obedience. “If you love me, observe my commands,” Jesus stated. (New International Version, John 14:15).
This does not, however, imply that if you are a victim of abuse, you must keep your arms in the fire. You can forgive others while maintaining a healthy distance from harmful connections. If you need assistance, talk to a Christian Counselor who can guide you toward a Christian lifestyle with healthy relationships.
5. Find out what spiritual gifts you have.
Each Christian has been given spiritual gifts, according to the Bible. Did you know that this can imply more than bodily healing and the ability to speak in tongues? Those are two of the most important biblical gifts.
You've also been given discernment, wisdom, faith, knowledge, and the fruits of the Spirit, which include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. Some of the gifts are related to your mission. You can improve these abilities by engaging in particular activities. You can focus on aligning your spiritual gifts with your purpose and serving others as a means of deepening your relationship with God if you are aware of the spiritual gifts that God has given you.
These are your innate abilities and characteristics. Do you enjoy assisting others, whether it's through home visits or meal preparation? Do you have a natural aptitude for teaching? Do you regularly share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others?
Other spiritual gifts that you may discover in yourself or others include:
- Are you the person that everyone looks to in a crisis? Are you more of a take-charge leader than a follower?
- Administration – Do you enjoy leading a church function when no one else is available? Are you prone to delegating duties and organizing groups and events?
- Does it concern you when someone reads Scripture out of context when you're teaching? Do you ever have the feeling that you could teach others about a particular subject?
- Evangelism – Do you often share the good news of Jesus Christ with others? Do you coach others on how to do the same?
- Shepherding – Can you educate or lead while caring for and serving others? Do you feel a sense of responsibility for the persons God has entrusted to your care?
- Prophecy – Do you believe the Holy Spirit gives you special insight into a person or a group of people? Are you confident in your ability to express Biblical truths?
- Do you prioritize serving the needs of others in your church and community when you serve? Do you enjoy working on projects that require you to be hands-on?
- Mercy Do you sympathize with those who are in pain and looking for solace? Is it possible for you to provide a safe haven for a friend who is grieving or in pain?
- Exhortation Do you offer practical, Bible-based advice to people? Can you see the bigger picture and propose answers to a problem?
- Giving – Do you go beyond tithes and offerings to find methods to financially help ministries? Do you spend your time and money anonymously in order to build God's kingdom rather than to “show off”?
Consider visiting with a Spiritual Development Counselor who can assist you in developing a strategy to further each of your gifts. You may focus on serving others while also achieving your purpose if you discover the top three gifts God has given you for ministry.
Everything will begin to seem aligned when you are experiencing a spiritual awakening of these gifts. Your relationship with God will improve as you continue to work on these. Find folks who share your passions and can serve as mentors. A person with the spiritual gift of teaching who also enjoys writing, for example, could collaborate with a Bible study author to create content for their church ministry.
Make a daily commitment to incorporate each of these into your spiritual development plan. Nothing matters more than your spiritual awakening and your relationship with God. We hope that as you grow in your spiritual life, you will be able to carry that confidence out into the world.
Why is growing spiritually important?
Spiritual development improves our ability to deal with life's ups and downs and recover from adversity. It's all too easy to judge and criticize others, but as we grow spiritually, we discover how much healthier it is to build compassion and empathy for others.
What is required for spiritual growth?
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.
Also, if you've never attended a Christian church service before, here's a quick rundown of what to expect.
What are the steps to spiritual growth?
There are four factors to keep in mind when addressing the dynamic of the spiritual life, according to a recent webinar on the Stages of Spiritual Growth and Freedom. She connected these ideas to one's personal growth, as well as how spiritual direction might help with this.
The Definition of the Human Person
Victoria led guests through a synthesis of Catholic teachings on the human person, beginning with an introduction to anthropology anchored on Scripture and Church Tradition. “Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness,” says Genesis 1:26. Man is created “Imago Dei,” in the image and likeness of God. The fact that we were made in the image and likeness of God, who is a communion of people in the Holy Trinity, is the foundation of our fundamental dignity as human beings. We are earthy creatures (i.e., we have a physical body) with a spiritual nature, implying that we were created for something more than this life. Indeed, we were created for someone greater than this life, God himself. We were made to have relationships with God and our fellow humans.
Dynamism of Holiness
In light of this anthropology, Victoria described how attaining divine beatitude, or eternal existence with God in paradise, fulfills our dignity as human beings. We are on a dynamic, though gradual, path toward relationship with God as we go through life. Victoria described how the people of the Old Testament, as well as many figures from the Gospels, experienced the journey to God in stages, based on the Scriptures. God gradually exposes himself to the people of Israel throughout redemption history, and finally fully in the Incarnation of his Son, Jesus Christ. God exposes himself to us in prayer and in our response to his grace using the same approach. Our journey to holiness is a long one, made possible solely by God's grace.
Spiritual Growth and Progression
The purgative stage, the illuminative stage, and the unitive stage are the three stages of development that make up this steady expansion. While not entirely linear, these stages tend to reflect the stages of human development: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. In the purgative stage, a person goes through his or her initial conversion and reacts to grace by turning away from sin and pursuing virtue. A condition of remembrance is included in the illuminative stage. In fact, “recollection,” or “continuous attention of the mind and emotions of the heart to thoughts and sentiments that elevate the soul to God,” is “the primary virtue of this state.” At this point, one begins to adopt Jesus Christ's thoughts and heart. Finally, the unitive stage is characterized by a person's experience of oneness with God through love, as well as the real experience and exercise of that love. Here, prayer takes on a more meditative tone, while virtue takes on a more mature, even heroic quality. St. Maximilian Kolbe, who gave his life for another prisoner during the Holocaust, is an example of this stage. He did so with heroism, courage, and peace, as well as humility and humility, demonstrating a high level of holiness and spiritual development.
The Role and Application of Spiritual Direction
A spiritual director can be beneficial and perhaps necessary at each of these levels to support one's spiritual progress. A director can be a source of inspiration in the purgative stage, encouraging the directee to take active steps away from sin and toward virtue. A director can assist you in seeing and identifying God's hand in your life during the illuminative period. Finally, at the unitive stage, the director can assist the directee in identifying growth nuances and staying on track.
Spiritual direction is an invaluable gift in the growth of one's spiritual life. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a spiritual director, the Spiritual Direction Certificate Program provides a combination of theological and human sciences as they apply to spiritual direction, as well as acquiring the art and skills of human interactions and supervision. Six online seminars, two four-day onsite residencies, and a practicum are included in the curriculum.
What is spiritual maturity in the Bible?
Paul frequently employs the word teleios (which can be interpreted as spiritual maturity) when discussing spiritual maturity “Perfect,” “Complete,” or “Maturity”). Paul longs for, in Ephesians 4:13, “attain to the oneness of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature person, to the full stature of Christ.” Spiritual maturity, on the other hand, is not only an individual aim in the letter to the Ephesians, but a goal for the entire body of Christ. In his book Aiming at Maturity: The Goal of the Christian Life, Stephen Rankin defines “a spiritually mature Christian whose entire personality, including dispositions, words, and deeds, resembles that of Jesus Christ.” Paul exhorts the Ephesus church in Ephesians 5:1-2 to “As beloved children, imitate God and walk in love, just as Christ loved and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” As they strive to mimic God and live out Christ's love, all Christians should strive for spiritual growth.
I've been the pastor of the Mooreville United Methodist Charge, a combination of three tiny, rural churches in Lee County, Mississippi, since June of 2016. The congregations are largely elderly folks, while two of the churches include a few young families. The ethnic makeup is Caucasian, which closely resembles Mooreville's community. The churches share a pastor and a few ministries, such as the children and youth program and the United Methodist Women.