3 Things You’ll Need to Grow Spiritually
Every great journey begins with a step. Every step is supported by time spent planning, gathering supplies, and mentally investing yourself. Even if you have reached a point where you can get up and go, you still spent time beforehand setting yourself up to be able to leave at will. Similarly, To grow spiritually you need to determine if it is worth it to invest your time. Your journey begins with a step. But even that step comes with prior thinking, planning, and gathering. Do you want to grow spiritually?
Before you answer that question, consider Jesus’ words in Luke 14:25-33 (NIV).
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Before you start buying highlighters and signing up for groups you really need to sit down and ask yourself what your primary motivation is. Do you want to be ready for Jesus to come? Do you want to be closer to Jesus? It is no easy task.
If you are still with us, then here are a few things you’ll need if you want to grow spiritually:
Desire to Grow
Psalm 42:1 likens the desire to know God to a deer panting for water. As quenching one’s thirst is necessary for survival, so the desire to know God must match that level. Now, we’re not saying that during the year if you don’t feel thirsty then you have become a heathen. But if you have no desire to grow spiritually, then it doesn’t make sense to start a journey of spiritual growth. Jesus said the journey would not always be easy. It will require trust in Him through various trials. But these become slightly more bearable if you have identified a need in your heart that only God can fulfill.
Community to Grow With
1 Corinthians 12 compares God’s church to a human body. God consists of three people. He said that man should not be alone, and created woman for Adam. Jesus had a community of 12 disciples, and among those 3 were even closer to Him. The Bible emphasizes the importance of community. This is why being a part of a church family is important. Yes, they are made up of imperfect people. Yes, they will put stress lines on your face. But they can also be there for you in the best and worst of times.
The story goes of a preacher who went to visit a member who had not worshipped in quite some time. Upon his arrival, the member informed the preacher that he had no need of church, that he could do it all on his own. Not knowing how to respond, the preacher noticed a small fire blazing in the fireplace. He went over, pulled a coal out of the fireplace, and set it on the hearth. Both men watched as the coal slowly changed from a red hot, warmth providing piece to a cold, dark lump. They looked back towards the fire, still blazing hot with many coals. Without saying a word, the pastor left.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). There is strength in numbers. God is community. Mankind thrives best in community. You cannot grow on your own. You may be responsible for your own growth through God’s grace, but community makes it easier.
Acceptance of non-linear growth
Your journey is anything but linear. Think of the journey the Israelites took to get to the Promised Land. One would think they had a short attention span, zig-zagging all over the desert. But God had many lessons to teach them to prepare them for the Promised Land. Your journey may take a similar course. Thus, you must rely on Jesus if you want to grow. Do not follow your personal statistics, measure progress with finite understanding, or think you can do it by yourself. We cannot tell you where God will lead you. But as long as you are looking for Him, as long as you open the door for Him, and as long as you follow Him, you will be fine. The road may not be linear, but you will grow.
To grow is not always easy. But growth is worthwhile. When framed against the backdrop of the great controversy, with the cross at the foreground, we cannot help but want to draw closer to Jesus. He promised to help us. We have many resources at our disposal. Angels help us when we fall. The Holy Spirit guides us when we veer off. We want to grow closer to Jesus and lead a life reflective of the kingdom of Heaven.