Growth isn’t optional

When it comes to our children, we expect them to grow. When it comes to our 401K, we expect it to grow. When it comes to the flowers and gardens we plant, we expect them to grow.

How come we don’t have the same expectation with our faith? Or better yet, the same disappointment when we don’t.

Growth in our faith is absolutely critical to living a godly life. It is expected from us.

It is true that faith is what saves us. It is also true that a growing faith is what sustains us and helps us to persevere in the hard times.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)

Peter writes that we have everything we need for a godly life, through our knowledge of God. So how do we tap into this knowledge, acquire more knowledge or apply it to our spiritual growth.

God gave us the Bible. I know, some of you are going to say, “I’m not much of a reader.” But if you’re spouse/significant other wrote you a note, I’d bet you’d read it. God loves you infinitely more than any person ever could so shouldn’t we make it a point to get to know Him as best we can through His letter to us.

You may not know where to start. The Navigators website has a great list of Bible Reading Plans. Two of the three help you read through the Bible in a year. If that is too much to bite off right now, they have a  plan for those just getting used to reading the Bible. Another good thing about these plans, built in off days. No one likes getting behind and having to catch up. These plans have built in days to either miss or spend time for greater reflection.

God wants to hear from you. Prayer is another vital part of the spiritual growth process. Just like any good parent, God wants His kids to call home from time to time. He wants us to share with Him how things are going (though He already knows, that omniscient thing). He wants to know how He can help. Prayer gives us the opportunity to thank God for what He has done for us and to praise Him for who He is. Prayer also gives God the opportunity to speak to our hearts about our value to Him, His desires for us and how He wants to see us grow.

You may not know where to start. Prayers isn’t as hard as it looks. No special language is needed. Just talk as if you are having a conversation with a friend. If you haven’t prayed much, it may seem awkward at first, just like getting to know a new friend, but in time it will become more comfortable. Prayer can be written, spoken aloud, whispered or even left inaudible in our heads. No prayer is too short, nor is there a prayer that is too long (though some hungry bellies at the dinner table may disagree).

God wants us to connect with others. Our faith wasn’t meant to be lived in solitude. It is meant to be lived in community with others. This community aspect to faith allows us to learn from others, while also having others learn from us. The Bible speaks about us not “giving up the habit of meeting together” because in the natural rhythms of life we need connection to others to be reminded that we are not alone. By joining in community with others we open ourselves up to them to allow them to speak into our life and give us guidance, while also having access to others lives to give guidance to them.

You may not know where to start. If you don’t have a church that you regularly attend, the first step should be to find one. There you will find groups or classes for various age groups and interests and needs. Another place where we can be connected to others in our spiritual growth is through Christian literature. There are a number of excellent Christian authors on a number of topics or areas of spiritual growth that can help you along the way.

For the Christian, growth isn’t an option. We are charged to be fruitful to show ourselves to be a disciple of Jesus. We have all we need. The only question is, will we use it?

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~ by mikefoster on March 16, 2015.

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