“Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.”
A. W. Tozer
My growing up days I spent longing for growth. I wanted to grow a bit taller. Grow into a bigger clothing size. Grow to be seen and chosen for the kickball team. Even though I hated kickball. -Smile-
These days I cry out for spiritual growth. I found Him in the wilderness, fell in love with Him on the mountaintop. I long to go deeper, to grow in His knowledge and wisdom. To decrease as He increases.
Today, let us look at the characteristics of spiritual growth. What does it look like? What does it take?
We will start with Paul’s prayer for spiritual growth in Colossians 1:9-13 (CSB).
“For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of the Son he loves. In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14 (CSB)
Characteristics of spiritual growth:
- Filled with knowledge of His will:
Where do we find His will? In his Word, and not by sampling it, but digging deep in the layers of wisdom and life. This takes a commitment of time and consistency. A commitment to daily spending time in his Word. Making time daily to spend with the Lord. It also requires consistency. Consistent with time, effort, reading, studying, and seeking Godly counsel to answer your questions.
James 1:5 (CSB) says this, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God-who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly-and it will be given to him.”
- Walk Worthy of The Lord
How do we walk worthy of the Lord? Walking in surrendered obedience to His will. Living in a way that does not bring shame to Him. Walking with the power of the Holy Spirit, which lives in us. Pleasing Him in all that we do. Walking worthy is to die to self, take up His cross and follow Him. At. All. Costs.
“Then he said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (CSB) (emphasis mine)
- Bear Fruit
Bearing fruit requires deep roots planted in fertile soil. Tending the soil of your heart daily. Pruning the bad, nourishing the good. Bearing fruit is cultivating love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. No matter our circumstances, in spite of our circumstances.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. Galations 5:22 (CSB)
Growth in knowledge of Him, is a daily committment. A daily sacrificing oneself to the cross. Continually seeking Him in ALL things.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection with love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 (CSB)
Just as an athlete builds endurance, spiritual growth also requires building endurance. Through endurance and patience, we live joyfully. Giving thanks.
Spiritual growth is active and lively. Complacency will lead to spiritual death.
Gifts of Grace
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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.
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