Understanding True Spiritual Growth
Hebrews 5:12-14 says;
You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others, but instead you have dropped back to the place where you need someone to teach you all over again the very first principles in God’s Word. You are like babies who can drink only milk, not old enough for solid food. And when a person is still living on milk it shows he isn’t very far along in the Christian life, and doesn’t know much about the difference between right and wrong. He is still a baby Christian! You will never be able to eat solid spiritual food and understand the deeper things of God’s Word until you become better Christians and learn right from wrong by practicing doing right.
From that Bible text, God's expectation for you as a believer is to grow and not remain as a suckling babe. This is just as you will not expect a 10-year old child to still be physically crawling unless there is a problem somewhere. In the same way, you are also not expected to remain a baby in Christ unless you have a problem! You have no excuse whatsoever for your spiritual stagnancy.
How do you measure your Spiritual growth?
Spiritual growth is not measured by how many hours you pray,it is not measured by how the gifts of the spirits are manifested in you...instead,these ones are the advantage you have over other people because you are growing.
So what really measures your spiritual growth?
- The first thing is your degree of conformation to the world (Romans 12:1-2)
And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.
As a Christian who is intentional about his growth,you are expected to be different from the world,your mode of speaking,your choice of words,your music interests and even your dressings should not be on the same level as someone who is neck-deep in the things of these world.If you can show a great disparity between you and the world,then it can be said that you are growing.
- Your degree of righteous living and soberness(Titus 2:11-12)
For the free gift of eternal salvation is now being offered to everyone; and along with this gift comes the realization that God wants us to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures and to live good, God-fearing lives day after day.
How God-fearing is your life? Or you just don't care?Our soberness is what God desires of us...is that to much of Him to ask?
- Your walk in love and the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-25)
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to his cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
No matter how little this fruits of the spirit are,they measure how you are growing spiritually.Do you still wish death on someone?or you are still the grumpy fellow everyone knows?or you carry a depressed face all day long with no joy of the Holy Ghost in you?...then,you are not growing.
The Holy Ghost is not an author of strife,He does not carry a sickly-depressed countenance and my Holy Ghost is definitely not a loud-mouthed person.
Are you really growing or you've been deceiving yourself?
In our quest for growth,our adversary the devil might bring mechanisms to distract you,so what are these mechanisms,how can you recognise them?
- One if these mechanisms the devil uses is distraction...he distracts you through food,social media,music,movies,novels and even your own goals.Your own goals because he makes you forget the will of God for you and you start chasing after earthly prosperity and fame, forgetting where you are coming from.
- He distracts you with your choice of friends.If you surround yourself with friends who do not think the God-way,there is no way,you will not backslide because you might want to feel among and there is absolutely no way you can combine God and Mammon of this world together.
- He also distracts you with slangs.This is just too common these days,what you confess with your mouth becomes who you are.Those slangs might be harmless to say,but then,spiritually they are moving things and aligning them negatively into your destiny.
Now, I'm not asking you not to talk,but learn to filter what you say in your head first before pouring it out.Not every word reigning out there is meant to be heard from you.
Benefits of a Quality Spiritual Growth
(Job1:1-3 tells us that "There lived in the land of Uz a man named Job—a good man who feared God and stayed away from evil. He had a large family of seven sons and three daughters and was immensely wealthy, for he owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and employed many servants. He was, in fact, the richest cattleman in that entire area.
Job feared God and he was the greatest in his region. This quality was as a result of his strong spiritual position. As believers, we must not associate quality spiritual growth with poverty. A man who serves God with all his heart has the capacity to be greater than every other person. You are the one refusing to enlarge your heart to receive of God and not that God isn't rewarding quality spirituality.
- Prosperity;there is a mentality out there that you cannot have God and have gold but that is totally wrong!
You can have God and have the best gold there is in the world!
God owns it all so why should He not give it to His child... whatever gold the world might be flaunting before you is just an imitation of the real deal and you get the real deal only from God!
- Health(Psalm 41:1-3)
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit and in Psalms 41:1-3 we read that "God blesses those who are kind to the poor. He helps them out of their troubles. He protects them and keeps them alive; he publicly honors them and destroys the power of their enemies. He nurses them when they are sick and soothes their pains and worries."
When you exhibit just one fruit of the spirit (kindness), you experience great health, how much more if you exhibit all nine fruit of the spirit. You can only imagine how wonderful your life will be.
Finally, in whatsoever you do now, know that you have a responsibility to your generation.You cannot afford to be empty. Have stature in the things of the spirit.
(All Bible text gotten from the living Bible translation)