Growing Up Spiritually

Your heavenly Father doesn’t want you to just grow older, He wants you to grow up. He wants you to grow spiritually!

We are a spirit being, we have a soul, and we live in a physical body. We live in this physical realm on a planet that we call earth. Have you ever seen yourself that way?

When we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, something changed on the inside of us. We are not always aware of that, mainly because we are so focused on what is taking place on the outside. At some point we began to go to church, read our Bible and started to spend time in prayer. It was all about developing a relationship with the One who had become our Lord and Savior. We were also developing a relationship with other believers in the church.

Inside, however, we had passed from darkness to light, and from death to life. When we accepted Christ as our Savior, we received eternal life. Suddenly our spirit became alive to the spirit realm. God became real to us!

God is also a spiritual being. We cannot see Him in this physical realm. The only way we can communicate with Him is in the spiritual realm. When we pray to Him, we believe He hears and answers our prayers. There is something in us that wants to reach out to Him and develop a relationship with Him. That is the spirit within us, the real person on the inside.

In pursuing spiritual growth, too often our time is spent on developing our minds. We read our Bibles, go to Bible studies and listen to sermons on Sunday. Much of that time is spent learning more about God and increasing our Bible knowledge, but often little time is spent on growing up spiritually. We need to develop our spirits!

There are two kinds of believers in the world today: spiritual and carnal.  Carnal believers are drawn to things that appeal to what they see, hear, feel, taste and touch. These things can lead them into sin. When we were saved, we were still motivated by the desires and appetites of the body. Spiritual growth is moving from the state of satisfying our physical senses, to where we learn to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Before we were saved, our minds received all of the information we needed through the physical senses. Suddenly we find that there is a new source of information. Our spirits begin to received revelation from the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who has begun to teach us, and we perceive what He is saying to us in our spirits. This is why it is so important for us to become aware of our spirits, so that we can learn to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual growth is essentially growing out of a carnal life ruled by the flesh to a spiritual life guided by the Holy Spirit. This does not happen overnight, or even in a week or a few months. Just as we were not born a full grown adult, we are not born into the family of God as a mature believer. We have to go through the same stages of growth and development that we had to go through as human beings. We experience the new birth, go through a babyhood stage, learn to walk in the childhood stage, and finally enter the stage of full spiritual maturity. We never stop growing!

Just as a parent wants his or her child to grow, our heavenly Father wants the same for His children. He doesn’t want them to remain spiritually immature, He wants them to grow up spiritually. He earnestly desires that we learn to feed our spirits, walk by faith, be led by the Holy Spirit, and become strong, steadfast and fruitful in Him. He delights in seeing His children grow up!

So what does a baby believer look like? When we are first saved, we are often moved by our feelings. If we feel up, we are full of joy. When we feel down, we get discouraged and may want to give up. Our walk with the Lord can be like riding a roller coaster ride. These are the people who are moved by their physical senses and their feelings. God wants us to grow out of this stage!

A spiritual believer enters the childhood stage, when he or she learns to walk. We are called to walk with God and we do this in two ways. We walk in line with God’s Word and we walk according to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Through the Bible we learn to be doers of the Word and live a life that is pleasing to our heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and He also leads and shows us what God’s will is for our lives.

Those who have reached full spiritual maturity are those who have learned through experience how to live a holy life that is pleasing to God. They have a solid foundation in God’s Word, and they have learned to recognize and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. They are not easily moved by adverse circumstances and they life a life of joy and thanksgiving. Above all else they live fruitful lives by depending on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Regardless of the level of spiritual growth that we have attained, our heavenly Father rejoices over us and loves us just the way we are. His greatest desire for us is that we might be just like His Son.

You are holy, dear saint!

Steve Smith

After reading this post, what level of spiritual growth do you think you have reached? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

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