Spiritual growth is something we need to continue to do as Christians. We need to continue to grow spiritually. Why? The simple answer would be so that we can grow ever closer to God and build on our relationship with Him. As Paul tells the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3:2, “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” This “milk’ as Paul puts it is the foundation of our faith. The “food” the Corinthians weren’t ready for is the deeper understandings of faith. This is the spiritual growth we are going to talk about today. We are going to discuss how to grow spiritually successfully.
To grow spiritually we must first understand where this source of growth comes from. Our source should come from Christ. Col. 2:6-7 says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” The analogy Paul gives is like a root of a plant. We should be rooted in Him because he is the source of our strength that helps us grow. The only way to grow is to be rooted in Christ.
The first step in spiritual growth is to be sure you are and continue to be connected to Christ. Jesus says in John 15:4-5, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me, you can do nothing.” Jesus compares our relationship to him as a vine and its branches. He is the vine (the source of growth) and we are the branches. Without Him, we cannot grow, because without Him we can do nothing.
Another way to grow spiritually is to allow God’s word to be a “lamp to our feet” just as David says in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” If we continue to grow in knowledge and wisdom of His word, then we will gain a deeper understanding of spiritual things, and therefore, we are growing spiritually. To grow spiritually means that we also should be building up a better resistance to Satan’s temptations he brings upon us. The Psalmist David declares in Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” David is saying that God’s word gives him strength to resist temptation, and with this strength, comes spiritual growth because he is resisting evil.
Trials also offer opportunities to grow spiritually. If we can overcome trials in our life successfully, then we spiritually grow. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James says that whenever we face trials in our life, no matter how severe, we should consider it pure joy. Sometimes that is hard to do at the time of the suffering. But we know that the suffering we endure is testing our faith and if we persevere through the trials then we grow spiritually, because “perseverance produces character and character hope.”- Romans 5:3-4.
Prayer can be a very powerful thing when it comes to growing spiritually. It is the way to stay connected to God. Jude 1:20-21 states, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude says that by praying, we build ourselves up. In other words, grow spiritually. Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7 that it is by prayer we are not anxious for anything. We grow spiritually in prayer by talking to our source of growth in Jesus Christ.
So in conclusion, we need to grow spiritually so that we can have a better relationship with our Heavenly Father. Once we have that foundation in place, it is time to grow a little more each day. Just as Peter says in 1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it, you may grow up in your salvation,”. The spiritual milk is the foundation, but we cannot stay at the foundation. We must continue to grow spiritually.