The truth is, growth don’t just happen overnight. It takes a process and it takes time. Sometimes, when you see supposed believers who misbehaves, the reason is because many of them jumped their growth process. There is a saying that when you jump up, you will come down, but when you grow up, you will remain there. Growth cannot be jumped, one simply grows into growth. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6 that he “he planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” That clearly shows a growth process, isn’t it. The same also is true for spiritual growth. It takes time. But where the challenge lies is when you are not growing at all, no one is happy (Hebrews 5:11-13).
There is no growth that happens in isolation, it is usually an interaction of a number of things. Ephesians 4:15-16 paints a picture of this. It says: “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” So, from that Scripture, we can deduce the fact that growth is a function of many things, of which we will be examining some of them in this teaching.
- Spiritual Growth Is Fostered In The Right Relationships/Companies
Healthy spiritual growth are fostered by healthy relationships or companionship. The kind of friends you have would determine whether you will grow spiritually or not. 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us that “bad company corrupts good character.” As a matter of fact, you are a reflection of the people you have in your relationship circle. Who are your friends? Are they the ones that spur you to grow spiritually or the ones that retard your spiritual growth?
The Bible is replete with examples of how relationships have helped people grow into what God has ordained them to be. We have Boaz, Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:1-22, 2:8-10, 22-23) By the mere fact that Ruth remained in company of Naomi, Boaz and the women that thresh in Boaz’s floor, Boaz developed a special likeness for her, which eventually led to their marriage and restoring all that Naomi and Ruth had lost in the past. In the end, Boaz gave birth to Obed through that relationship, and Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse gave birth to David, and Jesus came from this particular lineage (Matthew 1:5-7).
David and Jonathan is another example in 1 Samuel 23:15-18. Jonathan and David were great companions, to the point that Jonathan risked everything with his father just to ensure that David stayed alive to take over the kingship of Israel from his father Saul. Despite the fact that they say blood is thicker than water, this was not true in the case of Jonathan and David kind of relationship. A friend who was willing to pitch tent with his father arch rival just to see that justice is done is such a great companionship.
Apostle Peter and his companions was also reported in Act 4:23-31. The Bible reported that as soon as they were allowed to go from prison, they went to their own companions, and they lifted up their hands to pray to God concerning all that had happened and is happening to them. I think we all need relationships like these ones, isn’t it? People who would ensure and do everything that we attain all that God has destined us to be in life and destiny. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is also another example. These ones stood together even in Babylon until they saw the will of God prevailed over the land. These were examples of companionship that spur themselves unto good works.
Listen to Podcast: Discover 5 Things That Fosters Spiritual Growth
- What You Feed Your Mind With Determines Your Spiritual Growth
Spiritual growth is also aided by what you feed your mind on per time. You know, physical growth happens as a result of what you feed the body with. But in spiritual growth, it is not what you feed on physically that aid growth, but rather, what you feed your mind with. Your mind is the gateway to your spiritual growth. This is why the Scripture admonishes us to guard our hearts diligently, because out of it comes the issues of life. So, what then is it we should do with our minds, how do we engage it positively for Spiritual Growth? The following are the things that we must do regularly:
*Feed on the word of God daily and meditate on it.
Feeding on the word of God daily and consistently brings about spiritual growth. 1 Peter 2:2 tells us that as new born babies desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby. That tells you that spiritual growth occurs through the word of God. Jesus also, in Mathew 4:4 tells us that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out the mouth of God. Also, in Acts 20:32, Apostle Paul said “So now brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up…” Did we see that? It is the constant feeding and meditating on the word of God that brings about the much needed spiritual growth.
Joshua 1:8 also tells us, that in meditating on the word of God regularly, therein lies our prosperity and good success. In our context now, we can say the good success is the spiritual growth we are talking about. We can draw up an analogy of why we have to study the word of God everyday from the story of the children of Israel and gathering of Manna. You know, God made sure that the children of Israel went out every day in order to get their manna. What does that connote? That is to teach us we need to study His word fresh every day. With each new day comes new revelation, and therefore, we must never joke with studying the word of God on a daily basis if we want to experience spiritual growth.
*Renew your mind daily.
So, as you feed on the word daily, your eyes are opened to certain things in your life that are not consistent with the word of God and your spiritual growth, and so, you renew your minds to those things. The end product of feeding on the word of God is so that we can have a renewed way of thinking and a renewed way of life. Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:2 that transformation comes by the renewing of the mind. Transformation talks about growth, it talks about changes that are needed for the needed growth. 2 Corinthians 3:18 also says as we behold God’s glory from the pages of the Scriptures, we are transformed into that image we see by the Spirit of God.
That tells you that each time we renew our minds to the word of God, the Holy Spirit resident in us makes the necessary changes happen. And that is why there is such a thing as the fruit of the Spirit. The end product of renew the mind to the word of God are what is documented here in Galatians 5:22-23, which makes the renewing of the mind very important in spiritual growth.
*Think on the right things always
To grow spiritually requires that one think on the right things consistently. In Philippians 4:8, the Bible says: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
- Sow To The Spirit
If you desire spiritual growth, then it means you must continually sow to your spirit. Galatians 6:6 tells us “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” You see, there is such a thing as sowing to the Spirit. Your spirit being is the very core of who you are. At salvation, what happens is that the Holy Spirit become knitted with your spirit, and they now become inseparable. So, sowing to the Spirit simply means doing things that would speed up your spiritual growth. How do you then sow to the spirit? Jude 1:20 tells us one of them, and it is by praying in the Holy Ghost. Another one is by not grieving the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 tells us “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Not yielding to the leadership of the Holy Spirit can grieve Him, therefore, you must constantly make conscious effort to do this.
- Have The Mind of Christ
The mind of Christ is a humble mind. To experience spiritual growth it requires that one possesses an humble mind, and not an arrogant mind. Philippians 2:5 and 6 has this to say, “have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (ASV): Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God , God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained.” (AMP)
- You Must Be Ready To Accept Discipline
It is the process of showing the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
Discipline here is in two folds: Self discipline and Godly discipline. Growing spiritually may be difficult if you don’t have self discipline, or to put in another way, self control. The reason why there is self discipline is because there is a self to be disciplined. In 1 Corinthians 9:27, Apostle Paul wrote: “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” Whether we would go far in the things of the Spirit would be dependent on how we can discipline our self.
And again, someone may be wondering, does God discipline His children? The answer is yes! The Bible says in Hebrews 12:6 that “for those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.” If God truly is your father, and that you have come to fully accept Him as your God, Lord and Saviour, then you can’t escape being disciplined. So, with what does God discipline us with? 2 Timothy 3:16-17 gives us that answer.
“All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Godly discipline yields to spiritual growth. Hebrews 12:11 says: “all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruits of righteousness.” The end result of every discipline process is that people see the fruits that it bears. Your life turns a completely new leaf. So, as we can see here, discipline is part of our spiritual growth process.
I believe you have been blessed.
Source: [Centre for New Dimension Leadership]