Are you growing spiritually or are you stagnant? How can a person mature in the Christian faith? What are the hindrances to spiritual growth?
There are many things in life that can hinder or prevent spiritual growth in the life of a Christian.
HINDRANCES TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH
(1) Lack of Prayer
Lack of an effective prayer life can lead to lack of direction and discernment in one’s life. Prayer is not one-way. Prayer is two way communication with God. Therefore prayer is not only an opportunity for us to talk to God but prayer is also an opportunity for God to speak to us. God hears us and we hear God.
We draw spiritually close to the Lord by spending more time with Him.
Jeremiah 33:3 – ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.
James 5:16 – Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
(2) Lack of Bible Study & Meditation
Another hindrance to spiritual growth is when a person does not study and meditate on the word of God. Through the studying of the Scriptures we learn
a) The divine nature of God
b) The plans and precepts of God
c) The sinful nature of man & God’s redemption for man through Jesus Christ
d) The nature of mankind’s enemy and how the enemy is defeated through Christ
e) God’s spiritual guidelines for godly living.
2 Timothy 2:15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Joshua 1:8 – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Hebrews 4:12– For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
(3) Lack of Fellowship With Other Believers
Without fellowship with the right people, it can be difficult to grow spiritually. When you have the right people around you, such people edify, build and encourage you in the Lord.
Fellowship with unbelievers can lead to backsliding and spiritual corruption. It’s therefore important to guard yourself against the wrong kind of influences as you grow in your Christian faith.
1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits”.
2 Corinthians 6:14,15 – Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
(4) Listening to Bad / False Doctrine
False doctrine can hinder spiritual growth. When a person spiritually feeds himself with the wrong information, such doctrine will corrupt the person. God warns us through his word against obeying false doctrine and also He warns us to avoid following false prophets. A person who follows false doctrine and false teachers is a person who is not only deceived – but that person also deceives himself.
Matthew 24:11 – Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
1 Timothy 4:1 – Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons
1 Timothy 4:16 – Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
(5) Living in Sin
A life of unconfessed sin is a hindrance to spiritual growth. When a person does not feel conviction when he sins or when he/she is not repentant of a sinful habit that sin can stagnate that person’s growth in the Lord.
It’s therefore important to always confess our sins. We must also forgive our neighbor if our neighbor has offended us. We must walk in love and humility. Pride is the root cause of many sins.
Isaiah 59:1,2 – Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Are you growing? If not, seek the Lord; read His word; spend time in prayer; remove the obstacles in your life that prevent or stagnate your walk with the Lord. Surrender all to God.