7 Steps to Spiritual Growth
Spiritual growth is the journey of walking in the Spirit and becoming more like Jesus Christ in our personal character and nature. Just like John the Baptist said about Christ “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Therefore we are experiencing spiritual growth when Jesus Christ continues to have more and more influence in every aspect of our daily lives.
So how can we grow spiritually? Below are 7 steps to spiritual growth in our Christian life:
1. Remember that Christianity is a Relationship with a Person
Understand that Christianity is not a mechanical religion of do’s and don’ts. Instead Christianity is a personal relationship with the one true living God.
We cannot grow spiritually unless we have a relationship with the One whom we worship. Furthermore, we cannot experience spiritual growth unless we personally grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s character and nature.
So we must relate with God as a Person who has uniquely created us in His own image or likeness for the purpose of intimate and personal relationship.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 says: Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
James 4:8 says “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you…”
So the more we genuinely seek to know God, the more He will reveal more of His nature and character to us.
In John 17:3 Jesus prayed “And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
2. Accept Trials & Life Problems as Part of Spiritual Growth
In a fallen and broken world, nobody is immune to problems, suffering and life’s challenges. However, God allows problems in our life for various reasons, and one of them is for us to experience spiritual growth.
How we respond to our problems is essential to our spiritual growth. We must not allow problems to lead us into depression and sin. Instead we must respond to problems in a godly and Biblical manner with God as our guide.
For example, James 1:2-4 says: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
According to James 1:2-4, problems are sometimes a test of our faith which can eventually lead to our spiritual growth if we respond to our trials with the right attitude.
3. Don’t Just Read the Bible – Study and Meditate it
The Bible is not just a storybook. Hebrews 4:12 says: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
So the Bible is God’s inspired word and it is meant to change us and transform our hearts so that we live a righteous life (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
In order to grow spiritually we must study God’s word and correctly interpret the Scriptures.
Misinterpreting God’s word inevitably leads to apostasy, acts of disobedience and and a distorted view of God’s nature and character. So bad doctrine ultimately stunts our spiritual growth.
2 Timothy 2:15 says: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Psalms 1:2-3 NLT says that if we meditate on the word of the Lord day and night, we are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
So reading, meditating and correctly interpreting the Scriptures is very important to our spiritual growth.
4. Obey the Scriptures
When we have studied and meditated on the Scriptures, then what follows is to walk in obedience to God’s word.
To grow spiritually, we must actively experience the word of God and live in accordance with the Scriptures. In the same way that our physical bodies need food, the word of God is like food to our spirit. So we must continuously receive and obey God’s word every day.
In John 4:34 Jesus said: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”
James 1:22-24 says: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
Therefore obedience to the Scriptures is necessary for spiritual growth to take place in our life.
5. Pray all the time
Prayer is an essential part of spiritual growth. We cannot claim to have a decent relationship with God if we do not genuinely communicate with Him.
As a Man, Jesus Himself often withdrew to lonely places so that He could spent time praying to the Father (Luke 5:16).
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says that we should “pray without ceasing,” and Ephesians 6:18 we must “(pray) at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
6. Fellowship with Christian believers who have Sound Doctrine
Christian fellowship or Christian friendships is important. Nobody is an island by himself. It is important to fellowship and associate with true Christian believers who believe and adhere to orthodox Christian doctrine and essential teachings of the Christian faith.
So if we are to grow spiritually then we must not be unequally yoked with non-believers, especially in matters that will affect our Christian walk (2 Corinthians 6:14). This includes disassociation with cults or sects that teach and practice unorthodox or heretical doctrines.
1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'”
Furthermore, Christians should not conform to the standards of this world. The world is at enmity with God (James 4:4).
Therefore if we are to experience spiritual growth, then we must ignore the rebellious moral culture of this world and seek to abide by the moral and spiritual values of God.
7. Share the Word of God with Others
Finally, to grow spiritually we must learn to share the word of God to other people. We must not be ashamed of God nor of sharing His gospel.
Sharing the gospel or His word is not only meant for the pastor, the evangelist or anyone who might be paid a salary to minister. Instead according to Scripture, every Christian believer is a minister of God because every Christian believer is part of the royal priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:9).
Therefore Christian ministry is for every believer because every Christian has gifts and a calling that he/she has been given by God. We are meant to use these gifts to edify the body of Christ and to glorify God.
1 Peter 4:10 says: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace
So genuinely participating in Christian ministry reveals that we love God and we love others enough to want to see people become born again and experience the true living God.
Spiritual growth is a process we experience our entire life. We are learning creatures and we will always make mistakes now and again. However we must always remember that it is Jesus Christ who is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
When we become born again, we are converted into a new creation in Christ. Our life then belongs to Christ who will guide us and direct us so that we become more like Him.
Philippians1:6 NLT says: And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.