My favorite passage of Scripture, and the one this blog is based on is Psalm 1:1-3. I think it best describes how we thrive in Christ. To thrive means to grow well or vigorously. This post is the first in a series of posts exploring that.
In the first Psalm, the righteous are illustrated by the simile of a tree both fruitful and flourishing. When our roots are planted deep into the soil of God’s Word, and we are positioned to be nourished by Him, we will not wither but thrive. I love that!
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 ESV
A tree requires healthy components and specific atmospheric conditions to thrive. In the same way, we need a healthy spirit and soul. Additionally, we need to position ourselves in a safe environment, continually take in the “nutrients” (truths) of the Word, and submit to the Gardener’s pruning to grow into spiritual maturity.When our roots are planted deep into the soil of God’s Word, and we are positioned to be nourished by Him, we will not wither but thrive. #ThrivingInChrist Click To Tweet
What the Thriving in Christ Series Will Cover
Have you ever wondered if you ever stop growing in your walk with God? Whether or not we stop growing is probably debatable, but we will stop thriving (growing without hindrance) when we are stagnant. What I mean by stagnant is feeling stuck in our walk with God. Sometimes we are stagnant, stuck, whatever, because we create our own problems. Some examples that cause spiritual stagnancy are apathy toward the God, continuing in secret sin, not dealing with hurt, or being distrustful of God.
However, growing in Christ isn’t all painful purging. That’s only one aspect of it. The greatness of God is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3); knowing Him more and investing in the knowledge of God is quite fulfilling.
I don’t think we need to be obsessed with growing itself, although intentional growth is wise. We need to enjoy the love of our Savior and receive whatever He has in store for us each day. I had to experience a lot and learn a lot of lessons before I came to the realization that it is God who is doing the growing in me—I only yield (Philippians 2:13). Taking that attitude makes living this Christian life a true joy!
The topic of thriving in Christ is large, but I will be transparent with layers of my past while I attempt to share many of the truths I learned over the years.
In this series, we will answer questions like:
- How we live victoriously?
- What causes us to wither?
- Does it matter how we view ourselves, God, and others?
- What is the progression to thriving?
- How do we bear fruit?
7 Characteristics of Spiritual Growth
How can we define spiritual growth? Let’s allow the Word of God to speak for itself. The following are characteristics of someone who is growing spiritually
- 1) Desires it
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3 ESV
- 2) Grows in grace
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 ESV
- 3) Grows in knowledge
2 Peter 3:18
- 4) Practices discernment, distinguishing good from evil
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:12-14 ESV
- 5) Stays in the house of God
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. Psalm 92:12-13 ESV
- 6)bears fruit (even in old age)
They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green. Psalm 92:14 ESV
- 7)Isn’t unstable but speaks truth in love
Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, Ephesians 4:13-15 ESV
There are probably more characteristics of spiritual maturity, but I am gleaning from verses that speak of it directly. That being said, we can expand on the topic of growing spiritually and that’s the reason for this series!
Other Great Posts in the Thriving in Christ Series:
- What Does It Mean to Thrive in Christ?
- What a Thriving Disciple of Christ Does and Doesn’t Do
- How to Have a Spiritually Healthy Heart to Thrive in Christ
- How Desensitization Keeps You from Spiritually Thriving
- How to Get Free of Secret Sins and Thrive in Christ (Even if You Want to Stay in It)
- 27 Ways Your Good Shepherd Helps You Thrive
I can’t wait to dive into this series with you, and I hope you are excited, too! I will add the links to the titles above as they’re published. Subscribe so you won’t miss any of the great posts in the Thriving in Christ series. Go ahead and extend that invitation to a friend. It’s going to be great!
*this might be shared at some linkup parties