Use these spiritual disciplines to grow spiritually. Discover why spiritual growth is necessary and the number one factor that prevents it.
To Grow Spiritually, Know Whose Hands You’re In
I love trees! Just look at the header of this blog. So can you imagine my excitement when I first tried to take care of plants in my house? I’d walk by my plants and smile. Then I’d rearrange them. Of course I’d check the dirt to see if it needed watering. I had fertilizer sticks, gloves, extra dirt, and little gardening tools that I used to help take care of my plants.
Until I discovered I have a brown thumb. My precious plants would just die! (sob!) I accidentally under watered one; it wilted and dried out. The next one I over-watered; it drowned. So many others had tiny mites or diseases that made them die.
Finally, I gave up and focused on only spiritual analogies regarding plants!
God doesn’t have a brown thumb, so you’re in much better hands!
Why Should We Grow Spiritually?
Why should we bother with intentional spiritual growth? It’s simple:
- It’s God’s will (Philippians 1:6, Philippians 2:13).
- Our sins don’t just hurt us, they often hurt others as well. Cain killed Abel (Genesis 4:8), but it was a different outcome with Jacob and Esau due to their spiritual growth. That contributed to a successful reconciliation.
- To make the sharing of our faith more effective (“That the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” Philemon 1:6 NKJV).
How Can I Grow Spiritually?
Hebrews 5:14 (NLT) says, “Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” So the question is how? Here are four important truths to know:4 truths you need to know about growing spiritually. #ThrivingInChrist #LiveYielded Click To Tweet
1. Spiritual Growth Is Process
God works on you from the beginning of your spiritual birthday until Jesus returns.
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. Philippians 1:6 NLT
That tells me that I shouldn’t ever stop growing. If I am, then I’m resisting God’s will. I think He’d much rather that I cooperate with the Holy Spirit—live yielded to God—and let Him have His way!
2. Spiritual Growth Takes Grace
Grace made me grow the fastest. It wasn’t the fear talk: “God is judge, and you’d better be ready to go.” It wasn’t the shaming: “You’re in sin! You need to REPENT!”
Nope. It was the grace. It was when somebody said, “Hey, we’re all making mistakes here and trying to get closer to God. Let’s try again and live in His love and forgiveness. Let’s give each other accountability.”
THAT is grace.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 NKJV
The word grace there in the Greek means “favor” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). So if I mess up and sin, I know that I can simply repent and move forward in my walk with God. There’s no place for condemnation.
3. Don’t Grow Weary of Growing Pains
We ALL get weeds in our garden from time to time. Consider Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, sweating drops of blood because He was resisting temptation (Luke 22:44).
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:3 NASB
The writer is saying that you haven’t resisted your fleshly desires to the point of sweating drops of blood. The struggle is real, but God doesn’t want us to grow weary (verse 3). Don’t grow weary because you are at times being disciplined by the Lord as a daughter. He will pluck out weeds from time to time to keep our garden healthy. This process is motivated by His love for us. (See Hebrews 12:1-6)
4. Look for Evidence (the Fruit) of Spiritual Growth
God weeds our garden, but He doesn’t leave it barren! He takes out the bad and puts what’s good in its place! Here’s an example of that:
Weeds choke out the good and we become unfruitful, right? So let’s take what I call weeds of worry.
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1Peter 5:7 NKJV
- When you evaluate your response to a situation and say, “You know, God, I’ve been worrying about this instead of remembering who You are.” → That’s the same as going into a natural flower bed, identifying a weed, and pulling it out.
- Then saying, “I’m gonna trust You about this.” → The choice to trust God instead is evidence of fruit.
We need to be able to identify the weeds (sins and weaknesses), repent, and be a doer of the Word instead.
Paul got it. He understood the process. So he was praying it for the church. Remember back in point one, I shared how God is continuing the good work in us from Philippians 1:6? Paul continues…
That you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:10-11 NKJV
God is filling us with the fruits of righteousness! When you see His ways begin to be evident in your life more and more, you will know that you are continuing to grow spiritually!
Verses to Grow Spiritually: 12 Spiritual Disciplines from the Psalms
I’m sure if you want to know how to grow spiritually, you’d like some practical ways to do so. The next section lists some specific examples, but spiritual disciplines will also grow your faith. This list contains basic spiritual disciplines from the Psalms.
A spiritual discipline is a spiritual exercise or practice that will help Believers grow spiritually. There isn’t an official list in the Bible, and the list below is probably incomplete, but I regularly apply these in my walk with God.
Spiritual disciplines don’t come naturally. That’s why they’re called disciplines. But 1 Corinthians 9:27 says, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection.” We don’t need to let our natural man dictate our walk with God, but choose to implement practices such as the ones listed below. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
1) Worship – Psalm 95:6
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. (NKJV)
2) Praise – Psalm 150:6
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the LORD! Praise the LORD! (NLT)
3) Fast – Psalm 69:10
When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. (ESV)
4) Pray – Psalms 5:2-3
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. 3 Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. (NLT)
5) Serve – Psalm 100:2
Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. (NASB)
6) Obey – Psalms 119:4
You have commanded your precepts, That we should fully obey them. (HNV)
7) Confess – Psalm 32:5
I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah. (NASB)
RELATED: How to Get Free of Secret Sins
8) Memorize – Psalm 119:11
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (NLT)
9) Witness – Psalms 73:28
But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. (NLT)Use these 12 Spiritual Disciplines from the Psalms to grow spiritually. #ThrivingInChrist #LiveYielded Click To Tweet
10) Seek – Psalm 27:8
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.” (NASB)
11) Meditate – Psalm 1:2
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. (NASB)
RELATED: Surprised by Meditation
12) Study – Psalm 119:18
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. (NIV)
Find the Spiritual Disciplines from Psalms Scripture Cards in Insider Resources. Don’t have access? Sign up here.
7 Practical Ways to Grow Spiritually
This list of practical ways to grow more spiritually mature are also some spiritual disciplines that will take perseverance:
- Do a topical Bible study
- Join a small group from your church
- Choose a OneWord for your current life season
- Incorporate journaling (your prayers and/or what you are learning)
- Study a book of the Bible
- Read books that will help grow your faith
- Share what God is teaching you with others
The #1 Factor That Prevents Spiritual Growth
Most importantly, one valuable truth to remember if you want to grow into a greater maturity in your walk with God, then you need to live yielded to God. If you follow through with any of the ways to grow, yet you don’t let God have His way in your life, then you’re just going through the motions.
That’s why we talk so much about living yielded to God around here. Because when you do, you will thrive in Christ.
To Sum It Up
So remember Whose hands you’re in, and let the reasons why you should continue to grow in faith fuel your passion. Take note of the four truths on how to grow spiritually:
- It’s a process
- It takes grace
- Don’t grow weary
- Look for the fruit
Take those spiritual disciplines from the Psalms seriously, and l pray they are a joy and not a drudgery. Try out all the practical ways to implement intentional spiritual growth in your walk with God. And continue to surrender yourself to the One who grows beautiful lives.
Which part of this spoke to you the most? Which practical way to grow spiritually will you try next?