Have you ever watched the life of a ‘saint’ and wondered how they attained such spiritual maturity? Have you ever wondered if you would ever get there yourself? If you are doing what you think are the right things, why does it seem that you are making no progress? When I took the seven steps I will describe to you, my spiritual growth accelerated and I can say that my spiritual maturity took on a new look — a dependable faithfulness that I attribute to God’s leadership in my life.
Spiritual maturity takes time. It is important to remember this. You may not see much day to day but should see much year to year! It’s absurd to think that a new born baby would be walking in a few days, talking a couple weeks later and writing before their first birthday! Maturity is not instantaneous.
The continual practice of these seven steps will yield solid growth and significant progress towards spiritual maturity.
7 Steps for Continual Practice
Worship. There is something powerful that happens to us when we worship together. The fellowship and presence of God transforms us. We receive strength and power. We plant God’s word in our hearts. The expressions of worship and praise change us. Being in God’s presence is always transformational.
Prayer. Our communication with God is absolutely vital to our spiritual health and maturity. I have written many blog posts on prayer. Daily prayer and continual prayer and prayer with at least two or three others all contribute to our growth and maturity.
Daily Bible Reading and Study. Knowing God’s word changes us so read your Bible! When the word of God gets rooted in our hearts, we think and act differently. As God’s will is revealed to us in his word, we are changed. Our perceptions are altered and we are empowered to represent the kingdom of God on earth.
Elimination of bad habits. This can be hard because habits are things we do without thinking. This takes conscious effort. I have observed (and sometimes been guilty) of these four bad habits: staying up late Saturday night (which impairs your ability to worship on Sunday); bad language (ask yourself: do I see this kind of language in the Bible?); sin — no explanation needed; negative thought patterns (faith is powerful and positive).
3 Lifestyle Changes
Rebuilding relationships. Spiritual growth happens in the context of community. We must have healthy relationships with other followers of Jesus. This means we may have to redefine and realign other relationships. We cannot cut ourselves off from the world — they need our witness. The question you must ask yourself in evaluating relationships is: “Is __________ making me more worldly or am I making ____________ more like Jesus?”
Obedience. The habit of obedience to the prompting of God is essential. First, the promptings will be simple. As we establish the habit of obedience, we will be more easily able to hear the voice of God and discern his will. Doing what God wants us to do is a visible mark of spiritual maturity.
Spiritual risk-taking. This goes with obedience. God calls us to ministry outside our comfort zone. Our risk-taking is never self-directed but always Spirit-directed and empowered.
These seven steps, continually practiced will help you grow and become spiritually mature over a period of time. Another reminder — it takes time. So stay with it. Keep feeding your life with the things of God. Keep following Jesus and never compromise your faith.
Establish these seven steps in your life and if this has helped you, please pass it along. Leave your comments below. I would love to hear from you.