Spiritual growth is essential for believers. For us to come into the destiny and purpose designed by God for us, spiritual growth is necessary. But how do we know if we are growing spiritually?
How can we be sure we are becoming like Christ?
Although the bible doesn’t have a checklist for us to discern growth in ourselves and even in others, the Holy-Spirit helps us to connect the scriptures.
Using the life of Jesus as a standard, here are 7 ways to know you’re growing spiritually
Spiritual growth enables you to discern the difference between your SOUL and SPIRIT
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.hebrews 4:12
In the past I thought they meant the same. Sort of. I didn’t understand the place of my soul and spirit in God’s will, neither was I sure about hearing God’s voice.
But the more I grow, the clearer it becomes. I can recognize my desires and God’s desires and differentiate them. I can trace my thoughts to my soul and with the help of the word, bend my thoughts to God’s will.
Jesus was able to discern His will and his Father’s will. Luke 22:24
We need to understand this truth or we will err. We cannot assume our place in God’s will.
Spiritual growth helps us to rightly divide between our soul and spirits. If we are unable to do this, Satan will keep taking advantage of us, and we will keep erring when reading scriptures.
Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to get angry or react
Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.proverbs 29:20
When the news of the adulteress was brought to Jesus, he took his time to respond.
When Satan tempted Him, Jesus wasn’t just quoting scriptures, h’d embodied it. He became it. This enabled him to refute Satan’s tactics.
Jesus had taken time to grow until he clocked 30 before stepping out for ministry.
And the CHILD GREW, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.luke 2:40
And Jesus GREW in WISDOM and STATURE, and in favor with God and man.luke 2:52
If Jesus grew, then WE MUST grow. He went through process too. Even as the Firstborn Son!
When we spend time building our souls with God’s words and fellowshipping with God, he will increase us with capacity and strength to resist temptation.
He will also heal us from the tendency to get provoked easily.
I’m still a learner at this skill, but I know I am better than I was three years ago. In the past it was easy for me to get riled up about certain things or react immediately. We must be ready to give excuses for people. Just like Jesus.
When we hear things online or around us, or someone offends us, God must strengthen us with wisdom and understanding to handle such news with maturity instead of reacting immediately.
We must also be careful with our words because once we spill them, we cannot take it back.
Knowledge translated into Practice
I remember stepping out from a beautiful prayer session with God after having a good time in God’s presence. To top it up, God had opened up a ‘rhema’ for me that got me excited.
Some moments after, my mum asked me to do something against my (introvertish) nature. I cannot remember exactly what it was but within a few seconds I was tempted to grow upset and resist.
The moment my heart grew upset, the Holy-Spirit whispered to me:
“This is your true spirituality. Not in your ability to receive ‘rhema’, but how you’re able to live it out.”
Immediately he admonished me, I repented, adjusted my heart and did the job cheerfully. If true spirituality demanded me being treated less than my expectations without complaining, then I would gladly be spiritual.
Not easy, but worth it.
Knowledge is futile and useless if it isn’t transforming us into Christ. -1 Corinthians 13:2
Understanding and Enlightenment of scriptures
The more I grew, the more scriptures made sense. Like magic, the Holy-Spirit kept connecting the dots from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
Understanding came and instructions from God would follow.
I started to see the purpose of God littered everywhere! The bible felt like a map where I could trace God’s will and follow through until I arrived at Christ and finally at my humanity. God began to open the eyes of my understanding.
God’s will was made clear even from Genesis and remained the same until Revelations. God didn’t change. Please ignore people or teachers who try to twist scriptures to fit the human understanding.
God’s ways are past finding out so He MUST reveal himself to us through the help of the HolySpirit to our souls.
And this comes as we obey Him.
Ability to wait on God
Another evidence of spiritual growth is our ability to wait on God for his word and his leading. Jesus waited on His father, same with Paul and the other apostles, Abraham, David and other Patriarchs in the bible.
The more I grow, the easier it becomes to wait on God. God began to leak out the fear I’d had about waiting on Him. You know there’s a fear that is associated with leaving everything in God’s hands or the fear of missing out and being forgotten.
If you see anyone in haste, then be rest assured such individual isn’t ready to grow.-Isaiah 28:6
Insatiable appetite for God
As you long for God, you grow insatiable. You cannot say you have arrived in God. Even Paul with the abundance of his revelations was still pressing into more of God. Even with all of Paul’s obedience, he knew His purpose in Christ was yet to be fulfilled. So he didn’t glory in past obedience, achievements, miracles, signs and wonders.
No. He grew hungrier. He pressed on. That’s the evidence of growth. A seeking soul can only be satisfied until God is found.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my GOAL, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.philipians 3:12
God looks bigger and you look smaller and insignificant
Spiritual growth isn’t attractive because you are crucifying your flesh and its boast.
If you see anyone boasting about their achievements with God, feeling like he knows all while trying to put others down, or he keeps trying to prove something to people, you can rest assured such a fellow isn’t growing.
Spiritual growth makes us transparent enough to talk about our weaknesses. Christianity is not about bragging but remembering where we came from and how much mercy was shown to us to inherit Eternal life.
Jesus was high yet he brought himself low to answer the questions of the Pharisees even when he knew their hearts.
“Why do you call Me good?” Jesus replied. “No one is good except God alone.“mark 10:18
I observed this pattern in me as I drew closer to God. How can God love a mortal like me?
What is my obedience in places where Jesus is concerned?
Who am I? A nobody like me will inherit Eternal life?
God is so pure and beautiful. The deeper you go, He reveals more of himself to you. You tremble at his word and fear Him-Psalm 51:17, Isaiah 61:2
I now know why Prophet Isaiah cursed himself the moment he saw God’s train fill the temple. -Isaiah 6:1
Same with Paul. Paul called himself the least of the apostles! Can you imagine?-1Corinthians 15:9
You cannot get a glimpse of God and remain normal.
You forgive and let go easily
This a no brainer. Spiritual growth made it easy for me to let go easily. How can we become like Christ if we can’t even forgive our fellowman? Jesus forgave the men who nailed him to the cross.
He even died for them.
So if you’re finding it hard to forgive or let go of things, ask God for help to make you grow. I know this isn’t easy, but salvation is at stake here.
There are so many traits of spiritual growth, but I hope these suffice for now. God wants his children to grow. The same way we place premium on physical growth is the same way God does for spiritual growth. Please go through the list and use it to assess yourself.
Perhaps if you falter, ask God to help you. For he is ever willing to see you blooming so you can bear Him fruits.
Bloom with Love. Xx!
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