Recognizing Our Spiritual Growth
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.2 Peter 1:5-8
If we are to recognize our spiritual growth we must first have the desire to spiritually grow. We are predestined to conform to the likeness of the Son, and this is a lifetime process. Therefore the Christian life is continual spiritual growth. If we are seeking spiritual growth, we can easily see when we are becoming more Christ-like. For example, if we seek to grow in faith and patience, we can easily recognize these changes in our lives.
The key factor in spiritual growth is always seeking to have a closer relationship with our Lord. We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands (1 John 2:3). When we obey the Lord’s commandments and minister to lost souls, God’s love is directed through us to others, which helps us to identify with the heart of Jesus. When ministering to others we become dependent on the Lord, which draws us closer to the Lord. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (1 John 15:5). Walking in obedience to the Lord’s commands, guided by the Spirit, His love increases in our hearts which draws us closer to Him.
We have knowledge of the Lord from the Word, which is absolutely necessary to enable our Christian walk. However if we refrain from obeying the Lord’s commands, what good to us is all this Biblical knowledge? Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20). Fulfilling this verse causes spiritual growth.
We measure our spiritual growth by the love that is in our hearts, This love ignites a fire in our spirits that drives us into the world to bring God’s truth to lost souls. The love in our hearts drives us into the world to minister, and also drives us into the Word, prayer, and fellowship. When love has truly changed our hearts, the things of God will become more interesting than things of the world. This means we are growing closer to our Lord. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).
Today be aware of your spiritual growth and seek to become more Christ-like. See and respond to the world through the Spirit. Be aware of Satan’s temptations such anger, impatience, or fear, and guard your heart from his evil desires. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23).
Let’s Pray: Lord, create in me a pure heart, a heart that seeks to be more Christ-like. Guide me in the Spirit to live a life that is modeled after Jesus, a life that promotes spiritual growth and draws me closer to you. In Jesus name, Amen.