Spiritual Growth

The Dynamics of Spiritual Growth


If you click on the MP3 named Spiritual Growth 1 and then Spiritual Growth 2 & 3, I will read the text to you.
All scripture referenced on this page is attached in mp3 format for your listening pleasure.
I need to give credit to www.firefighters.org for their work of providing the entire bible in mp3 format for free to the general public!
I have used their bible verses in assistance on every page where scripture is quoted.


I want to share about the path of spiritual growth that most Christians will experience. Please read the next two articles also titled "A Daily Spiritual Walk I & II. It seems we all have to learn about how the Holy Spirit works in our personal lives, but remember, there is always an element of faith that is connected to every step.

1st Peter 2:2 says..As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
 
So, we have now become a born again Christian, which is the necessary step to start out nursing on the milk of the word.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born again when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

When we accept Christ as our personal savior, we are being born again of the spirit, it is not physical, although many feel the immediate indwelling of the Holy Ghost and have an emotional experience. The living water is the Holy Spirit which comes to us as a free gift when we are born again. John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, if thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. You see, Jesus knew that the father would eventually send the gift of the Holy Ghost to all those who accepted him as their personal savior after his crucifixion.

In Acts 3:38 Peter told all of them: Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Being baptized is not a prerequisite to receiving the Holy Ghost. Here's the proof!

Acts 10:44-48 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45) And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46) For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47) Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48) And He commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord...

All we need to do is to accept Jesus Christ, which means with all your heart, believe on the name of Jesus Christ being God's son. Having been born of the virgin Mary, suffering and dying on the cross and after being buried, rising the third day and going to sit at the right hand of God.
 
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. What does this mean? It means that we don't have to go around burdening ourselves or believing some false church doctrine that we have to evangelize for a certain period of time, or work, or do anything to earn our salvation! It IS a free gift, by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

We are now a new believer, what happens next?

Without shyness we need to share it with whomever we can, and especially those of the faith. Now comes the hard part. The devil will seek to try to destroy your newly found faith and cause you to fall back into the worldly scheme of life. This is were we need to arm ourselves with the whole Armour of God!

Ephesians 6:10-17 Finally, my brethren be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. 14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God:


Spiritual growth is a life long process and many people grow at different speeds. Some are stifled in their growth for a season or more and others continually grow and bear fruit accordingly. There is no magic formula! Your heart, your walk of obedience and your faith are the key ingredients.


If we were full of faith, if we were 100% obedient, we could grow exceedingly fast, however, that is the stumbling block for all.

We are a logical society, we are an academic society, we are a technological society, we are a philosophical society. We do not easily accept the dynamics of faith. We can experience them in a carnal and secular sense. We can accept faith on the basis of performance or honesty in a person after they have shown it is within the integrity of that person. However, there is that unprecedented time when a person fails and we lose our faith in them.

Looking at faith from that perspective, we should be able to exercise our faith in God more easily once we can grasp His ultimate sovereignty, weighing it against the fact that He created the very earth
we live on and the atmosphere that we breath.

However, this is an invisible God in whom we have never seen, never touched, never trusted before.


It's like electricity, we know it's there, it can even kill you, but until you get shocked  by it, it is really not a reality. Most of us take it for granted and like God, we turn it on when we need it, and turn it off when we don't!

Like God, electricity is real, it is there and you better fear it! Like God's promise of death through sin,  sin brings death, the more you sin, the sooner you will die, fear God!


Concerning growth, we have to experience trials in our life.


Here's the catch, if you don't consciously realize that every trial and tribulation happens for the ultimate reason to teach you, then you won't understand what God wants you to learn from it. It is only
then that it will help you grow in your faith, otherwise, they just keep happening with no growth, no explanation, and no maturity.

Often to the detriment of our mentality and sanity, rather than for our spiritual growth.


1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; 13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. ...16) Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17) For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?


So let every trial, no matter how small, be a learning experience in Christ, and allow it to grow your spiritual life. If only we could just be like a simple minded child at age 3 or 4, who, when told something, they just believe. Jesus says unless we come to him like a child we will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.


Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4) Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.


Now here's the real hard facts about our spiritual growth and our walk with Christ. He is trying to develop a child's mentality in our adult body. With all of our soul we have to trust God just like a three year old child would, in order for our spiritual maturity to be completed. We have to be unabashed when it comes to our spiritual life. Then we have to be able to commit and trust all of our idiosyncrasies
to God. No matter what issue we are faced with, it has to be put in God's hands.


In every situation and every trial you have to be able to say, "God, it's in your hands, I trust you completely, and whatever the consequences are, I accept them, and will learn from them, whatever it is you want me to learn!" Then you have to let go, and as they say, let God! No worry, no doubt, no problem!


This is the greatest test of our faith that there is. When you can do this with all things, you will have learned to humble yourself before God like that little child.


There's one other very important thing, listening to God.


You have to develop and cultivate how you hear that still small voice that gently guides you, through the ushering of His Holy Spirit. This is not an easy task. This is only accomplished through a prayer life that is consistent with the will of God for your life. It then culminates in being able to develop a routine of recognizing the Lord's response to your prayers. If you read in both the old and new testaments, there were several things that are consistent with the people who counted on God for guidance.



Some say putting out a fleece is normal. Read the story of Gideon in Judges 6:36. The Scribes and the Pharisees asked for a sign in the new testament, but Jesus said he was going to be the sign.


There is nothing wrong with asking God for discernment. We always have to ask God for more than one alert for direction. Because Satan walks around as an angel of light seeking whom he can devour, 1st Peter 5:8. So we need to be cautious about our steps of faith. You can however, develop a consistent routine with God through prayer and learn to recognize his leading's.

Now, here's another dynamic that comes at a little more of a cost to us. The Holy Spirit while ushering us in the direction of doing God's will, and helping us stay within his will, uses our convictions to steer us in the direction of righteousness. We have to listen to our convictions as they occur and not ignore them.


Here's something to remember, God will not lay anymore burden on us than we can handle. Why do you think He tells us His burden is light, Matthew 11:30?

Here's the tricky part. It's not unusual at all, for all of us to have  so many convictions as a new believer  or recent convert that it is overwhelming.

What the necessary ingredient for our lives at any given point in this situation, is a sincere heart. You see, first of all, God tells us that His power is made perfect in our weakness. So when we are overcome by what feels like too many expectations for our spiritual walk, all we need to do is pray to God about what the next step is, and He will give us strength to do it.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

It doesn't matter how many bad habits or how many sinful things that you are caught up in.


If you pray with a sincere heart, asking God to help you over come them, or change your attitude about your lifestyle, or to help you start a new good habit, He will give you strength to accomplish whatever it is in a timely fashion. We just need to keep our thoughts and attitude focused on His will. Then, what ever it is that we can't do, we just need to remember to ask for forgiveness for those things and pray for strength to stop whatever it is, that is a sinful habit.

In many areas of our lives, God can give us strength to actually stop more than one bad habit at a time, it's similar to multitasking in the business world. Naturally, some bad habits are too big to combine with others and focusing on one thing at a time when necessary is the way to do it. But the bottom line is, we worship and are children of an all powerful and omniscient, all knowing savior.
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My hope for you is that you have had a prayer of salvation,
and if you haven't and you want to ask Christ into your heart and life,
then I offer these words for you to repeat,
but only if your heart is sincere,
because God knows it if you're not.



****                                          ******
Dear God,                                 I now know
I have needed                             you and have
rejected your calling,              so today, right now,
I ask Jesus Christ to come          into my heart and my life,
and forgive me from all past sin and Lord cleanse me from
my unrighteousness. I want you forever more to be my
guide and I want to follow you as a believer. I ask for
your strength to change my heart and my earthly
ways so that I can become a better child in
your kingdom. Show me how to depend
on you in all things. I thank you
and pray this prayer in
the name of Jesus
Christ, Amen!

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September 20th, 2009 - 44 revisions
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