If I had to pinpoint one thing that led me to my purpose, I would have to say it was my spiritual growth. Scriptures for spiritual growth would be at the top of the list. Before God led me to my purpose, I spent about three to five years really seeking out God and the things of God. I craved a more intimate relationship with Him and to be used by Him in supernatural ways. The more I learned, the easier it was for me to hear from Him when the time came for Him to reveal my purpose to me.
So, I’m excited to bring you this episode.
I spoke briefly about my recent spiritual growth spurt in an episode last year. This episode is slightly different. It focuses on how to facilitate spiritual growth and incorporates scriptures for spiritual growth.
In this episode, I’m going to break down:
- Three methods for growing spiritually
- Scriptures for spiritual growth that provide some insight into each method
- Tips for how you can get started today
How to Grow Spiritually
Spiritual growth is the process of learning more about God and applying what you learn. It’s the journey of growing in faith to know more about God, and in the process, becoming the person that He created you to be.
My definition of spiritual growth stems from Paul’s description of it in his letter from jail to the Colossians. Specifically, Colossians 1:9-10 which is the first scripture for spiritual growth that I recommend. It says:
“We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
This scripture outlines what it means to be spiritually productive.
Below are three methods I personally know to be necessary for building a foundation to facilitate spiritual growth.
#1 Read the Bible
The first key to spiritual growth is reading the bible. You can’t find scriptures for spiritual growth if you never read your Bible.
I really wish someone would have explained the importance of reading the Bible to me when I was younger. As a teenager and young adult, I would often hear that it was important to read the bible. I would even hear sermons where preachers would reprimand the congregation for having not opened their bibles in forever.
But the thing is, no one really explained why reading the Bible was important in the first place. Nor would they say what we were supposed to get out of it, outside of “needing to know what it says.” And I would think, “why do I need to read it when you’re telling me the high points of what I need to know.” You know? Like, I’m reading along with you as you read the scripture, so I know it says what you’re purporting that it says. So, why do I need to read any more?
That was my line of thinking for many, many years. It changed once I learned about the importance of the Bible and what the Bible actually is. One of the reasons reading the Bible is important is that it facilitates spiritual growth.
How the Bible Facilitates Spiritual Growth
The Bible is food for your soul.
The first way the Bible helps us grow spiritually is by serving as food for our souls. This is why it was important for me incorporate scriptures for spiritual growth throughout this episode. One scripture for spiritual growth I want to mention is 1 Peter 2:2, CSB. It says, “Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow up into your salvation.”
Peter is saying that just how newborn babies long for milk for their nourishment, we as Believers should long for the Word of God. We should long for it because it feeds us and helps us to grow and mature.
This analogy is interesting because newborn babies have an untainted approach to drinking milk. You typically don’t have to force babies to eat. When they are hungry they are going to demand food and eat. You also don’t have to worry about newborn babies binge eating. They try to eat one big meal to sustain them for days, weeks, or months.
As Believers, we should know when we are spiritually hungry...
…and we should consume the word consistently to nourish our souls. But often, we are spiritually malnourished. What we end up doing is trying to receive all of our spiritual nourishment during the two hours we’re in church on Sunday, if we’re even in church. We literally do the equivalent of binge-eating. Occasionally, we might consume what I call “fast food” content during the week that we get from social media when others share scriptures and how God spoke to them through that particular scripture.
None of this leads to your soul and spirit being fed properly though. Consistent reading of God’s word is what will feed your soul. In my opinion, reading and studying the Bible is the most important factor in spiritual growth. This is why I decided to discuss it first.
The Bible is one of the ways God speaks to you.
Another way the Bible helps you grow spiritually is because it allows you to hear directly from God.
Hebrews 4:12, NLT says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
God speaks to us through his written word. In fact, do you want to know how I knew I needed to record this episode? I knew because one Saturday morning before my quiet time with God, I was trying to decide whether I was going to take a break from the podcast for two weeks or if I was going to just record shorter episodes for those two weeks.
I didn’t want to decide right then, so I dropped the issue and began reading my Bible. Within the first few minutes, God gave me the topics that I needed to cover for the two weeks and this was one of them.
God wants to speak to you too. When you hear God speaking to you about your specific circumstances through His Word it just does something to you. It increases your faith and helps you to trust God more. So when He tells you to do something that appears sketchy, you’ll be more willing to be obedient and do it. And let me tell you now, purpose is all about acts of obedience.
The Bible has the answer for every situation.
The last way I will discuss in the episode of how the Bible aids in spiritual growth is because the Bible is the only thing that has a solution for every single problem you will ever encounter. The Bible has the answer to every question you will ever have.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV
Knowing I have a spiritual solution to natural problems makes me feel secure.
Tips for Reading the Bible
Reading the Bible can seem intimidating to some people. I know I was intimidated by it when I first started reading it. So I want to give you some tips to help
- Get a version of the Bible that you understand. I recommend the NLT, CSB, or NKJV.
- Find a reading schedule that works best for you. If reading 4 days a week for 30 minutes each day is what you can do now, then start there. The idea is to start somewhere and stick to it. You will increase this over time because you will begin to crave more and more intimacy, connection, and knowledge.
- Make a date out of it. Set the ambiance. Get your favorite blanket. Light your favorite scented candle. Drink your favorite tea.
Prayer aids in our spiritual growth because it allows us to tap into heaven. Another scripture for spiritual growth is 1 Thessalonians 5:17 which tells us to pray without ceasing.
There is a quote from Mark Batterson about prayer that I love. It says, “Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray.”
Prayer serves so many purposes. It allows us to develop a deeper relationship with God. It allows us to glorify God and make requests of Him. Prayer also shows God that we want what He has provided in the spirit realm to manifest in the natural.
The connection with God that comes through communicating with Him through prayer and seeing Him answer your prayers is powerful. It’s what a lot of people long for.
Despite all of those benefits though, prayer is significantly underutilized.
I think if we were to dive into and explore the root of why we don’t pray nearly as much as we should, a lot of Bible scholars probably would say that it is likely due to our pride. Their line of thinking is that we believe we are self-sufficient and can take care of ourselves, by ourselves. So, when people don’t pray it’s because they believe they don’t need God, and they can handle their lives on their own.
This makes sense, because a lot of prayer is our acknowledgement that we need help and that we appreciate the help we’ve already received.
Alright, the last key to spiritual growth that I’ll discuss in this episode is church. Now, I have an entire episode of the podcast titled The Purpose of Church where my pastor does a deep dive into the role the church plays in our lives. In that episode we discussed:
- The purpose of church
- What to look for in a church
- How to deal with church hurt, and
- The role the church plays in discovering your purpose
My advocacy for people consistently going to a good Bible-teaching church isn’t because I think that people should just go to church for the sake of going to church.
So here is what I will say about how the church facilitates spiritual growth.
Church aids in our spiritual growth by operating as a teaching and confirming mechanism. The early church that formed after Jesus’ resurrection focused on four things: worship, fellowship, outreach, education.
Here's a breakdown of the integral parts of the church...
Worship is our acknowledgment and reverence of who God is, what He has done, and what we are trusting and believing for Him to do. It’s one of the only things that we can give back to God.
Fellowship allows us to connect with the body of Christ and share with each other. We learn and grow from the people around us. There is nothing like having a spirit-filled person around to speak life into you and confirm the things only you and God have spoken about. God uses those people to be confirming voices to us about things He has said in His word that apply to us and decisions we need to make.
The third focus of the church is outreach. The church isn’t meant to be an exclusive country club. We’re supposed to serve our communities.
Church is also a teaching mechanism that provides a place for us to learn and grow in the knowledge of the Word. Church is where we learn God’s perspective on things. This is how we grow. It’s impossible to grow past what you know, so in order to grow spiritually, you need more knowledge about the one who’s spirit lives inside of you.
These four things should be integral parts of churches now as well because they each play a role in our spiritual growth.
That concludes the main methods I wanted to share that aid in spiritual growth.
There is another thing that I want to mention that helps with spiritual development but it isn’t anything that should be relied on heavily, and that’s devotionals. Devotionals are tools that provide a scripture reading that’s usually accompanied by an inspirational message. I love a good devotional but it isn’t something I rely on because it’s someone else’s revelation and interpretation of scripture. So while they are great support tools, they aren’t meant to replace reading the Bible and praying.
Before I conclude this episode highlighting scriptures for spiritual growth, I want to challenge you to pick one primary method for spiritual growth and create a plan to engage in it consistently. Whether it’s reading your Bible, praying, or going to church, create a plan of the days and times you will engage in these activities and stick to it.
Scriptures for Spiritual Growth
Here is a list of all of the scriptures for spiritual growth I mentioned in this episode:
- Colossians 1:9-10
- 1 Peter 2:2
- Hebrews 4:12
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17
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