So, I know not all of my audience shares my faith in Jesus, but I know a lot of you do!! This is going to be a spiritually focused blog so I hope I can add value to those that share my faith. And if you don’t, feel free to keep reading because you might be challenged and you might be able to apply it to your life in your own way. You might be challenged by Melville applied in your own way.I want to focus on this big question: how do I grow as a Christian? Like how do we become more like the savior that we’re pursuing? How do we become a better disciple, a better follower of Jesus, a Christ follower?
How do we do those things?
I think if you’re like me, you have a genuine desire to grow in your faith, but life is busy, right? There’s a lot of responsibility. There’s a lot going on in our everyday lives. There’s so many distractions; whether it’s you’ve got family, you’ve been working, or you’ve watched too much news (Oh my goodness, please stop doing that). Whatever it might be, there’s a lot of stuff that can distract us from that spiritual growth that we desire. Sometimes it’s just good to come back to the starting point and say, Okay, what, what, what helps us grow? What helps us become more like Jesus, the way we want to be? I thought I’d give you a few thoughts on that to maybe support you, maybe encourage you today. Maybe it is just the thing you need to read at the right time just today.
If I am being truthful, what is the number one habit that’s helped me grow? Journaling, I did a series of blogs on this not too long ago. It is the habit of having this journal and giving God my undivided attention that has created space for Him to speak to me. This is where I converse with Him, I ask to receive from God, this has been my greatest place of prayer. That’s what happens inside the very pages of my journal. This is where God does his best work in my life! You should check out the other blogs about Journaling because well that is a quick bonus mention today! So, the first thing outside of journaling that has helped me grow as a Christian the most:
My Pastor has been known to say that we are all under construction. We are always under construction. We are not where we need to be. Philippians 3, one of my favorite series of versus Paul writes beginning at verse twelve, “I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. My friends, I don’t feel I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done. All of us who are mature should think in this same way. And if any of you think differently, God will make it clear to you. But we must keep going in the direction that we are now headed.”
And if you are in a place of desiring and wanting to grow, maybe the first step is to acknowledge where you need to grow.
Get honest. If you watched any of my videos or read any of my blogs, you’ve heard me say this a million times: the quickest way to change is to face reality. How could you get honest right now and say, Okay, how do I need to grow spiritually? Maybe there is a purity issue. Maybe there is a devotion of giving the time to God through a habit of journaling or Bible reading, or maybe you don’t really pray that much. You might pray at meal time over your food but you don’t really have a deep conversational relationship with God. For you, the first step is to say, where do I need to grow? Maybe it’s compassion, maybe you need to get better at loving people. There are so many opportunities for that to do right now in our world. And then say, Hey, here’s why I need to grow.
In Psalms there are a few verses that refer to the Cedars of Lebanon. I think a tree planted in the house of God shall flourish. It will grow like the Cedars of Lebanon. I’m paraphrasing a little bit. I’m getting mixed up, but you’ll grow and you will flourish. You can’t do that without being planted in God’s house, you’ve got to get planted. And so stop church hopping. Many of us have had to go to church online recently, and that is awesome, but don’t just “go”… GET CONNECTED IN A BODY OF BELIEVERS.
Why is this so important?
Because you’re going to consistently have the word of God spoken. You’re going to be in a community where you are known, seen, heard, and valued. Hopefully people will speak truth and love and help you grow. Right? And so community is important. Being submitted to spiritual leadership is important. Having that consistently in your life.
So if you have not been planted in a church (I know some of you have been hurt by the church, never been to a church, or thought I have never been to a good church), there is no such thing as a perfect church and you should get planted. The church is God’s vehicle to bring hope to the world. It is God’s plan. That means you and I don’t get to edit it. God said, get planted in a church. The body of Christ was created to build you up, me up and equip us for works of ministry.
Ephesians 4:16 (Put in Blog as a Pull Quote) Amplified
From Him the whole body [the church, in all its various parts], joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, when each part is working properly, causes the body to grow and mature, building itself up in [unselfish] love.
And so the church is part of God’s plan for you to be everything that God created you to be. And so you’ve got to get planted in a church. And so I encourage you to find a church, it isn’t going to be perfect. But find a church where you can be a part of the life, where you can serve, where you can discover your gifts and develop them… ultimately so that you can flourish as He created you to.
If you want to grow as a Christian, you have got to be in the right relationships. I say it, I preach it all the time: proximity is power. You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. As a person of faith, I know that I want to get around high level, high thinking people in business, but I also know the primary influencers in my life are people of faith, so I need to be people who share my faith, who are going to be the iron sharpening iron like in Proverbs. And you need those people that know who you are, know what you believe. They’re going to remind you of your identity in Christ. They’re going to remind you of the greatness that He’s called you to the abundance that He’s created you for.
You need deep relationships. Again, I said this before, but this is the theme of my life: be where you are known, seen, heard, and valued. Be with those that challenged you to be to grow and to be better. Be with those that will celebrate you! I mean, you need to get around some people who celebrate the destiny that God’s placed on your life.
If I were to give you a little challenge specifically today, it would be to start with that first step and say, Where do I need to grow? And then number two, Who are the people, or maybe where is the place, the church that I could get plugged into to help me grow in these areas? Maybe there’s a specific action step you need to take, but where do I need to grow? And then, Who are the people who can help or the place that can help me do those things?
Then you can begin to come more and more of who God designed you to be so that you can make a difference in this world. That’s why God put us here after all. So I hope this encouraged you all. You Jesus’ love and faith people. If it did drop a comment here, tell me what’s your takeaway from this or maybe you’re already able to answer a couple of those questions and tell us what your action step is for you to begin growing more in Jesus, to become like Him and make a difference in the world. In fact, to that point, you should go out there and give your greatness to the world because somebody needs what’s on the inside of you. I love you! Have a great day.