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Are you growing spiritually?

This Column Will Save Your Life
By Jean Davenport-Niles

Let’s talk… Are you growing spiritually? God wants to have a very personal relationship with each person He creates. To do so, we have to seek Him to established that relationship. As a child you might have experienced having a parent who stood you up against a door frame and put a ruler flat on your head to measure your height. Each year you could look at the lines with dates to determine how much you had grown in a year. But how do you measure your spiritual growth?
Because your spiritual health is directly related to your relationship with God, there is no exact formula for spiritual growth. But I have found some steps for growing spiritually that helped me enjoy a closer walk with God. Without a clear desire and hunger for God we become stagnant as the relationship never develops fully. We never grow. We miss our purpose. Just like a newly planted bush requires attention, there are things we need to do in order to grow spiritually. Turn from the busy life, make knowing God your top priority. Seek God with your whole heart and ask Him to reveal His love to you. The Bible is a ‘how to book” for us to know God, and why our Heavenly Father is desiring us to find His salvation, joy, comfort, peace and purpose —plus more. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT Growing spiritually is the most important, gratifying challenge that leads to growth in every other area of our lives. I have watched a Sunday school class of women grow exponentially when they pray specifically with real faith and expectation of what God will do. The prayer is assured to be heard and will be addressed in some way by our God. The faith is there because they know The Person is real and close to them. The expectancy is the knowledge that God wants to give us more abundantly than what we ask. When the prayer is answered, the women rejoice at the testimony of God’s grace and greatness. I believed praying is a key source to developing that relationship regardless of how He speaks-through the Bible, through other people or a direct sense of knowing He is there. Yet, we know He speaks to us accordingly.

What are the elements of spiritual growth?
1. We become more selfless and adjust how we spend our time
2. We become more generous with our resources
3. We pursue peace instead of chaos
4. We choose and are willing to forgive
5. We experience a deepening connection in relationships

6. We spend more time with God in prayer and worship

Be humble and aware that without Jesus’ sacrifice, we are nothing. Saturate yourself in the Bible as a way to learn about the character, greatness and grace of God. God will speak to you. Prayer and worship will have one of the greatest impacts on your spiritual maturity. The connection with God will flow naturally. What God says in prayer is far more important than what we say. Spend time with people who have already invested in spiritual growth. As a selfish nature diminishes, a more Christ-like selfless attitude emerges and serving others becomes a life style. Growing will bring about the most joyful and comforting experiences into your life. If you want a closeness with God—to know His will and His voice, you must devote time and effort to cultivate a love relationship with Him. Ask –and you will receive abundance from God.

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