Someone asked a question in a group I belong saying; “How do I grow?” This is a very important question one must ask, else one will never come into his true potential as a follower of Christ.
Christianity is a Spiritual walk with God; for God is a Spirit. Spiritual growth is not growing in faith but the all-round growth of our spiritual relationship with God. It involves the development of our Christian spiritualties such that even as our mortal bodies are growing, our eternal bodies/spirit are also growing into the likeness of God.
To understand Christian Spiritual growth we must understand the physical growth process which starts from when a child is born into the world.
A babe at first is born into the world without sight, strength and abilities. It lacks understanding and much intelligence. It lacks developed immune system that can help it fight alien bodies and so needs to be shielded. It needs to be carried and petted. It hardly knows it’s mother or father and cannot speak to them. It doesn’t have teeth and lacks strong bones which shows fragility. It also cannot defend itself.
After birth the babe begins to grow in size, weight, knowledge, strength, intelligence, abilities etc. As the child is growing he learns to speak and converse better. He could start to defend himself, develops new skills and discover his gifts and talents. And the human growth process doesn’t end until death. Even at old age one can increase in knowledge and wisdom.
If we liken this new born babe to a Christian newly birthed or converted, then we will understand Christian Spiritual growth.
A new convert in Christ would be lacking many things as a new babe would. He lacks knowledge of spiritual things. He lacks spiritual wisdom. His Christian immune system could still be questioned. He hardly knows his Father although he believes in Him. He is fragile and could be easily led astray. At this stage his prayer life could be weak. In the area of spiritual gifts he could have none, but if he has an, it would be very much undeveloped and without maturity. In the area of spiritual strength he may have just little. For Spiritual sight, he may have none.
At a stage he will be expected to begin to crawl. At another time stand; at another time walk; and then He should run and help others to run. This is possible only if He is able to grow all the things he lacked at re-birth, and develop the ones that he had at re-birth.
One day this Christian should be able to look back at coming to Christ like a babe and becoming a threshing instrument, a vessel of honour in God’s hands fit for every good work. This is Christian Spiritual growth process.
Therefore, Spiritual growth is a Christian growth process whereby someone who comes to Christ is more established in spiritual faith(Faith that comes from abundance of God’s spirit and not just a mind faith), in the spiritual knowledge of God and his dealings, in spiritual understanding, in spiritual wisdom(Wisdom that comes from the abundance of God’s Spirit), in response to spiritual things, in Christian spiritual warfare, in spiritual gifts, and in manifesting the power of God.
Yes! A Christian was made to be able to wield some levels of God’s power. If we cannot yet produce anything, the problem is with our spirit. It is too undeveloped and has not put on reasonable glory.
Few things we have must note:
- As in physical dwarfism, so in spiritual dwarfism.
- The length of years one has being in the Church does not relate to his spiritual growth. He could have stayed 50years in Church but still a babe in the spirit.
- When one truly grows in the spirit, He is also being drawn closer to God.
- Spiritual growth increases our chances of producing spiritual power and manifestations.
What is not Christian Growth
- Going from Church membership to the Pastoral is not spiritual growth.
- Becoming a Bishop or Church leader is not spiritual growth. This is just mere increase in fellowship ranking/title.
- Appointed or selected for a role in the church is not spiritual growth.
- Being part of the Church for many years is not spiritual growth.
- Belonging to a group or association in the Church is not spiritual growth.
- Becoming used to the Church system and you are able to relate with the other membership is not a spiritual growth.
- Learning to give huge chums of your money to God’s work is not spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth implies that the things that concerns our spiritual walk with God are being strengthened, sharpened and established. Our spiritual receptacles and discernment has grown. Our understanding of signs are strongly positioned. Our spiritual deposits and gifts become more elaborate and effective. Our spiritual power and sight are developed. Such a Christian gain more power of utterance.
I don’t want Christians to be ignorant that the name of Jesus is more powerful in the tongue of those who are better grown and developed in the Spirit. Principalities pay no respect to titles or position; but men of sizable heights in the Spirit they listen to.
There was a time God used a woman to deliver me from spiritual attack. I prayed and prayed but the forces sustained their attack. Immediately this woman started to pray, they were overpowered. For, she had invested spiritually for many years and had become grown such that her utterance carried more weight than mine at that time. For sometime I wondered why a Prophet with mighty visions couldn’t prevail some dark forces, meanwhile thi woman could. I later learnt that my calling does not diminish that legalism of spiritual growth and spiritual power; they work together.
Therefore was the need to grow as fast as possible so that I can take my rightful place in the spirit.
If a Christian is having dreams or realities of calling on Jesus and the devil or evil one is hard to go, it shows how timid your spiritual life and growth is. If you grow the forces will listen. Below are principles of Christian Spiritual growth.
- Be thoroughly saved.
Let no one imagine that somehow he can begin to grow spiritually until he is truly saved by Christ’s redeeming power. Becoming genuinely born again is the first step towards spiritual growth.
Many at times preachers and Church people miss this important part. It doesn’t matter how long you fast, it doesn’t matter how long you do religious activities. If you are not truly saved, it is just like you are studying A-level courses without passing primary school. So God could ignore your prayers and fast, especially the ones that are aimed at seeking for greater glory, grace and power. God’s glory is not the right of sinners in the Church or outside the Church. Therefore, instead of fasting and praying to hear from God or to manifest power, let believers who are still been defeated by sin seek God that the yoke of sin may be broken.
Sacrifice he has not desired, but a pure heart does He seek from us. For He said: Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you- Matthew 6:33.
- Growth through Prayer.
If a Christian has any gift or spiritual deposit or if he can hear from God, his fervent prayer life can help strengthen and sharpen his gifts. His commitment to prayer will cause his receptacles to be stronger such that the voice of God will come more often. Even visions will increase for a praying Christian.
I do not say that prayer is how to hear from God, but if your ears are already open, a fervent prayer life will cause the voice of God to come more often. Also if you lack spiritual gifts, a fervent prayer life can be used to purchase gifts. I cannot begin to mention how many gifts God gave me in 2021. As I would be praying, He’ll open my eyes in the Spirit to a new gift from Home.
The promise of God to prune those who bare fruits is not elusive of praying Christians. The desire of God is for the Church and Christians to be in their best shape to enable them prevail. For God told me in 2021 that those whom He shall make use of in this generation are those who are willing to labour for Him. These are the candidates of His mighty power and mighty gifts.
- Growth through Evangelism.
The most overlooked Spiritual growth mechanism is Evangelism. God has used this tool to teach me great lessons as a preacher, that no Church or Christian can grow effectively neglecting evangelism.
I used to go out to preach by obedience to God. It continued a long time until God brought me to a point that I can foresee where to go. As I pen this, where I’m to begin my next evangelism campaign has been shown to me already. It wasn’t this way until God saw my faithfulness to obey the call to evangelize then he gave me the gift of vision. I soon learnt that all ministries to God and man needs spiritual gifts and graces. We cannot attain those hidden treasures until we show faithfulness in doing them. For to he who has more will be given- Matthew 13:12.
- Growth through daily and regular bible study.
The growth that comes through regular bible study is tremendous. I once read the bible so much that a Spirit entered into me strongly. By that Spirit my mind was set on fire. I started to think my brain was topnotch, but I later learnt that the Spirit came to help me understand the message of my calling. But it didn’t come until God saw my zeal in bible study. For to Him who has more will be given.
The Angel Gabriel said to Daniel; “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard; and I have come for thy words. Daniel 10:12″
Let us understand that Daniel first set his heart to understand. He probably set himself apart for this. A decision that prompted God to send the Angel to answer his prayers. He was laboring his heart to understand.
Can we still find Christians who read the bible zealously, seeking for understanding, knowledge and wisdom of the God of all Ages? Or has our Cellphone, PlayStation and fun times taking robbed us of Angelic assistance?
Joshua 1:8 says: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
It is simply impossible for any Christian to have good successful growth without God’s word. The word of God does so much for us, including sanctifying us from impurities that hamper spiritual growth.
Also, the more a Christian studies the bible, the more He learns and knows more about His God. The bible says: “Those who know their God shall be strong, and do great exploits. Daniel 11:32 ”
Lastly, there are things and gifts we cannot receive until we can handle them. There are dimensions God will keep from us until we possess knowledge. If not we shall become fools and God’s generousities shall ensnare us. Christian, read your bible like your life depends on it, or you will never grow.
- Growth through going to Church and Church activities.
“And let us not forsake the fellowship that we have among ourselves.” Hebrews 10:25
We are in a generation where many Christians don’t go to bible classes, night vigils and Sunday service. Many will prefer to play gospel music on Sunday morning. Others will go jogging, family outings, recreations etc. Jesus Christ in His time stepped into the Synagogue to teach the people.
In attending Church and other activities one has to partake in worship, giving and ministrations. We listen to testimonies, sermons and songs. In the presence of the Spirit and the power of God these things edify God’s people. And where God’s presence is, that place is a potential breeding ground for his generousities. For it is the Spirit that illuminates our hearts on God’s Word; He feeds the spirit man; He helps us to grow. Sitting under the ministration of a genuine servant of God can illuminate anyone, it can increase our faith, it can increase our understanding and sharpen our spiritual gifts. No island Christian can grow much.
- Growth through Faithfulness & Obedience
In the year 2021 God opened my eyes to an unpopular truth. All that God expects us to do, if we are faithful in them, He will grow us to new heights.
We cannot expect God to increase us in negligence to what is demanded from us. Reading the bible daily, praying without ceasing, preaching the gospel of Christ, attending Church and activities are basic things we ought not to overlook. Other things may include obedience to specific/special assignments or tasks God has assigned to us. Spiritual growth and maturity is only possible by faithfulness and obedience to God.
My advice is for Christians to be attentive to their spiritual walk with God. At the end of the year, let us look back at how we started the year and how we are ending it.
If there were no new gifts, if there were no sharpened spiritual gifts, if our receptacles to God’s voice didn’t improve, if our strength in prayer didn’t grow, if there were no new anointing and graces, if our wisdom and prudency didn’t grow, if our visions didn’t come more often, if our faith was not able to move more mountains, if the spiritualties of our walk with God didn’t grow and produce visible effect on our Christian living, then we have had no spiritual growth that entire year.
May God help us in 2022. Happy New Year!!!