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How can I grow spiritually?

By Fred Smolchuck

If your child remained an infant, requiring constant care year after year, you would be concerned and sorrowful. So, too, your Heavenly Father expects you, His child, to grow and develop spiritually. When you don’t, it brings Him sorrow (Luke 13:34).

Consider these basic steps toward spiritual growth.

Breathe fresh air. Adam was a splendid but lifeless statue, until his lungs were filled with God’s breath. Ezekiel was confronted with a valley full of dead men’s bones that later became covered with flesh, but it took God’s "wind" to transform them into living beings.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live" (John 11:25, NIV). In His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).

To grow spiritually, we must dwell in God’s presence and breathe deeply this divine atmosphere.

Eat healthy food and drink pure water. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life" (John 6:35). He taught us to pray, "Give us today our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). Our Heavenly Father has already given us that bread — the heavenly "manna," which is Jesus, the Word (John 6:48-51).

We must also have water — the Spirit of God. He will refresh our souls and remind us of Jesus’ words. Feasting on God’s Word will add muscle and energy to our being and assist us to fulfill His will.

Exercise. Spiritual exercise includes being active in church and witnessing for Christ.

Minister to your brothers and sisters in Christ. Help your unsaved neighbors, "that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

Spiritual exercises will cause you to grow.

Study. Paul said, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV). "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" (Proverbs 4:13).

Study the Bible; memorize it. Read the writings of godly people and listen to the instruction of pastors and teachers.

Our Heavenly Father desires that His children mature and reflect His image.

Fellowship. God fellowshipped with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. One day, Adam was not in his usual place, and God called to him, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:9). Jesus said: "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you" (Luke 22:15).

We must come to God often to express our love, worship, praise and thanksgiving.

Paul warns, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers … What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? … Therefore come out from them and be separate" (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

Cultivate close relationships with believers.

Rest. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him" (Psalm 37:7). Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice" (John 10:27).

God offers rest: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul" (Psalm 23:1-3).

Get alone with God and let Him talk to you.

We must give our soul and spirit opportunity to hear God’s voice (Exodus 34:29-35).

When you grow spiritually, you reflect the nature of your Heavenly Father. Check your spiritual condition today.

Fred Smolchuck was Michigan District secretary-treasurer until his retirement in 1982. He lives in Springfield, Mo.


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