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 dont, 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 Gods breath. Ezekiel was
confronted with a valley full of dead mens bones that later
became covered with flesh, but it took Gods "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 Gods 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 Gods
Word will add muscle and energy to our being and assist us to fulfill
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"
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
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
Paul warns, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers
What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
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
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 Gods
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.