God’s purpose for you is to grow and become all He created you to be. Do you believe that?
Not only that, He has placed the keys in your hands to make it happen.
Once you begin on the pathway of relationship with Jesus Christ, you soon realise that a marvellous adventure awaits you. Faith in Jesus Christ is not the destination, it is a step by step journey where each day presents new opportunities to grow and develop in your spiritual life.
One of the most important stories Jesus told, a spiritual illustration known as the ‘parable of the sower’, tells of different people who receive the Words of God into their heart, and how their heart attitude affects the kind of results they can expect. For some, it doesn’t even get a moment to take root. For others it has a tangible and positive effect for a short time, until cares, worries and pursuit of other things crowds it out.
“Jesus speaks about a group of people who receive the Word of God to their heart, and consistently see positive spiritual growth beyond their wildest dreams.”
The parable can be found in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke chapter 8. Go there and read it for yourself in your own Bible. This simple, short illustration that Jesus shared with contains profound spiritual truths that can help each one of us grow in the Lord.
In the story, Jesus also speaks about a group of people who receive the Word of God to their heart, and consistently see positive spiritual growth beyond their wildest dreams.
The Word is the seed…
How can we experience the growth we desire? It begins with a seed!
Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a tiny seed in Mark chapter 4, verses 29-32. Although it appears small and insignificant, it has the potential to grow and become the greatest of trees. Many people fail to see the results they desire, because they do not understand this principle.
We live in a culture that so often wants instant results, but it is through patient, wholehearted and passionate attention to the truth that the real benefits are seen.
Jesus described it this way:
“But the good soil represents honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s message, cling to it, and steadily produce a huge harvest.” Luke 8:15
The real key to spiritual growth…
Here is And here is the key if you want to see great results in your life. Jesus explicitly explained that the Word of God is like a spiritual seed that bears spiritual fruit in the lives of these who receive it and believe it. Just as a pumpkin seed produces pumpkins, and and apple seed brings forth an apple tree, the seed of God’s Word will bring forth the nature and character of God in our lives.
God and His Word are one – and His Words have a supernatural ability that causes our spiritual lives to flourish.
Peter, the great apostle of the early church, urged his disciples (and you and I!) to truly receive the Word of God into our lives with a childlike simplicity and trust.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” 1 Peter 2:2
Paul also was passionate in his belief that the key to growth, and to really stepping into all that God has for us, is a thorough knowledge and engagement with the Truth.
“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
What are you sowing?
Elsewhere in the New Testament we read that those who sow much, reap much, and those who sow sparingly reap little. This one spiritual principle can determine your future growth and effectiveness in God’s preplanned purposes for your life.
Essentially, you yourself can determine what, and how much, seed goes into your heart. When we understand that words are like seeds that produce after their own kind, and that we are the sowers of the seed things become very clear. Bad seed bears bad fruit, negative seed bears negative fruit – but good seeds, God seeds from His Word, bear God shaped fruit in our lives!
Jesus said that His words are spiritual life to those who receive them (John 6:63).
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
If you take time to ensure that His words take root in your life, you will without question see great blessing and powerful spiritual growth in your life.
I encourage you, just as Paul encouraged his disciples, give yourself to God and to His Word of grace. Let it get under your skin, and into your heart. Really taste, see and feel it – allow the Truth to grip your imagination and your desires. Lean your entire personality upon it in childlike trust and obedience.
Understand the enormous benefits of really pursuing a through knowledge of God and His Word. Amazing as it may seem, statistics show that 8 out of 10 Christians have never read through their Bible, not even once! Is it any wonder that so many Christians remain immature spiritually, and struggle to live the kind of life God desires for them to enjoy?
Mark 4:24 states:
“The measure [of thought and study] you give [to bthe truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.”
Don’t delay. Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t yet know. make it your determined purpose to begin right where you are at, and begin planting those seeds of destiny today.
Be sure to be a doer of the Word
Of course, it is not enough to simply fill your head with the Word, and not apply what you are learning. In the book of James, the writer makes it clear that to learn the Word, and not to act upon it, leads to deception. The deception he refers to is that some learn the Word, and think that because they know a set of facts and principles of faith, they are actually walking and living by faith. The real power is only released when we act on what we hear.
Jesus talked about this in another parable in Matthew 7 – a story about builders this time. In this story he compares the building of the spiritual life to the building of a house. Two builders are compared, one who merely hears the Truth, and appears to rapidly advance. Jesus, however, compares this person’s house to one built on shifting sands. When storms arise, and the challenges or pleasures of life come upon them, they are overwhelmed and the house comes crashing down.
The other person, by comparison, builds slowly but surely on a solid foundation – a foundation of hearing and acting upon the Word! When the storms come the house stands strong. A life of loving obedience, built in this way – brick by truthful brick – will never fail to increase in spiritual strength, month on month and year on year.
Other steps you can take to accelerate your growth in God
Having laid the foundation for solid progress in your Christian life by internalising the Word of God, and acting upon it on a consistent basis, you will also find that there are other principles that you can put in place to accelerate and maintain the pace and passion of your spiritual development in the things of God.
I will now take a few moments to point out just some of them.
Real spiritual progress is the result of relationship! Relationship with God is developed through His Word, and through consistent prayer. As you take time to spend with God you will come to know Him in a more intimate way. This, together with a knowledge of His promises, provides tremendous confidence to ask and receive answers in prayer.
John says in his one of his wonderful letters:
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15
Here we can see how knowing His will, and the confidence in the faithfulness of His character, work together and provide great boldness to approach God with our needs and desires.
Paul the apostle, a very great man of prayer Himself, said that the very purpose of His life was to know God more and more.
“Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss (worthless) compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more fully and clearly]…[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him.” Philippians 3:8-11, Amplified Bible
I encourage you to grab some of our Prayer Principles books, and to sign up for the free Prayer Principles newsletter. All of these resources will definitely help you develop in the area of prayer and deepen your relationship with God.
Spend Time With Other Believers
This key to growth cannot be overestimated. It is essential for our development as Christians to spend time with others who know and walk with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Again, the reason for this is the central role of relationship in the Christian faith. Christianity is not a philosophy, or a religious or moral code of conduct – it is a living, vibrant relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And our relationship with God is further proven and developed through our relationship with others!
John, in the same letters we quoted from earlier, goes so far as to say it is impossible to really love God without really loving others, especially those who are also followers of Jesus like yourself. Take a look at 1 John 3:10-17 to find out what he says.
A great Bible study you may want to pursue is to use a concordance to find all the places in the New Testament that contain the phrase “one another” and see what they say. You will not be surprised to find that the way our love is tested and developed is through learning to actively love those whom God loves. This includes His precious children, and those who do not yet know Him.
In fact, our love for one another is the true mark of maturity, and the distinguishing mark of the true Christian life.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35
Make it your determined purpose to learn to love as Christ loves you, and you will never fail to bear fruit for His Kingdom in your life.
Tell Others About The Reality of Jesus Christ In Your Life
If you find a really great bargain somewhere, or visit a place that is simply amazing, you would find it hard not to tell someone else about it, right? How much more the good thing we have discovered in Jesus!
Paul said in his short letter to a friend:
“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philemon 1:6
As we begin to share what we have discovered with others, we will find that we come to understand more and more. Generosity of spirit like this causes more and more to be reveled to us. As we give to others, we receive more ourselves! How amazing is God’s perfect system of love!
Don’t keep Jesus a secret. Honestly, sensitively, and passionately share His reality with others.
Be Intentional In Your Decisions
Be your own number one supporter and make some decisions today to sow the seed of God’s word into your heart, and then act on it in faith. Make time regularly to pray and spend time in God’s presence. Find a good, Bible believing church where people are serious about knowing Christ, and making Him known.
Invest In Your Growth In God
People invest time and money in all sorts of things. It may be hobbies, entertainment, education – the list is extensive. But how much time, energy, thought and money are you sowing into your progress spiritually? When you understand that the benefits of investment in your own progress affect not only your own life, but all those lives that will be touched through you, it makes perfect sense to make spiritual growth a real priority. This will be reflected in how you choose to spend your thoughts, your money, and the most precious of all commodities, your time.
I really encourage you to check out some of the resources recommended on the Jesus Christ website. As you invest in your spiritual growth with your time, thought, effort and money, nothing, and no one, can prevent you from seeing great things happen in your life!
Just as the Scripture says,
“I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
God has a great future for you. Seize it with passion and faith!