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Stevenson Ministries

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Growing Up Spiritually
by Chas Stevenson

You can get anywhere with God from right here. Regardless of where you've come from, the future is brighter. Life is not an accident. God has plan and a destiny for your life. But whether this divine destiny comes to pass or not depends on you. It depends on you wanting to walk with God. It depends on you learning some right things and avoiding some wrong things. And it depends on you committing to your spiritual growth journey so that you can know God's will and become the person God has called you to be.

With God, it's all about His family. He wants a big one. But not everyone is in the family—only those who receive His only begotten Son, Jesus. So, it's a big deal that you're in! Now begins this life where God has become your Father—your heavenly Father. That means you're his child. That means you have family privileges. And it also means that you have a Father to instruct you, guide you, and help you grow into spiritual maturity.

Your spiritual growth depends on knowing and following your Father. Think of it just as a natural child in a family, who is always trying to "be like Dad" or "do it like Mom does it". For example, a child always ends up putting on Dad's big shoes to see how far he has to grow. Or think of how a child's language sounds like their parents—accents, good vocabulary, word choice, funny sayings, etc. It's the same with our heavenly Father. Our goal is to be more like Him. We can have our own personalities, of course, but our character, our attitude, and our perspective about life should be like His.
 


The goal is to learn a little, do it, and learn a little more so that we can move past the milk stage and get to our next stage of maturity. Some have neglected their spiritual eating and exercising so much that they are stunted in growth and still "on the bottle". Beware of that. Once you've grown past childhood in Christ, you need more than milk.


"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children" (Ephesians 5:1).

But knowing your Father and becoming more like Him takes a little time. It doesn't have to take forever, but it is certainly a process. Just like natural human development, we go through stages of spiritual growth—first we are babies in Christ, then children, then adolescents, then hopefully spiritually mature.

It first depends on getting the knowledge of God, which is the Word of God, which is likened unto a baby getting it's milk.

"...as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2).

You can't know someone well without hearing them talk. You can't know God by looking up into the sky or being out in nature. You can recognize that there is a God, but you can't actually know God without real Bible knowledge. The Bible is where God has said thousands of words for us to know. Learning the Bible equals "getting to know the Lord". And babies in Christ should desire it.

Learning God's Word comes first. Doing God's Word comes second. If you do what you hear, you'll be likened to a wise man rather than a foolish one.

Jesus said, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall" (Matthew7:24-27).

If we only know things but don't do them, it will stunt our growth, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:22-25).

The goal is to learn a little, do it, and learn a little more so that we can move past the milk stage and get to our next stage of maturity. Some have neglected their spiritual eating and exercising so much that they are stunted in growth and still "on the bottle". Beware of that. Once you've grown past childhood in Christ, you need more than milk.

"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:12-14).

           

God wants us solid as a "tree". Your and my goal as children of God is to become strong, loving, wise, trustworthy, and faithful—so much so that we begin to provide safety, strength and support to those around us. We become the type of Christian that attract others to God's family. We are to become solid as a tree—solid with understanding, solid in lifestyle, and solid in relationship with God. That is when we realize what true blessing and happiness really is.

Here's what it takes to become a "tree":

"Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper" (Psalm 1:1-3).

First of all, for trees to grow, they must be planted. Believers in Christ must willingly get planted into a church, planted into a place with a Pastor and other Christians so they can learn and serve faithfully. And stay planted for a long time. Transplanted a tree every other year will stunt its growth  and ruin its future. Christians that hop around with no commitment to any particular church always stunt their own growth.

Next, that Psalm 1 passage gives you four things to apply into your life: don't get counsel from those who are ungodly, stop hanging out with sinners, don't be a mocker or scorner of people, and get happy about reading and living the Bible ("the law of the Lord") on a daily basis. One step at a time. One scripture at a time. One life choice at a time. You'll grow.

 

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Chas

Stevenson Ministries
PO Box 421236 | Houston, Texas 77242
 PH: 281-870-1010    
  
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