If you are struggling to grow spiritually, I want you to open your mind to what I am going to share here with you. It is likely not what you expect, nor even want to hear. But it is exactly what you need to do if you want to have spiritual growth in your life.
Stop imagining spiritual growth will come in an instant or by your efforts. Spiritual growth never comes by natural methods, rather they just get in the way. The Lord does the work and He raises us up over time. Your growth has more to do with your prayer life than your studies or your service.
Here are some excerpts of a few of the devotions I have written on this very subject over the last several years:
Yielded to God. Growing spiritually has to do with yielding ground not gaining ground. It is not gaining power, but relinquishing power, relinquishing your right to you.
Any lack of growth is not a lack of power from God, but a lack of yielding from you. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God” (James 4:6-7).
The measure that God is in your life is the measure of your life that you have yielded to God. The greater the yielding to God, the greater the filling from God.
Your faith is not increased by striving, but by yielding. It is not what you do for God that matters, but how much you let Him do through you.
The Holy Spirit in you: Growing spiritually is not something you do, but is you yielding to the Holy Spirit to do through you.
You will not have the power of the Holy Spirit unless the power of the Holy Spirit has you. If you will not yield then you are just being a hindrance.
Jesus said, “…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8). You don’t take hold of the Spirit, it takes hold of you!
Either get out of the way and let Him have His way in you, or just sit down.
You won’t be more if you do more. You will be more when you let Him do more through you. Growing in the Spirit is not you being more to others, but the Holy Spirit being more to you.
Let it go: Man measures what we gain. God measures what we surrender. It is not what you give that reflects your heart, but that which you refuse to let go of. The Lord Jesus said, “…Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Luke 18:22).
It is not the money the Lord wants, but your heart He is after. “Jesus is saying ‘all of Me for all of you’, and we argue about the exchange rate” (Brian Kim).
Whatever you hold onto, has a hold on you.
Whatever you refuse to give up, is your god.
What you refuse to give God is the very thing that God demands from you.
Nothing left to lose: Spiritual freedom is where you have nothing left to lose.
Nobody can touch the life of a saint fully given over to God. The evidence of a life that has surrendered all is a life that has nothing left to lose.
You will not reach the point of Christ alone, until it is Christ alone for you. When once you give him all your life, He then gives all His life unto you.
The Lord Jesus taught, “…whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33). This is not a question of salvation, but of consecration. When Jesus is the only thing you cannot live without, that is where the life of a disciple begins.
Be weak: A life sacrificed to God is a life set free from the tyranny of you. You are the oppressor of you.
Spiritual life grows to the degree the natural life is crucified.
People think it takes a strong will to walk the higher life. They are wrong. A strong will is an obstacle to growing spiritually. We need to be weak that He would be our strength. The Lord Jesus said, “…My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
The greatest hindrance in your spiritual life with God is your efforts to do things on your own natural strength. It is when you kneel lower before Him that He reigns higher over you.
You can come to the Cross on your own strength, but to climb up onto it and crucify your life requires your absolute surrender.
The greater saints simply fall helplessly before the Lord. It is not your lack of strength that holds you back, but your reliance on your own strength.
A Surrendered life: Victory over sin only comes when the Lord Jesus has victory over you. His victory over you only comes when you surrender to Him. If you are struggling, then you are not surrendering.
The Lord Jesus reigns over those areas of your life in which you have surrendered unto Him. The greater your surrendering, the greater the Lord reigns over you.
It is one thing to fall down at an alter call, and quite another to finally do so at the foot of the Cross.
The higher calling is not a greater gaining but an absolute surrender. The Lord Jesus is not searching for part-time believers or two scoops of faith. “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’” (Matthew 22:37). All means all.
The shocking truth in the life of a saint is when they discover that the sacrifice the Lord requires is their very life. The blessed truth is when the saint discovers that they gain the life of Christ.
Blessings to you,
4 thoughts on “Spiritual Growth”
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin”
The pressing, the seeking, the fighting, and the forgetting must all be the work of the new man energized by grace and motivated by love. The fight must be on the grounds of faith and the weapons spiritual. Flesh can have no victory over flesh.
It is the Spirit which quickens, the flesh profits nothing.
Good word, hope to meet you some day
Thank you so much Brian, this means a lot to me coming from you. I read every one of your blogs and am always so impressed with your laser sharp accuracy and handling of the Word of God.
I really liked this verse you show here, which I had never seen against the backdrop of the message I was showing in this blog. How rich is His Word, that we might learn to grow like the lilies of the field!
I am most confident we will meet someday, I look forward to that day my brother.
Blessings to you,
Boom! This really hits home. There are so many areas of my life that I have not fully surrendered to God. This is the kick in the pants I needed to make me examine those areas, and try to work on my stubbornness.
Oh, when the Lord reaches down and kicks you in the pants, you better get ready for something to happen! Nobody can change the life of a saint like the Lord intent upon His own purposes being realized here on earth!