Spiritual Growth - Part 1

Mini-Series: Spiritual Growth Tips

The Joy of Growth. 

Spiritual growth is often misunderstood and over-complicated.

I’m inviting you to think of spiritual growth from some different angles.
Definition: Spiritual Growth is the development of your inner man, your spirit, to be your true self and to live--moment by moment--in connection with God, yourself, and others.

Let’s start with a revolutionary thought: All growth is spiritual growth
If it is then it comes from God. If it’s of God, as His child, it belongs to you.
Growth is anything moving us forward--or, more specifically, helps us be our true selves. And if we’re becoming more of who we were created or designed to be--closer to our God-given “potential”—then it’s growth.

Thus, all growth is spiritual growth. Let’s go deeper, With the thought of spiritual growth...

We were made in the image of God.
God created human beings in His own image. “In the image of God, He created them.” Genesis 1:27

Similar to how our kids resemble us and we resemble our parents, we are god-like by His divine design. He gave each of us uniqueness and purpose for this life, here on earth. “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born, I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5 (holiness: set apart for His purpose)

God’s Spirit activates our souls and helps us transform into the unique image or reflection of God that He originally designed. “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all…reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Growth is about becoming our original, true selves like Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden before they fell… than it is about becoming something different that we imagine a mature Christian should be.
That’s where religion comes in, man-made traditions, rules and regs to conform us into their idea of what a spiritually mature believer should do and be.

Could this by why Jesus was so fond of using children as illustrations?
“Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven”. Matthew 18:3 Being childlike (not childish) is the goal, as we put off our projected, manufactured, adult-ish false self and embrace the honest vulnerability of who God made us to be.

You’re growing spiritually when you’re being you, and you’re being you when you’re…
1). Play, laugh - Joy isn’t a bonus; it’s your birthright. Children get this, but we lose it as we age. Joy, play, and laughter are often beaten out of us by the troubles and pressures of growing up. We’re not talking growing upward in stature, but growing inward developing our spirit, our inner man.
2). Dance, or “let go”—Embrace the moment. Release inhibitions or fears of what will people think is part of the journey to our freedom in Christ. It's our ego-management that keeps us tight and tense…yep, it’s called pride.
3). Take steps of faith—When we make a bold decision because we believe it’s right, even when don’t know how it will work, we grow. We have to risk, leap, and know God will catch us while we’re in the air. It will feel like you’re exposed and in limbo.

That experience can produce deeper faith and conviction that God is faithful. He will provide as He takes care of His children who trust Him.

Chad Smanjak

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