Spiritual Growth - Episode 4

chad smanjak growth joy Dec 12, 2021

Mini-Series: Spiritual Growth Tips 

I am made in the image of God. In the final episode of our Mini-series on Spiritual Growth, Judy and Chad share the final tip and thoughts on enduring growth. Join us on facebook @EpicConquerors

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.

4). Admit weakness—Discovering that when we're weak, we're strong, leads to more confidence in our honest and vulnerable true self. Authenticity connects with people, drawing them to us. People might be impressed by strength, but they relate to weakness. II Corinthians 1:8-14

5). Walk and talk with God—Growth doesn't happen in 60 minutes on a Sunday. We grow when we spend time with our Creator in the everyday moments of real life. The simple—not easy—secret is staying aware, in tune, and connected with Him.

6). Be vulnerable with other people—Invest in an inner-circle of friends that you can open up with. People who you can walk through this real, often messy life with you is a catalyst for growth—and (like everything else) its just good for your soul. It flushes out the impurities, the toxins of life that weigh us down and hinder our spirit from being free to dance, laugh, step out in faith, pray etc. as your feelings, your soul won’t let
you “feel” like doing those spiritual exercises that are crucial to our spiritual growth and freedom in Christ.

7). Make choices that are healthy, physically (food, exercise)—Everything is connected. Taking care of our physical bodies has positive implications for all of life. Neglecting to care for our bodies is foolish, at any age. When your body is undernourished and weak it adds to the weight of our soul (thoughts, feelings and decisions) which impacts and holds our spirit or inner man captive unable to be free.

8). Pray (connect, mindful prayer, focused, etc., not absent-minded praying – vain repetitions)—Our minds are the filter for our experience of life. Minds are molded and shaped by environment, experience, and repetitive inputs. We can’t always change environment or escape experience, but we can decide what we see and listen to and what we put into our minds. Matthew 6:7

9). Process your honest emotions—What isn’t expressed is depressed. And the only antidote for depressed feelings is expression. Finding healthy and safe ways to express our emotions will accelerate our development and increase our peace and joy. “Run your hose” is a phrase that implies letting the tepid water run until the clear, refreshing
water begins to flow. Working through our emotions with the Lord, a trusted friend or mentor is healthy for our soul, our spirit and our body.
Physician heal yourself…you can’t. We all need to admit our need for others. Yes, it’s humbling, and crucifies the flesh, the pride that wants to think “I can be a self-made man/woman.” I don’t need anyone.

10). Joyfully serve others—It turns out, it is truly better to give than to receive; to serve than to be served. This is how the God, the Master Designer, wired the universe. When we align, we grow and enjoy better, more fulfilling lives. Luke 6:38, Proverbs 11:24

Which of these spiritual growth habits are you practicing? Which will you pay attention to this week? Too often, churches, schools, and gurus focus on getting people to their thing, or to subscribe to their program, or to pray a prayer and check a box. God isn’t impressed with our organizational stat sheets.

I’m confident He’s more interested in individual souls coming alive and walking into their unique design in relationship with their Designer, their Creator, Almighty God our Heavenly Father. When it comes to our every day journey, most people struggle to find guidance or good examples.
Here’s how we grow...“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

The concept of “fruit” would remind people of Jesus’ parting remarks to his inner-circle followers. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NLT) Thus, in a very organic way, spiritual growth is staying connected to The Vine: Jesus.

Chad Smanjak

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Discover how to facilitate 10 basic Bible lessons. Each one designed as half-hour sessions to help Christians grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Learn how to use the Process 4 Progress to mentor others. This step-by-step strategy works in tandem with the 10 basic Bible lessons to ensure a stronger foundation of faith.
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