And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
“Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.
On the other hand I am filled with power– With the Spirit of the LORD– And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act, Even to Israel his sin.
From: all about God.com
Spiritual Growth – What is it?
Spiritual growth is detailed in 2 Peter 1:3-8, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So, spiritual growth includes: (1) increasing in your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, (2) decreasing in your frequency and severity of sin, (3) increasing in your practice of Christ-like qualities, and (4) increasing in your faith and trust in God. Perhaps the best summary of spiritual growth is becoming more like Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of what it truly means to be spiritual.
Spiritual Growth – How is it done?
In order for spiritual growth to occur, you first need to make sure you possess a true spiritual life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12). When you believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you (John 14:16-17) and you are a new creation in Christ! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Your old nature, which is dominated by sin, is replaced with a new nature that is under the influence of God’s Spirit (Romans 6-7). Spiritual growth can only occur in a person who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Savior.
Learning how to grow spiritually is a life-long journey which occurs as you read and apply God’s Word to your life. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” In order for spiritual growth to occur, we must be taught, rebuked, corrected, and trained by God’s Word. Then we will be thoroughly equipped for every good work. This is the essence of spiritual growth.
Another key to Christian growth is walking in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-18, 24-26explains, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law…Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
Walking in the Spirit is allowing Him to fill you (Ephesians 5:18), control you, and guide you. This is brought about by consciously choosing by faith to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you in thought, word, and deed (Romans 6:11-14). Failure to rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance will result in a believer not living up to the calling and standing that salvation provides. Ephesians 4:1 says, “…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”
Spiritual Growth – What are the results?
Spiritual growth is a life-long process of manifesting the acts of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) less and less and producing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) more and more. Notice that it is the Holy Spirit who produces the fruit in us. Yes, we must submit ourselves to the Spirit’s leading, but it is the Spirit who produces the fruit of spiritual growth in our lives. What does spiritual growth look like? Galatians 5:22-23 has the answer, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” If you are becoming more loving, more joyful, more kind, more self-controlled, etc., then you can rest assured that spiritual growth is genuinely occurring in your life.
God works in different people in different ways. Some people grow rapidly, while others grow slowly, but steadily. Our focus should not be on comparing ourselves with others, but on comparing ourselves with God’s Word. The Scriptures are the mirror to show us what we are like spiritually and to shine light on the areas that need to experience and learn spiritual growth. James 1:23-25 declares, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.”
Spiritually Full or Undernourished
By: Kathy Irvin, cbn1.com
Have you ever said, “I am not being spiritually fed … “? Yet, find yourself not getting your own Bible study time in by not being alone with the Lord each day? Are we satisfied in thinking that all we need is for the pastor to give us a full course meal on Sunday morning or couldn’t we find a Bible study, Sunday school class, or a Care group to attend?
It is time for us to take responsibility for our Christian maturity. We can’t blame the church for the emptiness we feel. We need to recognize that what we get out of the local church is what we put in. This would include our prayer life, our at-home worship to the Lord, and our daily studying of the Word of God. Then we will see real changes in our spiritual lives.
I am a firm believer that counseling is necessary for some people; but not for every little thing. Many answers to life’s problems are already in God’s Word. I have seen pastors and church workers almost burned out from constant counseling sessions. I pray for my pastor that he may not be overloaded.
We are not to be unhealthy, undernourished Christians; but we find that this comes about when there is a lack of getting into the Word of God for ourselves. We need to do our part in nourishing our spiritual lives. The pastors and guest speakers give messages and we are to have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. We are being fed the Word, but perhaps the problem is that we are not “hearing” what is being said. If we do not spend quality time with the Lord in prayer, worshipping, and renewing our minds with the Word, then we will be weak Christians. It stands to reason that if we become sensitive to the voice of the Lord (fine-tuned in our spirit), then we will hear what the Lord is speaking to us as individuals and as a corporate body.
The Lord tells us to grow up “In Him.” Read the scriptures in the book of Ephesians and Colossians 2 & 3. They are what some call “meaty” chapters. They can help you if you are looking to get fed.
You may say that you do all these things, but each Sunday you seem to be hearing a watered-down message. In that case, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as to which church you should be attending. If you are not planted in the right place, He will lead you to the best church that will meet your needs.
He says we are to drink from the fountain of living waters – that is Him. Get into the Word and you will be fed. Please know that there are no perfect churches. None of us are without spot or blemish; but if we hunger and thirst after righteousness, His Word tells us we shall be filled. This means doing our part to get spiritual nourishment during the week and then at our mid-week or Sunday services, we will come away satisfied.
When we find our place and spend time with the Lord, believe me, we will have more than enough on our spiritual plates to digest during the week. That is because we will have opened our hearts to the Lord and received what we need from God.
The Three Lines of Transformational Personal and Spiritual Development
Our answers to the age-old questions – “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “Where am I going?” – form the foundation of our lives. It makes sense. Your perspectives on who you are, why you are here, and where you are going become your reality. These questions also define three lines of transformational personal and spiritual development.
Each of us is unique, as are our responses to these age-old questions.
As we evolve, our perspectives evolve.
It’s a beautiful journey and reflecting on these questions can open doors for a miraculous transformation we call “The Ultimate Paradigm Shift.”
From the perspective this shift, we would answer these questions in this way:
Who are we? Beyond being physical beings in a material world, we are all uniquely special spiritual beings who are here for a reason.
Why are we here? Beyond being here to survive, we are creators who are here to live fully, expand, and realize our full potential. Our hearts have the access to inner wisdom, the ability to dream (follow our hearts), and create a wonderful life.
Where are we going? Beyond meeting our physical and material needs, each of us has something special to offer to the world. We’re here with a higher purpose, to make a difference.
As practical tools for transformation, the three essential lines of balanced development evolve together. You can’t have one without the others. The three lines come together in the heart, the center of our being, and create a synergy as a Transformational Triad. In our lives, they provide clarity, inspiration, and direction.
The Three Lines of Development in the Transformational Triad
Here is an overview of the Transformational Triad:
Developing Ourselves: Who are we really?
The keys for recognizing our true identity can be found in opening to the love and connectedness that resides in the heart. Energetically, the heart connects us with the soul, our spark of divinity, which in turn provides higher guidance and wisdom.
Self development is the growth element. We all possess greatness that longs to emerge. As we overcome obstacles that keep us stuck, our hearts open, revealing more of the truth of who we are, and accessing universal wisdom. This wisdom transforms lives.
Developing Dreams and Goals: Why are we here?
The key to understanding “why” is creative imagination, enlisting the creative power of our heart’s desires. As we engage this creative power and true potential, we discover our reason for being alive, our “why.”
Dream Development taps into the calling of an opening heart that makes us feel fully alive. What makes your heart sing? This is important. The calling of our heart’s desires inspires us to do something special with our lives.