Basic tips for spiritual maturity (my growth story)
Spiritual maturity should be a desire for every Christian. You can’t be in the same place you were when you first received Christ. You just have to level up! The truth of the matter is that your level of growth has nothing to do with the number of years you’ve been in the faith. Additionally, it doesn’t occur randomly. You have to do something to trigger this growth. You can’t just sit there and do your bare minimum with Christ and expect growth to fall upon you. You have to intentionally invest in your relationship with Him like you invest in your relationship with anyone else.
Let me share my spiritual growth story with you;
I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember as a virtue of being exposed to Christ at a young age. My dad is a pastor. Most of the things I learnt about God was from devotion, Sunday school classes and Christian Religion Knowledge (CRK) course in my Christian secondary boarding school. I knew pretty basic stories about Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Joesph and how his coat of many colours, the birth of Jesus and many more. That was pretty much my threshold as a 16-year-old kid. The church services always took forever and the pastors meeting after the church was very painful, all the Pastor's Kids in the house can relate to this.
I went on to a Christian university which made Christianity even much more very "painful". The long boring hours of service, the lack of music, the unfamiliar doctrines and many more. At this stage, I was just going to church because I didn’t want to get into trouble with school authorities. Skipping church service was an offence punishable by suspension. I knew Jesus but I didn’t know him know him per se. There was no edification these years.
Fast forward to the year I relocated to the US for my master's degree. I joined a small Nigerian church and became very active in ministry. I was always happy to volunteer because being around Nigerians in a foreign country was bliss for me. I just loved giving myself to anything that will let me be around familiar people. I grew a bit in these years. I had a daily fellowship with Jesus through Bible study and prayer. I knew the law which talks about the wages of sin being death and striving for holiness. I wasn’t yet exposed to God’s throne of grace. I grew in the application of scriptures and was even given the opportunity to preach to the church on youth Sunday’s. As much as I knew, I wasn’t broken to the gospel yet. I didn’t even know about the “too good to be true news”. I was Sin conscious, interested in modifying mine and people’s behaviour to be “better” even without giving them Jesus or baptism of the Holy Ghost. It was very interesting times.
My maturity really started when I moved to Abuja. I knew God orchestrated my path to Abuja for this very reason. He knew that there was something deep inside of me that needed to burst out but firstly, I needed to feed on the gospel. The Holy Spirit glued me to that church. I was hearing the unadulterated version of the gospel, about the ministry of reconciliation, the person of the Holy Spirit etc! I knew that I was here for a reason! I enrolled in the Bible school which helped me learn the gospel, unlearn law and relearn God’s unconditional love. It marked a turn around in my life. It was like a stream was struck and rivers of living water started to flow out of me. I got baptized in the Holy Ghost and my fire for God skyrocketed! My fellowship with Jesus became very personal. Quick side note, I was the best graduating student in my bible school.😉
Why have I said this story?
God wants you to grow. He wants you to flourish in his garden. Imagine yourself as a seed that got planted when you accepted Jesus into your life, will you want to be a seed forever? No! What do you need to achieve growth as a seed?
Here are my few suggestions to help experience spiritual growth;
- Create a routine and stick to it; The average mind is not accustomed to studying the Bible and prayer. As a matter of fact, the mind isn’t interested. It will rather spend time watching TV or surfing the internet. You have to train your mind to read the Bible and pray every day. Either choose morning or night, but do it. Your flesh has been crucified with Christ, let that be your reality.
To do: Ask the Holy Spirit to wake you up daily to read the Bible and pray.
Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
- Start a prayer journal; Sometimes you don’t have words to say verbally, you can write it. Date every entry and write out what you desire from God. Take a few minutes to pray about these things are jotting them down.
To do: Don’t forget to update the prayer points God has answered. It helps with constant thanksgiving. Please, don’t joke with thanksgiving.
- Change your church; I know your pastor may be angry with you but you have to change churches if you feel you have been stagnant for years. You have to renew your mind. The Christian walk is not for meaningless routine, there's more.
To do; Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to a bible believing gospel-focused church!
- Listen to sermons on your own: Every Chrisitan should listen to at least two sermons per week. Your mind has to be engaged with the word of God frequently. Download messages and listen to it on your commute to and from work. You got this!
To do: Many churches have SoundCloud accounts. Check it out. I can recommend some good messages.
- Service to God: Please join a department in church. You have to stay active in ministry. This will help you form a stronger bond with fellow believers and also help you develop accountability to your team leaders. Also, workers have access to so much more information and deep teachings that inspire growth! Start using your God-given skills and talents to serve in His vineyard. Learn more about service here.
To do: Make an inventory of your skills and think about what you can offer to the church. It doesn't have to be an already existing department, you can start from scratch. e.g if you take good pictures, you can develop a photography and videography team.
- Meditation: This is by far one of the easiest things a believer can do. It brings about spiritual growth. Meditation is pretty much chewing on a part of the scripture continuounsly until it becomes flesh to you. You move from knowing in your head to feel it in your heart.
Joshua 1:8 (NIV) Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
To do: Find a verse to meditate on daily or even weekly till the desired result is gotten.
- Confessions and declaration: You have to talk yourself into your identity in Christ. Faith comes by hearing, the question is this, what are you hearing? Take time to make bold declarations about yourself. Say you are righteous, Jesus loves me, God is not angry with me, lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places, Out of my bellies shall flow rivers of living water. There are so many confessions to make daily. You gotta talk out loud for your ears to hear you!
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
To do: Make confessions daily. Never allow an unproductive word to come out of your mouth about you.
- 1 Peter 2:2
You got this! Spiritual growth is not optional. You have entered a season of growth in Jesus name, Amen.