Welcome to Weekly Topic Saturdays!
Hello all, I pray that your week was filled with joy and love. Welcome back to those who have been with me here at A Golden Dream. For my first-timers, a great big hello there, if you haven't already please check out my previous posts when you get a chance.
Please don't hesitate to join the conversation, there are no right or wrong answers or questions. I'm not proclaiming to know everything, I am simply just discussing and picking topics on things that I personally have gone through and that I know would help someone.
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
A while back we talked about the importance of having a Spiritual Maintenance Plan, as well as there being Purpose In Pain. These topics got me thinking about what it means to truly be growing and maturing in Christ. So in this post, I want to talk about what it means to have spiritual endurance and to be growing spiritually.
Are you exercising your faith muscle daily?
Are you stagnant in Christ?
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
No one is perfect and Mistakes...They Happen, we are all starting out on the same level when it comes to our walk with Christ. We are all baby Christians and it takes time for us to mature, this doesn't happen overnight. Spiritual growth takes time. I love the scripture above because it explains to us where we should be in Christ but because we lack a stable and secure foundation in Christ we have to be retaught the basic teachings and principles of God. I mentioned earlier that we are baby Christians, you wouldn’t give a baby solid food, you have to first give them what they can digest and gradually move them to solid food. Understanding God is done the same way.
Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.
1 Timothy 4:15
Ways to Grow Spiritually
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.... Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Humility goes a very long way. God does not like it when we are prideful. When we are not humble, it sends the message to God that we know everything, that we don’t need help, that we can do it all by ourselves. Let me tell you, God has a way of humbling you that will make you realize the error in your ways. We aren’t being humble when we are bragging about our possessions or the deeds that we perform for others. God frowns upon that. He wants you to be humble and submit yourself to him so that he may start the work in you.
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16
This is a topic that we have touched on a couple of times throughout the blog. Reading your bible is one of the most fundamental elements to spiritual growth. Without reading the word and works of God, we do not have a stable foundation to lean on. You cannot be a For Sure Christian if you never open your bible. The bible is the blueprint for how we are supposed to live our lives. The bible gives us instructions for when we are stuck with situations, how to handle when things go wrong, how to interact with others, and so much more. The bible is a resource that should be used daily so that we are able to use what God is teaching us for reproof, correction, and for training.
Find a Study Pal
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
God wants us to get along with each other and work together to spread his truth. One sure-fire way to continue to grow spiritually is to find a study pal that is on the same path that you are. When you surround yourself with like-minded people everyone is working towards the same goal, everyone is encouraging each other. Fellowshipping with others is a big part of spiritual growth because you are able to share testimonies and thoughts. God warns us in the bible to watch and be mindful of the people that we hang around because if we aren’t they can be the very ones that lead us into sin. You can choose to join a study group or a bible study class at your church or online. With others, you are to gain more than one perspective, and you are able to strengthen each other. Remember Jesus had twelve disciples around him, helping him.
Think of Others
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
We should always think of others and put their needs above our own. God wants us to do for others what we would do for ourselves. God wants you to be willing to help those in need without looking for anything in return. Doing for others will aid you in your spiritual growth process because it means that you have to come out of yourself. Jesus cared for many people while he walked the earth. Jesus was leading by example of how God wanted us to live our lives. People will hurt, betray, frustrate you, wrongly convict you, misunderstand you, judge, misrepresent you, cause you pain, and so much more. God wants you to forgive those people of their transgressions, and help them when they are in need. Thinking of others does not mean that you should forget about yourself. Remember you cannot be of any service to someone else if you do not take the time to engage in the self-care needed to refuel yourself.
Seek and Practice Your Spiritual Gifts
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11
Each and every one of us has a gift that God has bestowed upon us to use for the benefit of him and the entire body of Christ. There are several gifts listed in the bible such as leadership, administration, teaching, evangelism, stewardship, prophecy, serving, mercy, exhortation, giving, and tongues. To strengthen and promote your spiritual growth you should first pray and ask God to reveal your gift to you and once he has you should ask him how you should use your gift. Using your gifts for his glory will help further align you with his will and the relationship that you have with God will continue to grow. Make the effort and the intention to use and apply your spiritual gifts daily.
What is Spiritual Endurance?
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
Spiritual endurance is about using and applying the teachings in the bible to your life so that when situations arise and the enemy is attacking you are prepared to endure the fight. The weight of the Full Armor of God is heavy and if you haven’t been training and exercising as we discussed in Spiritual Fitness then carrying the armor and wearing it will be difficult for you. Remember that God uses our mistakes, our painful situations, our sufferings, and our sacrifices as teachable moments to prepare us for the long-term. Think about the endurance you would need to run a marathon or participate in a track meet. If you haven’t been training and exercising regularly then you are not going to make it very far in the marathon. It is the same for us spiritually. You have to be willing to change your diet (the people you hang around and the activities you engage in), your nutrition (spend more time in the bible), improve your workout routine (put on the Armor daily), and engage in Active Faith.
Without spiritual endurance, we will not be strong enough to combat the wiles of the adversary, the deceitfulness of coveting riches, worries of life, and anything else the world can throw at us. Jesus exclaims multiple times in the Bible that we must always be prepared and that we must have the will and the strength to endure otherwise our unbelief will cost us everything. When it comes to improving your spiritual endurance, always keep in mind the end goal, to get into heaven. Let the Kingdom of Heaven be your finish line and your home.
Questions To Consider:
1. Are you spiritually fit? If not, what is keeping you from being so?
2. What does spiritual growth mean to you? Why?
3. Do you have a strong foundation in Christ?
4. Are you stagnant?
With Love, remember that it is important to consistently be working on your spiritual growth as well as your spiritual endurance. Saying that you believe in God, saying that you have faith, or saying that you are a Christian is not enough. You have to put in the work needed to mature as a follower of Christ. You cannot stay stuck as a baby Christian forever. Take note that God wants to see growth, he wants to know that you aren’t just reading the bible, but that you are reading and applying it to your life. Situations may get tough but just remember that we have been made to endure and that God would not have brought us this far to leave us.
~Just Breathe...A Golden Dream~