Lesson 12 of 13 in our “Dear God” Series @ ordinaryfaith.net.
Do You Want to Grow in your faith? Growing in your faith should be very important to you. Those who say they are Trusting Jesus but give no real effort to their spiritual well being and have no time for spiritual pursuits are living in opposition to their own claims of faith. Our spiritual growth must be our highest priority. So today let’s learn how to grow.
Colossians 2:6-7 NLT 6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. 7 Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Learn to Depend upon God
God is Source, We were Created to Depend upon Him. Everything starts with God. “In the beginning was God,” Genesis declares (Gen 2:7). So EVERYTHING that exists comes from Him. All that exists in the universe, the principles of life, and even our purpose and meaning come from God.
God GAVE Life! God created everything and then He created us. When God created man, Adam was just an empty body. Then God breathed into that body and infused mankind with life.
And, God GIVES Life! As we learn about Spiritual Growth, we discover that God is creating LIFE in us! God bringing Life into our spirit, marriage, business, employment, health, family and so much more.
God is in Control, We were Created to Yield to Him. In the beginning, God made the rules. Even though Adam and Eve had the highest position on earth, their job was to take care of the earth, enjoy it but remain in submission to God. One of the first lessons we learn from them is that when we attempt to take control of the Big Picture, we lose control altogether.
God is Judge. We were Created to Experience Life. God Told them, “Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.” (Gen 2:17) God did not want them to know Good and Evil. He would take care of any needed evaluation concerning right and wrong. They were simply created to experience the gift of LIFE that they had been given. Imagine a life free of the condemning question, “Am I good enough?”
Learn To Depend upon the Body
Ephesians 4:16 NLT He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
God’s Plan A. Often we consider God’s Plan A as an instant miraculous touch. It certainly fits in better with our “microwave” society. But, most of us would have to admit that we have been greatly helped by the extension of God’s hand known as The Church. Sometimes we can get trapped into thinking such help is Plan B in the Kingdom of God. But the truth is, the primary way that God touches us is through our Faith Community. To be a part of such a community…
We Must Learn to Be Vulnerable. Consider James’ command to believers…
James 5:16 NLT Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Can you imagine opening up like that? Exposing yourself like that? James purposely pushes us toward our own vulnerability because he knew that the only way to truly experience community is to step into our own vulnerability. And to do that…
We Must Learn to Connect. One of the reasons we fail to really connect with others is because we often stand in judgment of them. We do this by quickly applying labels to people as we meet them. We will miss a lot of great people by allowing a label to keep them at a distance. We need to spend time with people and get to know them, while entering into a shared vulnerability. It’s not easy but it is the only way to really connect with the Body.
Learn to Yield to Holy Spirit
1 Peter 4:1-2 NLT So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude He had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.
The Holy Spirit will Move us TOWARD Suffering. Jesus’ entire life was a move toward suffering. Often in life, we know we need Christ’s healing in our hearts, but it hurts to “go there” so we remain wounded. The Holy Spirit will always move us toward our pain in order to free us from it.
Embrace our “Death” Experiences. Jesus called it, “Laying down your life” or “Taking up your cross”. We often call it the “bottom”. A “death” experience is one in which we realize how powerless we really are to change, or grow. It can arrive in many ways, but it’s purpose is always the same, to show us that we must cast all of our cares upon God. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
The greatest enemy to spiritual growth is our own independence. Learn to depend upon God, His Church, and His Spirit and you will grow.
- Discuss a time in your life in which you felt you really grew spiritually. Why did you grow so much during that time? Were there any people who helped you grow?
- Review Colossians 2:6-7. What do we learn about growth from this Scripture?
- How did Adam and Eve depend upon God as the Source for their lives? How can we practically depend upon God as our Source in life?
- Discuss the implications of God being in control. How do we try to control things that are out of our control? How does controlling behavior affect us? Read the Serenity Prayer.
- Do we “waste our life” judging people? Explain. How could we judge less and live more?
- Review Ephesians 4:16. How does the human body heal itself? How does the Body of Christ heal it’s members? Discuss any insights that come to mind.
- What do you think about James 5:16? Discuss the risks and rewards of vulnerability.
- Does the Holy Spirit really move us toward our pain? Explain. Discuss 1 Peter 4:1-2.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation. (What will you do about it?)