What ways are you growing in your faith, growing in your relationship with Jesus, or growing in the Lord?
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:3-4 NLT
Clawing to Maintain
I find myself, most days, just attempting to maintain. I set aside time each day (although some days slip past without it) to draw from the Well. I know that it affects my daily well-being if I don’t spend intentional time with Jesus. It is in these attempts, I connect with my Creator, longing for Him and letting His Holy Spirit wash over me. More often than not, I feel this precious time is rushed or cut short. As a mama to three young boys, inevitably this time is interrupted or someone wakes earlier than I expected. I push through, but to be honest some days are just better than others. (Isn’t that the case with life?) But I find myself wondering, am I clawing to maintain, or am I actually growing in the Lord?
How do we know if we are growing in the Lord? Are we moving forward and past the things that trip us up, or are we still faltering over the same things? Are we thinking about others and how to help or encourage their walk with God, or are we focused only on ourselves? Are we willing to hear and face things that may not be comfortable to realize about ourselves?
Growth is difficult and does not happen by accident, but it is certainly essential. Asking questions like this can give us an idea if we are growing in our faith or not. If you, like me, find yourself not where you want to be, how do you get there?
How Do We Grow in the Lord?
- Daily habits: Prayer and exposure to the Word is the foundation to growing in the Lord. The more we put His Word in our minds and hearts, the more it will transform us. When we make it a priority to focus on worshiping the Living God everyday, it becomes part of who we are and also changes us. Since it can be difficult to carve out time for this alone, most days this happens with at least one of my boys nearby eating breakfast or playing. I simply put in earbuds with worship music and tell them this is my time to pray. First, this helps me get this time in no matter what. Secondly, they can see the importance I place on my time with Jesus, and see it lived out in front of them. Double win!
- Study, digging into the Bible: Whether it is Sunday School, a group Bible Study, or simply choosing to study something specific on your own, God tends to teach us and speak to us when we are designating some time to dig a little deeper than just reading a scripture.
- Being honest with myself about my own sin: Are we genuinely examining our hearts and asking God to show us our sin? Perhaps we even need to go to those closest to us and ask if we have wronged them, or if they see opportunities where we can do better. (I would only do this with a mentor or someone I fully trust.)
- Serving others, putting words into action: Are we looking for ways to serve others? Are there any chances where we can help someone along in their faith? It seems that it’s when we are serving or teaching that we learn and grow the most. It could be as simple as encouraging a friend, teaching Sunday School, or discipling a young Christian.
- Enduring trials: When difficult times knock the wind out of us, how do we view these situations? We may get upset, focus on emotions, and how this situation affects us. But God allows trials so that we look to no one else but Him. I have had many discussions with believers who say their closest time to God was during a painful experience. We have to be reminded that He is all we need.
All of these things are ways to grow in the Lord and grow into who He wants us to be. We will never be perfect, but we can always be growing.
Lord, help me to see You clearly. Show me the ways I can deepen my trust in You. Shine a light on my sin and pull me from it. Help me to encourage others and love them like You do. Give me the strength and fortitude to build good habits so that I am relying only on You. When trials come, may I be rooted and established in You, knowing that You are all I need.
- What are some practical ways I can learn more about who God is?
- Is there anything God is asking me to change?
- How can I serve and support others in their walk with God?