So you want to grow spiritually. Me, too. And that’s the first step right there: to desire to grow in your faith and obedience to the Lord, to desire to be more like Him. That desire is key to our ongoing maturity in Christ.
However, if you genuinely want to grow in Christ-likeness you’ll have to accept that there will be some changes required. I often pray for God to change me, but when I begin to feel Him challenging my thinking, my attitudes, my words, and my behavior, I usually squirm.
After all, Jesus calls us to a higher standard than we usually like to live at. He calls us to:
- love our enemies and pray for them
- think of others’ needs above our own
- forgive one another
- submit to those in authority over us
- lay down our lives for each other
- live with complete integrity
- have no other gods before Him
- Do I give God “permission” to meddle in every area of my life, or have I partitioned off some areas from Him?
- Do I hear Him challenge me on behavior I’ve become accustomed to and comfortable with?
- When I hear God’s Word preached or taught, or when I read the Bible, do I tend to apply what I hear to other people, such as my husband or children or friend? Or do I apply the truth to my own life first?
- Am I regularly and frequently convicted over things I’ve said, attitudes I’ve allowed to fester or behaviors I’ve committed? Or do I just skate through most days feeling pretty good about myself?
- Do I find myself bending the knee to Jesus frequently?
- Am I hungry for righteousness — a life that exemplifies Jesus’ character and honors Him?