God’s System of Spiritual Growth

by APC on August 06, 2015

We all have different personality types. Some of us like spur of the moment activities and some like to plan. These tendencies can be the result of our upbringing—we do what we were taught by our parents. Regardless of how we were instructed in the natural, we need to look to our spiritual Father to discern how we operate in the supernatural. Our God is a God of plan and structure: God is very systematic and this is evidenced in His creation. He is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33)!

God creates systems: sets of principles or procedures according to which something is done. Our spiritual growth is a system—God has a clearly defined procedure for how we should grow. Spiritual growth is hard work, takes time, is very methodical, and may happen in seasons.

Spiritual growth will always be unique to the individual as natural growth. Our rates of growth will be different, but the methods, stages, principles, and procedures of the growth are all the same. God wants all of us to get to the same place—He wants to make us like Him!

Growth By Knowledge & Grace

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen (II Peter 3:18, KJV).

Scripture indicates God’s growth system includes grace and knowledge. There’s a false theology among us that we gain spiritual growth by osmosis, but in reality, we can’t do what we don’t know. There are principles in the Word of God that we must learn and apply them ourselves.

Paul admonished the church for not knowing the principles of God. He had to backtrack to teach them foundational concepts before they could grow in their knowledge (Hebrews 5:12). God’s knowledge needs to be taught, learned by believers, and applied in our day-to-day walk with God.

Grace is the system God put in place that enables us to apply what we’ve learned from His Word. We can’t expect to get everything right the first time; part of application is failing. In creation, God understood the potential for man to fail, so He put a system in place to redeem us. God desires for us to grow in Him and gives us opportunities to live for Him the right way.

Growth By Application & Experience

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (I Corinthians 11:1, KJV).

Paul told the church to follow him as he followed Christ. Above all else, Paul desired for the church to take spiritual concepts and apply them to their own walk. It is very important that each believer have their own practice and experience in living the Word of God.

There’s never a better time than now to start applying the Word of God! Discipleship starts the moment we start to obey the Gospel. Once we begin our journey, we are immediately qualified to start the discipleship of others! We don’t need to have years’ experience living for the Lord to bring people to the knowledge of Him. Scripture accounts numerous examples of believers who began their journey with Christ who moments after their decision to live for God. They went and found someone else to share their experience (John 1:1–42; 4:1–29). It is our responsibility to disciple other people and point them to Jesus!

Growth Over Time

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (I Peter 2:5, KJV).

Spiritual growth will start now, but will be impacted over time. God builds us up in Him and He does this on a day-to-day basis. We need to be patient in the growth God wants to take place in our life. We can hope for quick growth with immediate results, or we allow God to have His perfect work in us to grow us into a vessel that is healthy, strong, and powerful in Him.

In our walk with God, we need to endure the work necessary to know why we live for Him. This will always eliminate future frustration in our life—we won’t give up when we don’t understand what’s happening to us or when we get uncomfortable with how God’s changing us. God’s spiritual growth process allows for us to question him and be uncomfortable. But, know that He will always help us with our unbelief (Mark 9:24), struggle, and every growing pain we will endure (Hebrews 13:5).

Growth By Constant Review

It’s important to take a moment and self-reflect on how we’ve grown in the Lord. We can ask ourselves the following questions in our personal prayer time and study:

  • What knowledge do I have now that I didn’t have a year ago?
  • What positive commitment do I have toward Christ now that I didn’t have a year ago?
  • What am I now that I wasn’t a year ago?

If we can look at our walk with God and see a difference—even if it’s small—we’re growing! We want to make sure that we move forward in God and allow Him to work on us each and every day. If we see an absence of growth in our life, we need to take a moment, pray, and ask God to help remove anything from our life that is prohibiting our growth in Him.

Wrenches in the Works of Our Spiritual Growth

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious (I Peter 2:1–3, KJV).

If we’re not careful, we can sabotage our spiritual growth by throwing in “wrenches” that don’t belong.

In this setting of Scripture, we can see the progression of spiritual growth: laying aside elements that will stunt our spiritual growth, desiring the things of God, and seeing His blessings and grace. We need to remove everything from our life that isn’t like Jesus! If something is present that isn’t like Him, we have found the root cause what is stopping our spiritual growth.

Growing in God

God never intended for us to stay as “babes” and drink the milk of His Word for the rest of our life. While God’s Word is good, milk gets old after a while—we can’t stay infants forever! God designed a system of growth for His children to endure so that we could transition to the meat of His Word, grow stronger in Him, and get the right nutrients we need to live victoriously in this present world. Let us seek to understand God’s system of spiritual growth, allow Him to do a work in us, and see where He will take us in just a short while.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on August 5, 2015