Discover How to Grow Spiritually
Our Spiritual Health Should Be Our Most Important Healthcare Concern
Many people today worry about their health. This can relate to their physical health, mental health, or emotional health. They have less concern, however, about their spiritual health—if they give it any consideration at all. But our spiritual health is the most critical of all our healthcare concerns. It’s important for today and essential for eternity.
To pursue our spiritual health, seeking to maintain the status quo isn’t enough. This will fall short. Instead we must strive for spiritual growth. Here are the main steps we can take to grow spiritually.
Daily Bible reading is an important aspect of spiritual health. I encourage everyone to do it, whether in short passages or in a grand plan to read the Bible in a year. As we read the Bible each day, we hide it in our hearts (Psalm 119:11) and immerse it in our souls. Just as we need to eat each day for our physical health, we need regular doses of Scripture for our spiritual well-being.
Bible reading, however, is just the start. As we read scripture, we should meditate on it (Joshua 1:8) and study it (John 5:39 and Acts 17:11). Then we should allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us through the words we read.
Bible reading, study, and meditation is the first step for people who want to grow spiritually.
Talk to God
Next is communicating with God, which we typically call praying. Yet for many people prayer is one way. They tell God what they need or want. Sometimes they thank him or even praise him (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Yet prayer should be bidirectional. It should be a dialogue. We talk to God, and we listen to what he has to say (John 14:26). It takes practice to hear the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit, but learning to hear from God is worth the effort.
Prayer is the second step that helps us grow spiritually.
Engage in Community
Just as God lives in relationship with himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, so too does he desire to be in relationship with us. He created us for community. This means spending time with other followers of Jesus. We should not neglect this (Hebrews 10:24-25). Wherever two or more hang out in his name, he is there (Matthew 18:20). A unique spiritual connection occurs when we do this.
This could happen at church, or it could happen in other places. While Church should be a great place for Christian relationships to develop, many gatherings lack this opportunity for meaningful connection. God created us in his image to thrive in community.
When we engage with intention to connect with other followers of Jesus, we grow spiritually.
These first three elements of spiritual growth prepare us for the last. This is to serve others (Matthew 25:35-40, John 3:1, James 1:27, and James 2:14-17). There are limitless opportunities for us to help others. These can be to meet the physical needs, emotional needs, or spiritual needs of those around us. Often addressing one of these three areas connects with the other two.
Serving others can occur through giving our money or our time. Either way it’s an investment in their overall physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health. And as we help them, we grow spiritually.To grow spiritually we must study Scripture, pray, hang out with other Jesus followers, and serve those outside our community. Click To Tweet
Summary of How to Grow Spiritually
The first two elements of spiritual growth—Bible study and prayer—relate to our relationship with God. Our spiritual health starts there.
The third element—intentional Christian community—relates to our relationship with other followers of Jesus. This is essential, but for us to get the most out of our time with other believers, we must first pursue God through Bible study and prayer. Christian community looks internally at the body of believers.
When we put all three of these steps together the goal is an outward look towards others to serve them and point them to Jesus. This is the purpose of the first three steps: to help others with their own spiritual health.
To grow spiritually we must study Scripture, pray, hang out with other Jesus followers, and serve those outside our community.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.