Greg's Blog

How to Grow Spiritually

by Greg Laurie on Jun 28, 2024

As Christians, we should all want to grow spiritually. We should all want spiritual success. In other words, we should all want to run the race of life well. In 1 Corinthians, Paul urges us to run to win. See, we are not striving for second place; we are striving for first against the world, the flesh, and the devil. So, growing spiritually should be of high importance for every believer. But how can we begin to?

In this post, I want to share with you some principles that will help you to grow spiritually and be successful in your walk with Jesus Christ. I believe God can and will change every person who has come to Him. And I believe that if you follow these shared principles, you can start to see changes.

Genuine Faith Will Change You

Christianity will work for every person because, simplified, Christianity is Christ. If someone says, “I tried the Christian thing, and it didn’t work for me,” I reject that because Jesus will change anyone who comes to Him in genuine faith.

God, by the power of the Spirit, has given you everything you need to live the Christian life, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life” (2 Peter 1:3 NLT). It’s like having all the horsepower under the hood, and you just need to put the key in the ignition, hit the gas, and watch what happens.

But we live in an “instant society.” Do you want to lose weight? Take this pill. Do you want to listen to music? Just tap this app. So when we get to the Bible and see words like be still, discipline, obedience, and patience, we cringe a little. We can find it difficult to apply these words because we’re so used to instant.

There is no fast track to spiritual growth; we need to change our way of thinking.

Read, Study, and Love God’s Word to Grow Spiritually

The first point on spiritual growth is on God’s Word. The Bible tells us in Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (NKJV).

Years ago, a young man named Billy Sunday received Christ into his life, and an older believer gave him advice he never forgot: “There are three simple rules I wish you would practice and, if you do, no one will ever write the word backslider after your name. One, take fifteen minutes each day to let God talk to you. Two, take fifteen minutes every day to talk to God. Lastly, spend fifteen minutes every day talking to someone else about the Lord.”

Good, simple advice. Fifteen minutes to let God talk to you, fifteen minutes to talk to God through prayer, fifteen minutes to tell others about the Lord.  

God speaks to us primarily through His Word. This is not something that you outgrow; C.H. Spurgeon said, “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture. The Book widens and deepens with our years.” You don’t outgrow your need to study the Bible any more than you outgrow your need to eat food.

Apply yourself to God’s word on a daily basis. In Psalm 119, we read, “I love Your commandments. . .The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever” (verses 127, 160 NKJV).

If you do not regularly study your Bible, you will find yourself crashing spiritually. It is not enough to go to church, read good Christian books, and listen to Christian podcasts. Although those things are wonderful, they cannot take the place of you opening up your Bible and reading it every single day. If you’re not a reader, become one. Because if you want to run the race of life successfully and grow spiritually, you need it in your life.

Have a Prayer Life to Grow Spiritually

To be a successful Christian, you must have a prayer life. Simplified, prayer is hearing from and communicating with God.

Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (NKJV). Notice it says “all prayer.” It is saying we should be people of prayer.

How to Pray

You can pray publicly or privately. You can pray verbally or silently. And any position is acceptable for prayer: kneeling, standing, sitting, lying down, even driving (of course, keep your eyes open). By the way, you can also pray with your eyes open or closed. And you can pray anytime, anywhere.

We sometimes think our prayers will be heard quicker if they’re offered in a place of worship, but God hears our prayers wherever we offer them. Daniel prayed in a den of lions, David prayed in a cave and also in the wilderness, Peter prayed on top of and in the water, and Jonah prayed from a fish’s stomach. Wherever you are, God will hear your prayer.

We should pray frequently. The word all in our above verse, Ephesians 6:18, speaks of the frequency of prayer.

You should pray in the morning, afternoon, and evening; the Bible says, “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:17–18 NKJV).

And pray everywhere. In 1 Timothy 2:8, we read, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands” (NKJV).

Sometimes, we have the luxury of taking our time in prayer, and other times, we only have a moment to throw up a quick prayer. This is illustrated in Nehemiah’s story. Before replying to the king, he offered a prayer to God (see Nehemiah 2:4–5). He didn’t have the time to go to his house and open the windows like we see in Daniel’s story; he just offered a quick prayer to Heaven.

Know that you are never alone. Wherever you go, God is with you. And you can commune with Him, fellowship with Him, pray to Him, and hear from Him. That’s the idea of continuous prayer, being in fellowship and communion with the Lord. And to edify, you need a healthy prayer life.

Be Part of a Church to Grow Spiritually

Church plays a vital role in your spiritual growth. In fact, part of the reason the church exists is for the edification of believers.

The church is God’s family. It has been put on this earth by the Lord Himself; Jesus Christ started the church. It’s the only organization He ever started.

Now, is the church perfect? No. Will you find a hypocrite-free church? No. But do you need to go to church? Yes! The church is full of imperfect people following a perfect God. It’s been said that “Church is not a museum for saints; it’s a hospital for sinners.”

Church is a place to learn about God, to worship God, to be held accountable, to give, and to use the abilities and gifts God has given you.

So you need to be involved with a church. Find one that teaches the Word of God and honors Jesus Christ. You can’t grow spiritually without being part of a local body of believers.

Share Your Faith to Grow Spiritually

To be a growing Christian, you must share the gospel. Tell others about what God has done for you. It’s good news to have your sin forgiven and know you’re going to Heaven!

Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15 NKJV). That’s called the Great Commission, not the Great Suggestion. It’s a command from our Lord to go out and tell others about Him. And I would localize it and say go into your world and preach the gospel. We all have a sphere of influence: where we work, our neighborhood, family, and friends. Go to these places and people and share what Jesus Christ has done for you! The Lord can use you to lead other people to Him.

This is not to be left to the “professionals”: pastors, evangelists, missionaries. . . Yes, some may have the God-given gift of an evangelist, but we are all called to share the gospel. Are you doing your part to fulfill the Great Commission?

Understand that these words of our Lord were given before His ascension. What does that mean? Christ died on the cross, rose again from the dead, had a period of ministry following His resurrection, and then He ascended, He went into Heaven. And these were His final words to all of us. Last words matter.

It was a big deal to Him, so it should be a big deal to us.

The Sin of Omission

Did you know that not sharing the gospel can be a sin? There’s a sin of commission and omission. The sin of commission is knowing what is wrong and doing it anyway, like breaking a commandment. In contrast, the sin of omission is knowing what is right and not doing it. The Bible says, “It is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it” (James 4:17 NLT).

Let’s say you’re a doctor and run a series of tests on a person. You realize they have a condition that should be treated with antibiotics or perhaps a simple surgery that could fix it. But you’re uncomfortable telling people bad news; it makes you feel awkward. So you tell them they’re good to go. That would make you an irresponsible doctor.

How much worse is it for me to know the way to Heaven, the way for a person to be forgiven of their sin, the way for someone to find meaning and purpose in their life, and not tell them? That’s how not sharing the gospel could potentially be a sin.

Commit to Growth

Some people run the race of life well, while some people don’t because of choices made. If you want to grow spiritually, you will. If you don’t want to grow spiritually, you won’t. Make the choice to do the right thing because we are either going to go forward or backward in the Christian life.

Each day, seek to grow, to progress, to learn. Commit yourselves to edification. Understand that there are things that will help you and impair you; spiritual growth is based on doing what is good and not doing what is bad.

The things I’ve shared with you are essentially “Christianity 101,” they’re the basics—but they’re things we don’t outgrow. And if you start doing them, I can assure you that you will find yourself growing spiritually.

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Ben Born Again’s New Believer’s Growth Book

Ben Born Again’s New Believer’s Growth Book

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