Growing Spiritually

Hello all, I am in a season where I know I am meant to grow spiritually. I believe the Holy Spirit will give the increase, rooting my faith in Christ, as I spend time in His word and seeking His face.

My question is intended for the saints who have already reached greater levels of maturity in Christ. Would you please share some of your story and what that season or process looked like for you? I’d really be encouraged to hear other witnesses who have seen God faithful through the “growing up” stage.

Thank you in advance for any and all contributions! May our Father in heaven bless us as we glorify His goodness!

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Hello Holly! I too would love to hear some stories about spiritual growth.

Much of my growth has happened in times of mental and physical struggle for me. I suppose it is like that for most of us. When I have felt at my lowest and was forced to realize that my strength is not enough and never is, I am drawn closer to God as I admit what my weaknesses are and am reminded that I need God to give me strength in this life, that it is He that works on people’s hearts to change them, and that I am to give up any control I thought I had and allow God to do the work that needs to be done. In these time I am drawn so much closer to Him and my spiritual growth spurts happen. Pain and suffering are good teachers.

I love the quote by Charles Spurgeon: “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.” This sums up all of the spiritual growth that I’ve experienced. :slightly_smiling_face:

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@gchop Wow. I am truly touched by what you shared, thank you so much! I can really relate to your words. I think the big thing I am learning is more dependence on the Holy Spirit, for every moment. But hearing you share your experience of how God uses physical and mental struggle to facilitate closeness in relationship with Him is so encouraging and is like a bright ray of hope shining in my heart! I have heard that quote by Spurgeon before. Really powerful! What a man of God’s word he was. Thank you again for being willing to share! :slight_smile:

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Hello Holly,
It is encouraging that you sense you are in a season of spiritual growth. Some of the most important periods of growth spiritually happen when you least expect it and in places you never thought you would be.

In my case, I was in a very busy medical career, year after year spent in a blur of activity, until circumstances threw me from crisis to crisis until I found myself having to take up a position in a small educational unit with only 3 staff, working as an editor of an obscure journal, simply to survive and feed my family. Three years were thus spent in this job, where I was mostly alone, totally out of touch with clinical practice, without seeing a single sick person or even putting a single suture (career jolting for a trained surgeon). These were years of utter bewilderment and confusion and questioning God. Yet, it was in these three years spent in loneliness (career-wise) that I could spend hours in the presence of God, able to spend much time in prayer and reading and meditating on the Word of God. This was a time when I died to myself and my career and looking back this was the time I grew the most in understanding my Lord, His word and His mission on earth - it was the most transformative period in my 20 odd years of knowing Christ.

One of the words of Christ that made the greatest impact on me was his call to his disciples in Mat 4:19 - “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”.

His call to his disciples (and to me) is primarily to ‘follow Him’. Once we follow him, in close communion, only then will he teach us and ‘make us’ a fisher of men.

John 15:5 - I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Since then, I have made it the primary purpose of my life to follow Him, which practically translates into doing everything I can to ensure that I spend time regularly in prayer and study of His word, listening to Him and obeying His word.

I am back to clinical work now, though in a different situation. However, the time I spent in loneliness, transformed my walk with my Lord. Even in scripture, individuals went through periods of growing spiritually and knowing God better - I can think of Moses in the desert, Paul in Damascus, David as a shepherd boy, Elijah in the desert.

I sense you are perhaps in such a time of spiritual growth and would encourage you to use this time to know him better through the word and in prayer. The Lord’s purposes for us are far greater and very different from what we conceive them to be.

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well there is one approach of living a true christian life. But two things are involved the bible and our experience before we came to Jesus. I came late I believe every word in the bible. Tell me if I am wrong when one receives Jesus as Lord and Savior God the Holy Spirit comes and lives with us prayer, bible reading are mandatory if one is to live the christian life. The Holy Spirit is part of the trinity therefore we have God in us. The Holy Spirit guides us and nudges us with new found desires and we desire most of the time let the Holy Spirit work THROUGH us. We die constantly to ourselves and let the Holy Spirit
work. We must get out of his way and just show up. We pray for words to say, when we are in places of his choosing. We are totally there in the flesh but this gets difficult I do not know why many things happen through the Holy Spirit I am just free to render the services of the Holy Spirit to others. I am a delivery boy he drives the car and if I am not doing errands I read books listen to books etc. Because a disciple is both a learner and a follower. Though sometimes I have to learn just to follow. No books here just nudging and get back into the car. I live in freedom the the nudges. I know there is a different nudger(satan) so I run the nudges through scripture then I run a filter of love If I can not take love with me I do not proceed. I does not mean I have to love where I am or the situation I am placed. Love just tags along and leads. The Holy spirit is always there why would want to put God on a shelf. The other is life experience. we have all experienced different things some like me had a more entrepreneurial experience and tried to try all .
When we come to Jesus as Savior then right away we must worship Jesus as Lord.
We are literally slaves(I got a promotion) I ride in the car but really I am a slave just riding in the car. My experience as living as a follower of Jesus is first I put everything on the table he can take anything at anytime. We give all or we do not get anything (this is not all done at once but if it is ok. I know that if you can die to yourself(not done perfectly because there are some things I have I am not currently aware of) Read the bible pray and read the book the CALL by os guinness it will show you what you do not tell but show you how you jump up your purpose for God has placed you at this specific moment. Let the Holy Spirit run your life I know I have experienced many things and people coming to Jesus but they were all told not from me but guess who it is God again.
You and me can sometimes be full of it (ourselves) but I find that when I filled with the Holy Spirit I am led to do scatter and do different things but for some reason(There is God again) many converge into a plan and purpose of God. you do not need a course or even my comment let the Holy Spirit led you it is a mystery because I do not know what is going to happen next. I have just made a commitment to be where he wants me even though I am not given clarity(what’s going to happen) let us not say just do it for the Holy Spirit does it.

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Ditto for me. Every single word. I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you.

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@tonyabthomas Thank you so much for sharing!

Wow. This really touched me. It is definitely my desire to win souls to Christ. I’ve never seen that verse so clearly before. Seriously thank you! I am in a similar season as what you described, and learning to follow Jesus more and more every day. I’m learning to depend on the Holy Spirit continually and to give God more of my time. One of the things I struggle the most with it getting distracted, especially while coming to spend time in His presence. But I believe that my capacity in the Spirit also has to grow. God has been dealing with me a lot about faith. He is so faithful. Thank you again, your testimony has given me great encouragement! God bless you

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@Jesus2020

I have heard this said by many great saints of the past, such as Madame Guyon, Elisabeth Elliot, Samuel Rutherford, the Apostle Paul… great wisdom. Thank you! By Gods Grace, He will accomplish all of this in my life as well.

I’ll also look into the book you recommended. I enjoy Os Guinness, so I’m excited to read the book. God bless you and thank you for sharing!

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The making of a saint is the work of a lifetime. It takes perseverance and discipline because there are distractions (like you mentioned), frustrations and disappointments along the way. But He is faithful to complete what He has started. On our part we are called to sit at His feet daily and listen to Him. This is why Mary was commended in the story of Mary and Martha.

Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made…

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

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Hello @holly_nichole32,

Thank you for opening the door for this opportunity of discussion. It is good to hear that you recognize you are in a season of growth, as those can be the most difficult seasons to understand the whys behind our circumstances. Though we all get a thrill and feel close to God in the mountain tops where we have fresh air and clear vision, growth happens in the valleys, not as much on the mountain tops.

Some of the most encouraging testimonies are those of experienced Christians’ telling of their personal experiences of God working in their lives. I have benefited greatly just reading through this thread.

My journey with the Lord started early, and through my teens and twenties, God has moved quickly and mightily. With several bouts of depression (one after the hardest relocating move I have made, and another a six month battle right after my younger sister got married), a complete and unexpected job change (from music teaching to office secretary), then a very clear but terribly hard death of a vision, and a lifetime of continuously surrendering my desire to get married, I would have to say that what God has done in my life through those lonely and painful times has been the foundation upon which I have been able to experience His faithfulness and my personal trust in Him be established.

God works in the lives of His children so intimately and tenderly when you really consider His ways from retrospect. And before every trial, you can trace back to some sort of heart preparation He was doing for that particular season. There was one sermon in particular that latched unto my soul before these major event took place in my life, titled: “What to Do When You Don’t Know What God Is Doing” preached by Gil Bates. I want to share these summarized points here in hopes that it may be a help and an encouragement.

Taken from the story of Elijah when the Lord commanded Him to reside by the brook Cherith for a season (found in 1 Kings 17:1-9), this account can be related to a time that we as Christians will more than likely face in our journey through this life: a time right after we have had a mountain-top experience, and are settling into life with “not much going on”, or find ourselves in a valley of soul along our Christian journey.

In these times we wonder what the Lord is doing, or why “nothing is happening”, making us feel put on the sidelines in our service to Him. There are several reasons that the Lord may have us in such a place, but from our perspective, sometimes it can be hard to recognize them.

Do you just focus on what you’re doing? No, focus on Who you’re serving. This season is a devoted time set aside to focus on your relationship with God.

  1. It is a Time of Preparation, going through the process of establishing your heart in a strong relationship with the Lord.

  2. It is a Time of Solitude to really focus on God and seek His face.

  3. It is a Place of Humility, submitting yourself to His will and seeking to know His heart.

  4. It is a Place of Privacy where you can be alone with the Lord and learn to hear His voice.

  5. It is a Time of Patience, giving your desires to the Lord and letting Him be your desire and fulfillment.

  6. It is a Place of Protection, and opportunity to embrace the fact that wherever God has you, it is right where He wants you.

  7. It is a Time of Provision, trusting that God is providing the lessons for you to learn right now which will someday be the foundation on which He will set you in the future.

Our focus as Christians should not be that of “ministry”, but rather turning our gaze to Christ and letting Him develop within us a life message that will bring honor and glory to Him. No matter where He has us, or what He has us doing, though we may not be able to trace His hand, we need to trust His heart with the knowledge that wherever He leads us, whatever He leads us through, it is for our ultimate good and His highest glory. Stand still and Let God Move!

I hope these thoughts are an encouragement :two_hearts:

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I like the book and agree that We must balance
our time of letting the Holy Spirit work through us
and prayer and solitude of worship reverence and awe of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But we can do both in a twenty four day. The revealed will of God in scripture is the great commission make disciples of all nations . The apostles did not take a valley moment and be a monk they worked and worshipped at different times but they never worshipped or evangelized all the time in any given day There were
no time-outs it was war for men’s souls
We in America think we are in a playground lost interest in the great commissions and 62 percent of self-professing Christian do not believe in absolute truth Let us get out of programs and books
that do not conform to the bible(great commission)
we are at war with principalitys for souls of our country

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Hello @Jesus2020

I was raised and trained fearing God but did not have an intimate relationship in the Lord until a major set back in my marriage life, when I was at my lowest ebb, there I realized how He love and cared for me. God used my painful experience for other women who are battling the same storm in their lives. God extended my territory for all women whether happily married, widowed, separated, single moms and single women. To His glory, God made me steward to these women. I lead a weekly Bible study for women for more than 10 years and still counting. I served an awesome God!

Your mess can become your message if you keep your focus on God and His answers and not the mess.

I read a quote that says : Only God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victory.

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Amen! I share a similar experience in my background. God is so faithful. Thank you for sharing! :heart:

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