Our walk with Grace is different. We have different calls, different abilities, different portions, different lanes, different everything; hence we shouldn’t look at another man’s journey and try to replicate it in our own walk.
When we grow spiritually, we grow uniquely into Christ. We grow uniquely into our callings, our abilities, our portions, etc.
There are common factors that run in the growth of every believer. Actually, these common factors are commandments from God to us. I call them “the threads that run in our growths.” In this post, we’ll consider just one thread.
Reading and meditating on God’s Word… consistently
In my first post I mentioned that the Bible verses are the equipment we need for our training, but I mistakenly left out something vital, which the Holy Spirit brought to my notice as I wrote this post. I had to go back and include it. What did I leave out? The Bible is first, the only meal our spirits feed on, and our spirits can’t eat anything else. The verses of the Bibles are our health foods.
I always say that Christians should spend more time reading the Bible than they do Christian books (especially the New Testament, because it shows our present reality with God through Christ). Why? First, the Bible contains ALL we need and will ever need to grow. Then staying with the Word, all by ourselves, will help us learn to trust God and help us learn to hear Him speak. Because, when we don’t understand what we’ve read we get to ask the Holy Spirit, and being alone with Him we help us get use to His presence. Plus, there are so many stuffs out there that are not Holy Spirit inspired, and we can fall prey to a wrong teaching.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t read Christian books. I’m growing a faith-based library in my house— I read books!
God didn’t write the Bible all by Himself; He had forty (40) men on earth who helped Him with the task. If God used those men to write the Bible, He can still inspire men of this generation to write on relevant topics about His kingdom. He does. But unfortunately, we live in a time where people prefer to pick up a book instead of the Bible. So we can quote many authors, but we can’t quote verses of the Bible… very wrong.
So my advice is, make the Bible your #1 source for spiritual growth, and always ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to books. Don’t just pick up any book and read, because everyone is reading it, or because someone recommended it.
If we read the Bible and lack understanding, we should ask our Trainer (The Holy Spirit) to help us understand, and to clear our confusion. He’ll be more than willing to help. That’s His job! When He sees a willing heart that is not yet sensitive to His leadings and convictions, He’ll send someone to help such heart. Remember the Ethiopian Eunuch? He read the Bible and couldn’t understand. God saw his heart, but God couldn’t get to Him. Did God leave him all by himself? No! God had to send Philip his way, just to interpret a passage of the Bible to him. God saw his heart. God knew he sincerely wanted to understand what he read and God in His infinite mercy sent Philip his way.
The Ethiopian Eunuch wasn’t a believer yet, hence the Holy Spirit was not in Him. So if you’re reading this and you’ve not accepted the offering of Jesus Christ, you need to make that decision first, before you can talk about spiritual growth, but that’s not the case if you’re a believer. As a believer in Christ, you need to learn to depend on the Holy Spirit to teach you God’s word.
The privilege of understanding God’s word is not reserved for just Pastors and church leaders; it is for ALL Believers
It is good to tell the Holy Spirit that you won’t ask nobody, but Him… you won’t wait for nobody but Him… and mean it.
It is good to wait only on Him, until you see Him come through. Now that’s spiritual growth!
When we want to study the Bible, we should:
Make our hearts willing
Get at least two versions of the Bible (versions we can understand),
Get a Bible concordance (this is a search engine for the Bible, but this engine is just a book. It helps you find what you’re looking for in the Bible). If you can’t find one yet, a smart phone with data can, to an extent, replace this (but I still advise you get one).
Get a journal
Get a pen
And find a quiet place (this is to help us concentrate, for God can speak even in the noisiest places)
Stay before God and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you God’s word.
This will help you build a relationship with God. You’ll learn to trust the Holy Spirit, learn to hear God speak to you, and begin to grow into the likeness of Christ, and that’s what spiritual growth is about.
When you go through this entire process consistently, your life will never remain the same.
How important is the Bible for our spiritual growth? Well, that’s like asking “how important is it for me to eat?” The Bible is the only food for our spirit.
Can I do without it? No, you can’t! Not if you want to grow.
How often should I read and meditate on the Bible? At least once a day. You must not read an entire book or chapter, but you have to read and meditate on God’s word daily. Thank God for audio Bible; you should get one in your device. (Your mind will tell you “that’s taking it to far.” With God there’s no taking it too far. You can’t do it with your efforts; ask for Grace, daily. Again, baby steps are fine. God created baby steps).
First, we see this as a commandment from God to the children of Israel:
“This book of the law shall not depart
Out of your mouth, but you shall meditate
On it day and night, that you may observe
And do according to all that is written in it;
For then you shall make your way prosperous,
And then you shall deal wisely and have good success”
Joshua 1:8 (AMP)
Paul in his second letter to Timothy tells us the priceless roles God’s Word play in our lives:
“Every scripture is God-breathed—given
By His inspiration—and profitable for
Instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin,
For correction and error and discipline in
Obedience, and for training in righteousness
(That is in holy living, in conformity to God’s
Will in thought, purpose and action).”
2Timothy 3:16 (AMP)
I like the “…training in righteousness…” part, because it helps us see that though our righteousness is from God, we train ourselves in it. We train ourselves to become in the physical what God has already made us in the spiritual.
Peter admonishes that our desire for God’s Word should be like the desire a newborn has for milk.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere
Milk of the Word that ye may grow thereby”
1Peter 2:2 (AMP)
Have you been around a newborn lately?… If you still don’t get the picture, maybe you should visit and spend some time with a newborn.
And then we hear Jesus (the HERO) telling the devil that man is not expected to live without the Word:
“But He replied, it has been written,
Man shall not leave by bread alone,
But by every word that comes forth
From the mouth of God”
Matthew 4:4 (AMP)
James and the writer of Hebrews tell us how powerful God’s word is:
“…and welcome the Word which implanted
And rooted in your hearts contains the power to
Save your souls.”
James 1:21 (AMP)
“For the Word that God speaks is alive and
Full of power— making it active, operative,
Energizing and effective; it is sharper
Than any two-edged sword…”
Hebrews 4:12 (AMP)
Reading is not enough; we also have to meditate on what we’ve read.
Meditation is the process of thinking about we’ve read, asking the Holy Spirit question about what we’ve read, believing He’ll answer, making a choice to practice what the Word says, believing that Grace will help us live accordingly, and saying a heartfelt prayer to God.
It is ok to read the Bible and not spend time to meditate there and then, but as much as possible (daily), find time to read and meditate on God’s Word. When you always find time to meditate on the Word, you’ll discover that the Bible is the indescribable power of God hidden in pages, and waiting for a soul it will so enrich. Stay with it, sit with it, pray with it.
Settle it in your heart that whenever you spend time with the Word, your life will not remain the same again. Open the Bible with great expectation. Say a prayer of thanksgiving, and start reading. Your expectation will not be cut short, for God is faithful and He rewards those that diligently seek Him.
Do you want to grow spiritually?
Do you really want to grow spiritually??
Then the Bible has got to be your new best friend.
The Word is our health food,
Stay Spiritually Fit.