Most of us would agree that we’d like to have a stronger spiritual life.
And we know that spending more time in the Bible and in prayer are good ways to grow.
I’d like to share five addendums that have made all the difference in my walk with Jesus. Of course, they are ideas founded in Scripture. I certainly did not invent these concepts!
1. Count Your Blessings
Many years ago, I created a journal specifically to record God’s blessings. Nothing else was written in this journal. I have since incorporated a journal where I record blessings along with my prayers and personal thoughts.
Nothing is too small to record.
When I begin my morning quiet time, I challenged myself to list at least three blessings from the previous day. Most times, I have a lot more than three. However, the day after my sweet mom passed away, it was a struggle. But finding three blessings in that horrific day and the many days of grief that followed were like the spiritual glue that held me together.
My friends, God is good. All the time. Every single day is a gift from Him. Reminding ourselves of this fact and recording specific blessings, build and strengthen our faith like nothing else. Oh, and here is an added benefit:
Counting your blessings fights depression.
In this season of Thanksgiving, I urge you to begin recording your blessings if you haven’t already. And here’s another thought: share some of those blessings around your Thanksgiving table with loved ones and friends. I promise—they too will be blessed.
2. Take Risks
My husband Scott is a risktaker. I’m not. I’m just not. But on my spiritual journey, I have learned that God will ask his people to take some risks. Big risks.
Hey, Moses. Go back to Egypt where you are wanted for murder and speak to Pharaoh. And while you’re at it, tell him to release the thousands of slaves who are My people.
If you want to grow stronger, you must do something harder.
The Lord has been gentle at times, asking me to stretch my spiritual muscles in small ways like talking to a stranger. Other times, He has directed me to do much bigger and riskier things like speak to a group of 100 teenagers about spiritual warfare. Or send my book idea to a publisher, risking rejection.
Risk is risky.
We might get rejected. We might fall on our faces. We might fail in our own eyes. Did you catch that? In our own eyes.
Taking God-directed risks always pays off. Always.
But we must take the risk in order to receive the payoff which at the very least will be an increase in our faith. I’d say that makes it worth it. Wouldn’t you?
So, what is God asking you to do that seems risky?
3. Speak Life
I have noticed that my inner dialogue can get pretty negative. I mean, I would never talk to another person as harshly as I speak to myself. Do you ever feel that way?
Negative self-talk is death to our spiritual growth.
When I notice my thinkin’ is stinkin’, I’ve learned to STOP and take that stinky thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). I take hold of it mentally and give it to Jesus. Then I replace the negative with a positive by asking myself, “what does Jesus say?”
We must also be cautious about how we speak to and about others.
Speaking negatively about others tears down both the speaker and the hearer.
“It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:11
On the other hand, speaking words of love and affirmation bring life.
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24
In essence, guard how you speak to yourself and to others.
4. Be Generous
God calls us to a life of generosity. Everything we have comes from the Lord.
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” 1 John 3:17
But being generous is not only about money.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Friends, God has blessed us to be a blessing.
“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11
The Father expects us to give of our time, resources, and treasures—and as we do, our faith is strengthened.
An act of generosity is a win for the Kingdom, the receiver, and the giver!
5. Seek Solitude
Jesus often retreated away from others to be alone with the Father. If Jesus found it necessary to seek solitude, how much more should we?
“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” Luke 5:16
Nothing will replace intentional time alone with the Lord, free of distractions.
Please, allow me to be direct. We make time for the things that we find important.
If spiritual growth is important, you will make time for it.
I eat good foods to nourish my body. I educate myself to nourish my mind. But to nourish my soul, I must continue to grow spiritually. These five practices have helped to strengthen my spiritual growth. I hope you find them helpful, too.
Blessings on you and your walk with Jesus!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and prayer requests in the comments below.
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