But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26
In one of the last instalments I talked about growing in threes.
Everything speaks of his glory
Growth seems to be a major theme for God. Look around and—just as Paul tells us—you will see God in everything. True, for the last short 200 years we tried to explain nature leaving God out of the picture. But if you are honest with yourself, you know that everything speaks of his glory.
One thing we see in nature is growth. All organic things—and not only those—grow. Their goal in life is to mature, mate, reproduce. That reminds me of the first assignment God gave us: fill the earth.
Even man is made that way. John talks to children, young ones, fathers. True, not everybody mates, and even more do not reproduce. And let’s be honest: even fewer mature. Well, they do, but only their body.
Nature is a shadow of the spiritual. We can therefore with confidence deduct that God’s goal for us is to spiritually mature. Put in plain language: grow up!
Most bible verses and shadows about growth speak of three levels. I named a few in above blog post:
I also talked about three levels of maturity: saved, Spirit filled, mature.
I want to make it practical today, so you can learn how to grow in Christ.
Assess where you are
First, let’s assess where you are at the moment. Understand that the questions that follow describe a process. Since life is a growth process, you will be able to say yes to most questions until you reach the questions beyond your personal level of maturity. There, you have your assessment. On the other hand, you might in certain parts be further than in others. This can only be an imperfect tool. May it help anyway.
- Do you know that Christ died for you and forgave your sins?
- Did you accept Jesus Christ as your savior and have you been baptized with water?
- Do you know you are saved and go to heaven when this life is over?
If not, you have not even started your spiritual growth process. I recommend that you ask God to show you that he exists and wants to have a personal relationship with you. I am certain that he will answer.
If you answered yes to those questions, you are saved. Spiritually spoken, you have entered the outer court of the temple. You have put on the most inner layer of the priestly garments—white linen, white as snow, forgiven. You have experienced your personal easter, Passah.
You are now a spiritual child. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It is natural that we start as children. Our behavior at first is governed by the question: “what is in it for me?” We look for everything out there. Help for our problems as well as opportunities for growth or signs about our future. Circumstances dictate the strength of our faith. But some of the greatest accomplishments are done in childhood: we learn to walk and talk, relate, depend upon others, and we gather the tools for the next step: youth.
But it would be bad to stay where we are. Diapers for a year or two is fine, but when you are fifteen?
The next questions:
- Do you know that the Holy Spirit has been given as a teacher and helper?
- Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit?
- Do you want to become like Jesus Christ?
Welcome in the Holy Place. You have put on the second layer of the priestly garments, the blue garment representing the Holy Spirit. You have experienced your personal Pentecost. Your question now becomes: “what can I do for Christ”, and later “what can I do for others?” This is youth. Youth is a place of strength. You want to change the world. Slowly you learn that it is not about what the church can do for you, but what you can do for the church.
Still, it’s all about the external, even though you slowly get the idea that you need to change for things to change. And this leeds to a growth process towards adulthood.
The danger for youth? You can do it on your own. But what will happen when your gone?
The third level:
- Do you know the Father as only a father can know him?
- Have you been baptized with fire?
- Do you know that “you are“?
Adulthood is not enough. Adulthood, just as in nature, has to reproduce for the process to go on. The goal is fatherhood.
Welcome to the Holy of Holies. You just put on the ephod—made from two identical parts, Christ and you, indistinguishable, you in Him and He in you. You experienced your personal Tabernacles and have become a mature son of God. Your question now: “who can I pour myself into?”
You know that the river of life flows from within you and brings life wherever it goes. Circumstances have to change by the power of your words.
How to grow
OK, now to the practical part. Give me some tools to grow, you say. I will.
To grow in childhood:
- Read your bible every day.
- Pray. Converse with God.
- Join a good church where you are fed.
Join a church that teaches about all three levels of maturity. It will teach the cross, and that is good for you, as you will grow in your understanding of your childhood. It will teach about the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit, the tools and place of youth. And it will teach about calling, spiritual fatherhood, fivefold ministry to lead you into fatherhood.
To grow in youth:
- Build relationship with a spiritual father.
- Pour yourself into the church.
- Train your faith muscles, stand your course in circumstances.
Circumstances are used by God as cleansing fire and spiritual barbells. Standing through them with God’s help trusting will lead you into fatherhood. As will a true father in faith. A father’s goal is to reproduce, but not copy himself in others. To make his children ready for life. To invest so they do not have to live through the same things again that he did. To set free by giving security.
To grow as a father:
- Change your thinking.
- Manifest what has been yours since the beginning.
- Pour yourself into sons.
And in all stages just stay hungry and thirsty for more.
Are you hungry?