Spiritual growth is what happens when you decide to get to know the God of creation...when you begin to understand that He wants to get to know you. The result of which is called "Relationship" Pleasing Him is good, working for His cause is good, living like a good Christian is good. But what He wants is You. Not your service, not your works, not your good behavior. You.
Where you work some employees work harder than others, some do more effective work, some accomplish more, and some even win awards. But they usually don't show up at the boss' house late at night, stay for dinner and borrow the family car the next morning because theirs is low on gas. Only their children get to do that. They don't contribute at work but they have something else: "Relationship."
No amount of hard work or lavish praise heaped on the boss for wise actions or lovely family will earn that kind of relationship. Of course they could adopt you. Not likely where you work. But that's exactly what God did.
You're in the family now. And while your work and service are appreciated (even expected), that's not what got you into the family. And that's not what is going to cause you to grow in grace now that you're family.
The Apostle Paul got a little emotional with some Christians up in Asia Minor (Turkey) when they missed this point. One version translates his words as, "...who has bewitched you?" He goes on to question their approach to Spiritual Growth...
"Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh [works]? See Galatians chapter three.
So how does one grow Spriitually?
According to Paul Spiritual Growth is accomplished in the same manner as salvation: by faith.
And what is 'faith' exactly? Well, it's more than believing although that's a start. 'Trust' is probably the closest English word for it. When you trust someone, it shows. When you trust someone completely it affects your conversation and your actions. When you put your trust IN someone then you are wholly committed to their good judgment and attentive care.
Do you know someone like that? In the natural, I mean. Maybe you do. That's good. But maybe you've never met or known anyone that trustworthy. Many have not. And that can make trusting Christ very difficult.
But He has an answer. "Get to know Me", He says. "Take My burden. It's not heavy. And I will put your soul at rest from trying so hard to trust in Me." [my paraphrase]
What Paul (and Jesus) is getting at is that Spiritual Growth is a Spiritual process. Don't stress about it. Just get to know the Creator and Savior of your soul. And what better way to get to know someone than to find out what they said.
And what better way to find out what they said than to read their book. Start today getting to know Jesus. He is the WORD made flesh. And He will honor your commitment and your journey.
Inspiration for Today...Vision for Tomorrow
"a self evident truth"