4 Essentials to Spiritual Growth

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Spiritual Growth Essentials
Spiritual Growth Essentials. Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images

Are you a brand new follower of Christ, wondering where to get started on your journey? Here are four essential steps to move you forward toward spiritual growth. Though simple, they are vital to building your relationship with the Lord.

Step 1 – Read your Bible daily.

Perhaps the most important activity in the Christian life is spending time reading the Bible daily. The Bible contains messages of love and hope from God to you. The clearest way God will communicate with you is through his words in the Bible.

It's essential to find a Bible reading plan that’s right for you. A plan will keep you from missing anything God has written in his Word. Also, if you follow the plan, you’ll be on your way to reading through the Bible once every year. The easiest way to truly “grow up” in the faith is to make Bible reading a priority.

As a new believer, choosing which Bible to read might seem overwhelming or confusing with so many editions on the market today. If you need help selecting a Bible to purchase, here are some great tips to consider before buying. (Note: You may want to consider listening to the Bible daily as an alternative or in addition to reading the Bible.)

Step 2 – Meet together with other believers regularly.

The reason we attend church or gather with other believers regularly (Hebrews 10:25) is for teaching, fellowship, worship, communion, prayer, and to build one another up in the faith (Acts 2:42-47). Finding a way to participate in the body of Christ is fundamental to spiritual growth. If you’re having trouble in your search for a good church home, check out these resources on how to find a church that’s right for you.

Also, if you've never been to a Christian church service, here's a simple guide to a typical Christian worship service to help you know what to expect.

Step 3 – Get involved in a ministry group.

Most churches offer small group meetings and various ministry opportunities. Pray and ask God where he would want you to get "plugged in." Believers who connect with other Christians and discover their purpose are the ones who naturally grow in their walk with Christ. Sometimes this takes a little time, but most churches offer classes or counseling to help you find the place that’s right for you.

Don’t get discouraged if the first thing you try doesn’t seem to fit. Once you get involved in a meaningful project with other Christians, you'll see the challenge was worth the effort.

Step 4 – Pray daily.

Prayer is simply talking to God. You don’t have to use big fancy words. There are no right and wrong words. Just be yourself. Give thanks to the Lord daily for your salvation. Pray for others in need. Pray for direction. Pray for the Lord to fill you daily with his Holy Spirit. There is no limit to prayer. You can pray with your eyes closed or open, while sitting or standing, kneeling or lying on your bed, anywhere, anytime. So begin today to make prayer a part of your daily routine.

More Avenues of Spiritual Growth

Once you've made these four essential steps a regular part of your Christian life, it won't be long before you're eager to venture even deeper into your relationship with Jesus Christ. But don't feel rushed or get ahead of yourself and God. Remember, you have all eternity to grow in faith. Below you'll find a few more avenues of faith that are inherent to spiritual growth.

Study Your Bible

One obvious way to venture further in the faith is to begin to go deeper into Bible study. This step-by-step method is particularly useful for beginners but can be geared toward any level of study. As you become more comfortable with Bible study, you will begin to develop your own techniques and discover favorite resources that will make your study personal and meaningful.

Here are some top study Bibles to consider. Keep in mind, Bible study doesn't require a great deal of elaborate preparation or a huge resource library. Almost all study Bibles contain commentaries, devotionals, character studies, maps, charts, and detailed book introductions designed to help you apply biblical truth in practical ways. 

Get Baptized

When you follow the Lord in believer's baptism, you make an outward confession of the inward change that has taken place in your life. By descending into the waters of baptism, you openly identify with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. If you have not already done so, the time might be right to consider taking this next big step in your walk of faith.

Do Daily Devotions

Rather than a chore, spending time with God daily is the privilege of every true believer. Those who discover the joy of intimate, daily fellowship the Lord are never the same. Getting started with a daily devotional plan merely requires a bit of planning. These steps will help you put together a custom plan that's right for you. In no time you'll be well on your way to exciting adventures with God

Avoid Temptation

Temptation is something all Christians face. Even Jesus faced Satan's temptations in the wilderness. No matter how long you've been following Christ, temptations will present themselves.

At times you may feel far away from God, something Christians call being backslidden. The walk of faith is often difficult and we wander off track. Don't beat yourself up over your failures. Instead, pick yourself up and get back in the game. Here you'll find some practical things you can begin to do to grow stronger and smarter in your struggles with sin: Learn to avoid temptation by practicing these five steps.