There is more good news in that our season of life is not a barrier to spiritual growth.
A mother in our small group suggested that it was easier for her to “work on her spiritual life” before she became a mom. As we talked, it became clear what she meant.To her, reading the Bible and praying were the only two activities that counted spiritually. As a mother she felt that “time alone” was an oxymoron.
In this the church had failed her. She had never been taught to see that caring for two young children, offered daily with expressions of gratitude and prayers for help and patient acceptance of trials, might become a kind of school for transformation into powerful servanthood beyond anything she had ever known. Somehow having a “quiet time” counted toward spiritual devotion and caring for two children did not. It took creative effort for this mother to carve out solitude and stillness, and even then she could not free up the amount of time she had in college. But as a mother she opportunities for growth she did not have back then. Our season in life – whatever it is – is no barrier to having Christ formed in us. Not in the least.
Whenever there is a fresh move of the Holy Spirit bringing spiritual refreshing, renewal, or revival, there are always people who jump into the “river” and get caught up in the laughter, the “feel-good” sensations, the “warm fuzzies,” or other manifestations for their own sake. These folks are more interested in being “tickled” by their Father than in being transformed by the Spirit. Being tickled is fine up to a point, but the time comes when the Lord says, “Enough tickling. It’s time to grow.” Growth always involves transformation, and it always involves pain.
Only 50% of clergy from declining churches agreed it was “very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians”, compared to 100% of clergy from growing churches.
71% of clergy from growing churches read the Bible daily compared with 19% from declining churches.
46% of people attending growing churches read the Bible once a week compared with 26% from declining churches.
93% of clergy and 83% of worshippers from growing churches agreed with the statement “Jesus rose from the dead with a real flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb”. This compared with 67% of worshippers and 56% of clergy from declining churches.
100% of clergy and 90% of worshippers agreed that “God performs miracles in answer to prayers”, compared with 80% of worshippers and 44% of clergy from declining churches.
Prophesy your day. When you wake in the morning, pray and ask the Lord for information about something that will happen during your day. Write it down as clearly as you understand it. At the end of the day, check and see if the event that you prophesied to yourself happened. Also see how well you understood the specific details of the event (s).
You are the sum total of your habits. You’ve got good ones and you’ve got bad ones, but the things you habitually do are the things that make you. The key to spiritual growth is developing good habits.