As free as we kingdom citizens are in Christ, it doesn’t guarantee that we’ll never feel stuck or stagnate within our faith walk. When we lose momentum or feel as if the season we’re in is overwhelmingly too long, it’s time to challenge our growth. Just as babies grow into adults, our spiritual lives must be headed north in this faith journey. Maturity is the fruit of our walk, it’s the measurement of our tests, and the manifestation of our change. Here are 3 ways to challenge areas in your life that need growth.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
1. Look in the mirror
As believers we are often encouraged to never look back at who we use to be, to never go down the rabbit hole of self-condemnation. It’s understandable to want to revel in the newness salvation brings and the liberation from our old man but, for the sake of growth, it’s ok to take a glance back. Who we use to be should be measured by who we are today. Let’s ask the hard questions! “What about me has changed?” “Am I still bound to what God wants to deliver me from?” “Have I made choices that support my new life in Christ?” No one wants to look in the mirror and see all that needs to be changed but, we won’t know what has stunted our growth unless we take a good look.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
2. Look at your inner circle
Just like the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, who we keep as company says a lot about our growth. As ex-sinners who have embraced the love of God, it’s difficult not to show love in return, especially our friends and family members who have yet to receive the gift of salvation. There is a difference between friend and someone you associate with. Not everyone can give godly counsel in a moment of desperation, not everyone will support our undying devotion to our Eternal King. Take a good look at who is influencing and edifying your faith walk. We must challenge ourselves to protect our relationship with God above all other relationships, and if we’re honest, we know exactly who is for us and who can eventually cause us to stumble.
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:3
3. Look at Jesus
Throughout His entire physical existence here on Earth, Jesus was perfect, the shining beacon of hope for the rest of us. God, wrapped in flesh, taught us how to do this thing called life in obedience. It wasn’t easy, not even for Jesus, and what continued to press Him forward was His assignment from heaven. Jesus was tested, purposeful challenges that kept Him on course. Likewise, we should rejoice when it’s time for testing, boldly prepared to pass, and humbled by the opportunity. Jesus shows us the way! So, here’s the ultimate challenge, we have to line up our lives with the life of Jesus and allow Him to change the areas in us that don’t measure up.
Anything that is alive but isn’t growing is wasteful to God. Worship to Him is when the wonderful things He has created perform the way He created them to. Growth and maturity are fruits of that worship. We kingdom citizens can stand in the authority God has given us and be the children, the image bearers He has sculpted with His own hands.