But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 ESV
Most believers want to be spiritually mature. They covet a deeper understanding of God’s mysteries and desire a loving union with the Lord. Yet too many Christians are living below their spiritual inheritance. Some of them struggle to remain faithful and loyal to God throughout their Christian journey. They slip and slide their way in and out of fellowship with God. Because of their attraction to the world and inability to control their worldly desires, their love for God remains lukewarm and their commitment to their great commission is often questionable.
Spiritual growth requires intentionality. No one grows spiritually by accident or by convenience. Many demonic forces are aligned and determined to keep believers from growing spiritually. Thus, it takes perseverance, determination, focus, patience, and faith to grow spiritually. Mostly, however, it takes a life of fervent prayer and meditation on the word of God to grow spiritually.
In today’s text, Peter encourages believers to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. The more we know about Jesus the stronger we become spiritually. Knowledge of Jesus can only be achieved by studying the word of God in scripture. For, All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The desire to grow spiritually is noble, but not automatic. Spiritual growth is not just the result of going to church. Many people attend church regularly and are still spiritually naïve and immature. Spiritual growth is the work of the Holy Spirit in believers who surrender to God’s purpose and plans for their lives.
Believers must be intentional about saturating their lives with prayer. We must be purposeful about our service to the kingdom of God. Believers must resist the temptation to pursue the pleasures of the world so they can seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness. In doing so they will not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of their minds that is centered on Christ Jesus.
Jesus paid the ultimate price to redeem us from eternal damnation and give us the gift of eternal life. But we must remain hidden with Christ in God to grow in our relationship with God. No one can become a fighter pilot by accident. It takes countless hours of training, testing, and learning to be given the responsibility to pilot multimillion-dollar airplanes. The human soul is far more valuable than the stealth bomber in the US military. It takes countless hours of reading and studying scripture, prayer, meditation, worship, Christian fellowship, and great commission service to develop the spiritual aptitude to become mature in our relationship with God. This is why it is so important to be part of a Bible-believing and prayer-focused church that provides a supportive environment for spiritual growth.
I love seeing the passion and excitement of new believers. Oftentimes, these babes in the faith are so hungry and thirsty for God, they are intentional in their prayer life, and they make themselves available to study scripture. But it saddens me when new believers begin to lose their passion for God because they’ve mastered the routine of church attendance and become more committed to church activities than spending quality time with God. Our membership in a church does not reflect our spiritual maturity. At times, it is church activities that hinder spiritual growth. Therefore, we must be vigilant and intentional in practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, and great commission service over everything else.
Those who want to grow spiritually must have a conversation with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God enables us to know the will of God. He sensitizes our hearts to the presence of God; and gives us the desire and passion to please God in the way we live and serve our Lord.
Questions for Personal Reflection
What are you doing to grow spiritually?
What are the benefits of spiritual growth?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for convicting me and reminding me of the benefits of spiritual growth. I want to remain hidden with Christ in God so I can do your great commission work with power and authority. Please continue to order my steps so I can bear spiritual fruits to the glory of Jesus’ name.