There is no short cut to spiritual growth. You may disagree, but the truth is it takes time to mature spiritually. It is no wonder the Apostle Paul advises Timothy to not give the authority of leadership to those who are novice or beginner in the faith. A novice has no business running the house of God. If allowed, a novice may become a dangerous leader.
Time and time again blunders occur when people place immature men to lead. There is a tendency to look for men that people think are qualified because of head knowledge or just being bright. People need to understand that they cannot compare the work of God from secular way of running a business. Believers are in the midst of spiritual warfare. Our battle is not of a flesh and blood but of a spiritual battle in high places. We are dealing with the spiritual world.
The Word of God, the seed that is planted in your heart does not grow into a fruit bearing tree over night. Time and delicate care of trimming and pruning is needed for a believer to bear fruits. And the only way to grow spiritually is by feeding on the Word of God, feeding your spirit, the inner man with the pure milk of the Word.
Head knowledge has nothing to do with spiritual growth. Serious students of the Bible have proven this fact that head knowledge is independent of spiritual maturity. God’s Word, the Scripture is for spiritual food. It is not intended to satisfy the curiosity of the mind. You see, one of the many hindrances to spiritual maturity is treating the Bible just like another book.
When a person is born again, his inner man also his spirit receives the life of God by faith. The same holds true with the feeding on the Word. We receive the Word by faith. Faith is beyond mental knowledge, and the mind will never come to understand what faith is. The growth process is to first feed your spirit with the Word of God, and then the mind renews as you allow your spirit to take over yourself. But let this truth sink in your heart that the mind will never comprehend the Word of God. It is only the human spirit who will be able to understand His Word.
Spiritual growth has the outward manifestations, the evidence of maturity. The Bible calls it the fruit of the spirit. The fruit of the spirit is far different from the gifts of the Spirit. Believers should not be confused of their differences. The fruit of the spirit is the result of a believer’s obedience and submission to the Word of God, whereas the gifts of the Spirit are given by the grace of God.
Spiritual gifts are not evidence of spiritual maturity. Spiritual gifts are given for the church’s edification. Spiritual gifts are not for a one man show to perform on the platform or wherever. It is through God’s grace that He distributed Spiritual gifts as He wills. Gifts are given according to the will of God. It is the grace of God that an individual is being used in the Body of Christ. So don’t be surprised if a man of God who had been using by God in a mighty way and all of a sudden confessed that he was living in sin, engaging in immoral activities, and struggling to live the principle of God and His holiness.
Spiritual growth and growing into maturity is believer’s responsibility. Growth is possible when you have a determined heart and a willingness mind to simply obey the word of God. An Old Testament prophet nailed it down when he said that obedience is better than sacrifice. You see, God does not need your sacrifices. Jesus has already finished all the sacrifices God had required. One thing God wants from you is to follow His Word. Obey His commandments.
The Apostle Paul listed the fruits of the spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control …” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJ).
The fruit of our spirit is to be tested. They are tested if ripe indeed and ready for consumption for the kingdom of God. The test of maturity is in the fruit of your spirit. Simple test questions are these: Do you have love in your heart to share? Do you have joy in serving the Lord and others? Do you have peace in the midst of chaos? Do you have longsuffering in times of trouble? Do you have kindness to share? Do you have goodness to share? Do you have faithfulness to share? Do you have gentleness to share? Do you have self control?
Self-control could be the obvious evidence in the life of a believer. A spiritually mature individual has tremendous self-control when faced with temptations such as immorality. The Book of Proverbs offers us the wisdom on how to handle situations that challenges us to commit immoral acts. It takes self-control to overcome the flesh. You need to realize that spiritual fruit shall remain solid under any toughest test.
God will never hand you the “ready- made” spiritual fruit in a silver platter. You have to work it out yourself. It will take time for the roots of the Word to dig deep in your heart. It will take time for the branches of your tree to enlarge and bear fruit. It takes a lot of trimming and cleaning of your branches to produce good fruits. The fruit of the spirit is produced from within your heart.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits … Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit, a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree good fruit. Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:15-18, 20 NKJ).
It is the fruit of the spirit that will separate a mature believer from a mere man. A mere man lives under the flesh and follows the dictate of his un-renewed mind. A mere man does not know how to live in the spirit. A mere man cannot able to digest the solid food of the Word of God. He is carnal. He lives according to his physical senses.
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:1-3 NKJ).
How to grow in the Word of faith:
First, you have to spend quality time with the Word of God and meditating of the Scripture. You have to saturate your heart with the Word and re-new your mind according to the principle of God.
Second, you have to obey the Word of God. No matter how negative your situation may appear, you have to determine in heart to obey God’s Word.
Third, you have to live by faith. Living by faith means to totally convince your whole being that the Word of God shall come to pass. It is to consider in your heart that the Word of God is forever settled in heaven.