"As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby." (1 Peter 2:2).
Here is a formula I developed some time ago, which many have found to be very helpful in assessing just where they are in this thing called spiritual growth. Perhaps you will find it useful in your life as well. It consists of seven simple facts, each one leading to the other in a natural and inevitable sequence of healthy growth.
Fact #1 -- healthy things grow. This is a fact. If you want to be healthy, you are going to grow. This is true of many things; whether it be people, plants, businesses, marriages, churches, investments, or whatever ~ if it is healthy, it will grow.
Fact #2 -- growing things change. This is how we know they are growing. They are different than when we last saw them.
Fact #3 -- changing things challenge us. Mark Twain said, “The only person that likes change is a wet baby.” Basically, we like things to stay the way we like them. We are creatures of habit and comfort, and so enjoy things to be left alone when we have them just the way we think they ought to be. When change happens, it presents us with challenge. The greater the change; the greater the challenge.
Fact #4 -- challenging things force us to trust God. I mean, what else are you going to do ~ quit? Challenge requires that we trust God, especially when we are faced with something that seems to be more than we can handle. God knows your limits. He knows exactly where to apply the pressure to cause you to turn to Him in faith. What might be a test for someone else may be a walk in the park for you ~ and vice versa. It is not a test until it forces you to turn to God in simple trust.
Fact #5 -- trust leads to obedience. The old Gospel song writer said it best, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.” If we truly trust the Lord, He will reveal His will to us; show us what to do. Thus, trust leads to obedience. The only question now is, will we obey?
Fact #6 -- obedience makes us healthy. Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me. For My yoke is easy, and My burden light; and you shall find rest for your souls.” When we obey the Lord, His joy floods our souls and His peace fills our lives. There is no rest for the wicked; but those who do God’s will find their lives filled with blessing.
And Fact #7 -- healthy things grow! Now we are back to where we started. That’s how it works; it is the cycle of spiritual growth every child of God experiences. Even now you are somewhere in this cycle ~ that is, if you want to be healthy. Review these seven phases and consider where you are in the process. You’ll end up in a good place, praising God for bringing you through it all.