As we discussed in the last blog post, There’s Levels to this Faith; we must grow in faith. It’s necessary for our progress in the Kingdom of God on earth.
Here are five reasons why we should grow in faith:
Becoming spiritually mature is so essential to our progression as believers. And this is because our level of maturity affects our level of confidence and surrender to Christ. The more we grow in the spiritual, the more we can understand the things that are higher than this earth, and the more we can trust in it. How frustrating would it be to be stuck in the same thought and behavior pattern long after you've decided to follow Jesus? It would be extremely frustrating, and it would affect your confidence in the Lord. And that is not what God wants for us. He wants us to become spiritually mature, not just for ourselves but also for our brothers and sisters who have yet to pick up their cross. We're called to share the gospel and become fishers of men (Matthew 28:16-20), but how can we do it if we’re not confident in God and not reaching a higher level of spiritual understanding? Another reason maturity is essential is that we need to be equipped to raise our families (teach a child in the way they should go), for our purpose, for the trials and tribulations, and, most importantly, to see the Kingdom of God. Spiritual maturity prepares us for heaven (John 3), which is why we must grow in the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We need strength, okayy. Like for real, if our Father is strong, then we should be strong too. I don’t mean to try to be as strong as God because God is God all by himself. I’m saying that we need to walk with the knowledge of the strength of the Lord and walk with the power that comes from being a child of God. Our strength isn't based on the physical. It’s a heavenly strength that empowers us to rebuke things, pray big and powerful prayers, stand strong in adversity (Meshach, Shadrach, Abednego), and stand against our flesh. We need to get stronger so that when it's time to call on our angels to defend us, we know how and when it's time to speak to the mountains we can. God knows that this life is hard, but he also knows that He has given us what we need to get through every day.
The book of Proverbs teaches us about the importance of wisdom and instructs us on how to be wise in our ways. Everyone needs to have wisdom to make sound decisions and to have discernment. Wisdom is an understanding of God’s perspective and expectations. When we can understand God’s perspective and expectations we can yield to His instruction and direction, which is what most of us seek. We follow Christ so that we don't have to go at life alone. But if we don't follow Christ daily and increase in our knowing Him, we will not be able to understand Him or His expectations. There is always more to learn about God and ourselves, and there is always room for us to improve and receive correction. By allowing yourself to grow and receive correction, you can become a better example to others, and you put yourself at a lesser risk of being compromised. The reason this is possible is that your thinking changes and you're able to make better-informed decisions for your life. As you do this, you ensure your position in the body of Christ on earth and prepare your mind for your position in the Kingdom of God in Heaven.
There’s a different kind of confidence and boldness that we walk in after we accept Christ and begin to understand what this new identity in Him means for us and our lives. God equips us with the courage to go after things unseen and unknown, but we can only do this when we truly deeply believe that He is going to do what He said He's going to do. In the bible, God continually reminds those He has called to be not afraid. He reminds us of who He is and what He is establishing for us. As we grow in faith, our minds begin to be transformed from fearful and limited to fearless and free. In this transformation, we gain a courageous spirit, but this spirit must be cultivated so that it can be activated at every level of purpose. When we're on this journey, it isn't always the case that we feel fearless, but what remains is God’s word that stands forever. When we allow His name and holy spirit to transform us even in fear, uncertainty and doubt we can still pick up our cross and know that we're following a God like no other that can move mountains, split seas, strengthen us to slay Goliath's, rebuke demons and so much more. We have it in us to slay the Goliaths of our lives with courage too.
Growing in faith opens us up to more love. I remember when I was first saved, I felt love in a new and tangible way. I saw it being given all around me; I saw how Christian communities expressed love, saw how friend groups displayed love, and could see a new way to love strangers. I started to understand sacrificial love and all that entailed. Love, I believe, is one of the most important aspects of life. Love teaches us patience, kindness, forgiveness; these are all things we received at the start of our walk. It's through love that change can occur. With a growing faith comes an increasing love for God, self, and people. With love, we experience more peace and joy, which translates to every relationship we have (platonic, romantic, familial, professional, friend, etc.). You’ll notice that as you grow in faith, your tolerance level increases for people, your care for them changes, and your trust. It’s because of this that you can pray for others, think of them, and gain an appreciation for those closest to you. The final point I’ll make is that as you grow in faith, it becomes easier to love your neighbor as yourself. And trust me, I know that it’s easier said than done, but the truth is love is an action verb, and sometimes it requires us to reposition our hearts when we don't feel that love for our neighbors (friends, coworkers, family, acquaintances, etc.). What I've found is that as I've grown in faith, I'm aware of the times that my heart needs repositioning, and I'm more intentional about putting the action back in love as opposed to just expecting it to show up without intention and action. The growth helps us become self-aware, therefore making it possible for us to open up to more love and pouring out love.
While there are so many other reasons to grow in love, that's it for now, folks. I love you all, and I pray that we can grow in faith and see the transformation of this growth translated in our everyday lives. Here’s to more love, courage, wisdom, strength, and maturity!