For three consecutive years, my son participated in a piano recital. The last year he played, I watched him mount the steps and set up his music. He played two songs and then sat down next to me and whispered, “Mom, this year the piano was smaller.” I said, “No, it’s the same piano you played last year. You’re bigger! You’ve grown.”
Spiritual growth, like physical growth, often happens slowly over time. It is an ongoing process that involves becoming more like Jesus, and it happens as we are transformed through the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2).
When the Holy Spirit is at work in us, we may become aware of sin in our lives. Wanting to honor God, we make an effort to change. Sometimes we experience success, but at other times, we try and fail. If it seems like nothing changes, we get discouraged. We may equate failure with a lack of progress, when it’s often proof that we are in the middle of the process.
Spiritual growth involves the Holy Spirit, our willingness to change, and time. At certain points in our lives, we may look back and see that we have grown spiritually. May God give us the faith to continue to believe that “He who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).
Dear God, give me a desire to grow spiritually. I want to honor You with my life and experience the joy of the Spirit’s work inside of me.
Spiritual growth is a process.
Paul established the church at Philippi during his second missionary journey. It was a growing and faithful church that had actively supported his ministry, and he was concerned that Christ-followers live exemplary holy lives (1:27). Paul’s prayer for believers to grow strong is also what we need. Let us pray that our love for God and for each other will overflow (v. 9), that we will grow in our understanding of Christ and His Word (v. 9), that we will live pure and holy lives (v. 10), that we will grow to be more like Christ (v. 11), and that we will glorify God in all we do (v. 11).