To Manifest Needs 7 Essential Habits for Growing Spiritually - Reportgist

To Manifest Needs 7 Essential Habits for Growing Spiritually

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Not all habits are the same. Some are positive, like having a schedule for going to sleep and waking up, brushing our teeth, making meals, taking care of health and hygiene, and cleaning our homes.>>>CONTINUE FULL READING HERE

However, if we are not careful, we can fall into bad habits if we are not careful, such as constantly checking our phones during a conversation or mindlessly scrolling through social media. We must be intentional about the habits we create.

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This applies to our spiritual lives as well.

Christian maturity does not happen passively or naturally. We are not going to fall into the habit of following Jesus and living for His glory. The human inclination is to do the easy thing that aligns with our desires. To be a disciple of Christ, though, means taking up our cross and doing the hard thing of obeying our Lord and Savior (Luke 9:23). Intentionality is needed if we are going to cultivate habits that promote spiritual growth.

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Let’s look at seven essential habits for growing spiritually.

We have all heard about the necessity of reading the Bible. Pastors, Bible teachers, and writers can sound like a broken record when they keep insisting on the need for Scripture engagement. Everyone has heard the message already, so why keep emphasizing it?

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Bible reading is declining among Americans. It is far easier to occasionally pick up a devotional with a small blurb of Scripture than to sit down to study God’s Word daily. We can also make excuses, saying we are too busy or have shortened attention spans. However, believers cannot and will not grow if the intake they have of God’s Word is equal to a bite. Infants and children need steady nourishment to grow, and the same is true for Christians.

We need a steady diet of filling our hearts and minds with the Bible. Scripture teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains us ( 2 Timothy 3:16). We can experience the full extent of these benefits by carving out a time each day to read the Bible – and not just to read it, but to obey and apply what God says to our lives ( James 1:22-25).

This could look like waking up earlier to spend time with the Lord, talking to Him, and reading His Word. If we are not suited to early morning Bible reading, we could instead incorporate Bible engagement in the evenings. Regardless of the exact time of day, we need to make reading and obeying the Bible a priority.
Practical tip:

Find a readable Bible version in print or online and commit to a Bible reading plan. While reading, eliminate distractions to ensure maximum focus on God’s Word. Also, consider having a notebook or journal nearby to write down verses that stand out, any questions that arise, or application points.

Photo credit: Unsplash/Alexandra Fuller

Like the emphasis on Bible reading, it might seem redundant to include prayer in a list of habits for spiritual growth. Christians know the biblical instruction to “pray continually” which is God’s will for our lives ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). Most of us would likely admit, though, that we do not pray without ceasing. At times, it can be difficult to pray for five minutes without our minds wandering.

Jesus modeled the type of prayer life that leads to spiritual maturity. Throughout His ministry, He regularly went away by Himself to pray to the Father. He did not stand in the crowds praying publicly to gain recognition for poetic words. Instead, Christ went to “lonely places” to commune with His Father (see Luke 5:16). We are wise to do the same, getting away by ourselves and praying “in secret” ( Matthew 6:6).

Committing to regular prayer and Bible reading will lead us to make communion with God a habit. This is essential to our spiritual walk since eternal life is about having an everlasting relationship with God ( John 17:3). We invest in this relationship by talking with and listening to Him.
Practical tip:

To stay focused while praying, try writing prayers in a journal or speaking them aloud. If a believer wants to be more consistent in praying throughout the day, he or she could set a timer at intervals as a reminder to pray. Some may also want to try engaging in longer periods of prayer.

Lots of us have different thoughts when we hear the word “confession.” Perhaps we think that confessing means telling our sins to others or entering a designated place to reveal our sins to a priest. While some Christians in the Catholic tradition go to confession, the Bible talks about confessing our sins to the Lord and receiving forgiveness from Him ( 1 John 1:9).

To regularly confess to God requires self-examination, which can only occur if we are reading Scripture. When we look into God’s perfect Word, the dark and ugly areas of our lives will be exposed. The Holy Spirit also works in this process to convict us. He knows that revealing sins can be painful, like having a wound examined and treated. However, the process is for our good. As we see the wound of sin in the light of His Word, we will recognize sin for what it is and repent.

Regularly confessing sin and turning away from it brings about spiritual growth. We are allowing God to search our hearts and deal with the dark, messy areas of our lives (see Psalm 139:23-24). He is the Gardener, pruning us and weeding out all the harmful areas that keep us from flourishing ( John 15:1-2). Sin must be dealt with for spiritual fruit to come.
Practical tip:

Include self-examination as a practice while reading the Bible and ask God to reveal any hidden sins. The Holy Spirit will use Scripture to convict and encourage repentance.

Among Christians in America, worship is often synonymous with attending church on Sunday. We sing songs and hymns, offering praise to the Lord. A musical group, usually referred to as the worship team, leads us in these songs. This is the only worship many believers partake in for the week.

Singing and making music is part of worshipping the Lord, but it is also so much more. Worship is a position of our hearts – when we acknowledge the greatness of God and honor Him as worthy of praise.

In Paul’s epistle to the Romans, he encouraged the believers to offer themselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord. He told them that “this is your true and proper worship” ( Romans 12:1). God desires for us to honor Him with our whole lives, not just one part. When we give ourselves as a sacrifice, then our thoughts are directed to Him. We focus on living for His glory.

This includes singing psalms and spiritual songs ( Colossians 3:16), as well as praising God throughout the day. Worship is not just something to do on Sunday. It should be a part of our daily lives. As we honor God, we grow in love for Him and mature in our Christian walk.
Practical tip:

To make worship a habit, we should commit to worshiping the Lord with other believers each week. However, we should also seek to glorify God in all that we do ( 1 Corinthians 10:31). Find ways to praise God throughout the day, such as before meals or during difficult circumstances.

Most of us have heard sermons on the importance of tithing. With the emphasis on Christian duty and exact numbers (10%), though, many of us do not give from a place of joy or compassion. We miss the blessing of serving others with our time, resources, and talents.

Giving is not solely about donating money to ministries, though that is a part of it. Neither are we locked into giving ten percent of our income, an Old Testament standard for giving from the first fruits of crops ( Deuteronomy 14:22). The Spirit might move us to give much more.

What matters when we give from our finances, time, or talents is not necessarily how much we give, but the way we give. Scripture teaches that God loves a cheerful giver ( 2 Corinthians 9:7). We can be a cheerful giver when we are happy to give ourselves and other resources, and even to do so sacrificially, to show our love for God and others. The amazing thing is that when we make joyful giving a habit, we also benefit. Our faith grows.

We start to hold items and money much more loosely. Instead of trying to accumulate, we will search for more ways to invest in eternity. As we keep giving, from a place of joy and cheerfulness, our hands will open more – happily offering what we have because we have become rich with the knowledge of Christ’s grace ( 2 Corinthians 8:9).
Practical tip:

Wisely research churches, ministries, and organizations before giving. Find out about their work and impact. Then anticipate giving time, money, or talents, whether that is each week or each month.

As tempting as it may be, we cannot live a Christ-honoring life alone. We need other believers. They spur us on in our walk with Christ, offering encouragement and discipleship. Since the church is a body where all members have essential jobs, they also need us ( 1 Corinthians 12:14-27).

Just as iron sharpens iron, committed followers of Jesus will challenge and motivate each other to grow ( Proverbs 27:17). They will meet to worship the Lord, receive biblical teaching, and exercise spiritual gifts. As all serve to equip one another to go out into the world to spread the gospel and make disciples, they will increase in faith, knowledge, and maturity (see Ephesians 4:11-13). No longer will they be infants in the faith but will grow up in Christ (Ephesians 4:14-15).

To experience this growth, we must make fellowshipping with other believers a priority. As the writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” ( Hebrews 10:24-25). Committing to meeting with believers by regularly attending a local church is a great way to make this a faith-increasing habit.
Practical tip:

For multiple reasons, some people do not have a Bible-believing, Christ-honoring church nearby. If this happens, try to connect with local believers and set up regular meetings either in a home, coffee shop, or public place. Find ways to spur one another to greater faithfulness.>>>CONTINUE FULL READING HERE

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