I am excited to explore the concept of spiritual growth with you. What does growth look like for you in 2023? What an important question for us to ask and answer! Our answer is impacted by our beliefs, goals, and life direction.
This year I am trusting the Lord to help me grow in several areas. These areas include my focus, my daily habits, my heart attitude towards challenging situations, and my love for others over myself. (I'm glad I can be honest with you!)
Friends, let me tell you something that is getting my attention. The areas I wish I could change are the areas God is willing and able to show up and do a work ONLY he can do.
A passage of scripture helping me grow is found in Colossians 2:6-7. "So then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
I am reminded of four powerful truths each time I read this passage. These truths set our eyes on Jesus so we can embrace the faith adventure God has for us.
Continue to live the life God is calling you to live! Growing in 2023 means we need to focus on God's plan. (I hope that thought grabs your attention.) God has a plan for you! How do we figure out the plan? I could suggest many things, but Colossians 2:6 encourages us to think back to the first day we received Christ as our Lord. Without a doubt, on that day, we experienced an openness to living the life God planned for us. On that day for me, my heart was full of excitement, gratitude, and love for Jesus. As a result, I was open and ready to embrace the next step of obedience and faith, even if the plan made me uncomfortable or slightly afraid. I was ready, and I was ALL IN with Jesus.
Live your life "rooted and built up in Him!" Being rooted and built up in Christ occurs as we understand that once we are saved, God desires to change us into his image a little more each day. This ongoing call for change (or growth) helps us avoid getting stuck in a routine or ordinary faith walk that stays in the safe places or is tempted to try and control our lives. The goal of our day is clear. We want to grow by becoming more and more like Jesus and less and less like the world.
Live a life of strong faith! A life of strong faith enables us to take risks for Jesus. I will be the first to admit that I say, "I want to be a woman of faith." But I get really uncomfortable when I actually have to live by faith. (Anyone else?) Taking risks for Jesus invites us to step outside the norm or the comfortable. Faith that is real impacts us in areas that are seen and in areas that are not. That is the beauty of a faith walk. It is real, and it impacts every area of life.
Embrace a heart of thankfulness! A heart of thankfulness helps us see all the great things God IS doing in our life. We often forget to recognize the sweet blessings God grants to us throughout our ordinary days. Looking for these blessings helps us to focus on how God meets our needs and lavishes His love and grace in and through our lives. Often I remind myself, "Today, God is allowing me to walk on his earth and breath his air." When we look at life from that perspective, it is easy to find a lot of reasons to be thankful. Being thankful invites us to grow because we recognize that God is good and we can trust him.
Are you ready to grow in 2023? Which of the four truths helps you to focus on God and his plan? Daily we can cultivate a deep sense of openness in our hearts to Jesus. This openness results in a God-given ability to grow! Want to hear more about this passage of scripture? Listen to this week's episode of Inspire on the Go with Andrea Lennon. Lots of great truths (and a free gift) are waiting for you!