Maturity Markers: Am I Growing Spiritually?
Even into our eighties and nineties, our ears and noses remind us that our bodies continue to grow. Recognizing spiritual growth, however, isn’t always that easy. Maybe you’ve asked as many do:
How doI know if I am growing spiritually?
While growing spiritually cannot be reduced to a quantitative science, a few simple questions might help better own and identify where you are in your relationship with Jesus these days. For an even more accurate snapshot, ask someone who knows you really well to answer these questions on your behalf.
No matter the answers, use the opportunity to have a conversation with Jesus about the places He wants to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
1. What has God been teaching me?
It’s a simple question. It’s also a question that can drive us nuts and make us fidgety and defensive when we don’t have an answer. Our lack of response to this question often points to our busyness, lack of quality time with God, and misplaced priorities. An answer that comes quickly often points to having spent quality time and conversations with God.
2. Where am I feeling the stretch?
This question examines: are you trusting God in uncomfortable places? How are you depending on God to do things inand throughyou that are beyond your control, ability, or comfort level? Are you asking God to search your heart—to challenge any laziness, lewdness, or lack of focus—and to lead you further toward His Kingdom’s plans and purposes?
3. Where am I longing for more?
It’s a question of spiritual appetite. Does the satisfaction God gives as you hunger and thirst for Him leave you wanting even more of Him? Where are the places you desire to know God in even deeper ways and long to see His will, His ways, and His glory multiplied in others?
4. Where’s the fruit?
Where are the places you see evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in you? Does love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control mark your daily living? Especially when squeezed by life or tested by others, what is the condition of the spiritual fruit that oozes from you?
5. How far have I come?
The goal is not to measure ourselves against others, but to acknowledge God’s work in us as we grow. Questions like “How far has God brought me?” and “What are my next steps, Lord?” are far more important to answer than how we stack up to the achievements or standards of others.
John Boyd | Pastor