5 Simple Practices Proven to Produce Lasting Growth and Transformation

Mark Furlong
6 min readNov 9, 2022

Biblical Spiritual Growth Practices Woven Through Scripture

Photo by Hayley Murray on Unsplash

This article is NOT going to tell you to read the Bible, pray, go to church, serve, give, fast or share your faith though ALL of them are very important! Those spiritual disciplines are ESSENTAIL for spiritual growth.

What I want to share with you now are 5 simple, powerful, biblical, and research-backed ways to do these spiritual disciplines. that will work with the Holy Spirit to produce significant, sometimes measurable growth in your life. (It’s sometimes difficult to measure aspects of spiritual growth, but over time, it should become more noticeable).

There are more than 5, but I’ve found these are really important to get a good start and make the most out of all of them.

1. Schedule It.

This doesn’t sound very spiritual, but in all my years of studying the Bible, reading biographies, and being around spiritually strong people they all have this in common. They prioritize and then schedule spiritual growth times on a regular basis.

The Old Testament endorsed daily sacrifices to God in the temple, twice per day.

Daniel had set times to pray three times per day; even with an extremely busy work schedule and major responsibilities.

David spent time with God consistently in the morning and evening, and sometimes through the day.

Jesus Himself had a schedule of time alone with the Father and the ministry He did. Mark 10:1b tells us “and according to His custom (habit, routine), He once more began to teach them.”

Put it on your calendar and use those set times as launching point for learning to walk with God throughout the day.

2. State It.

God told the prophet Habakkuk, “Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it, for it will certainly come, it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:2–3)

God created all of us to be “visionaries.” We are at our best when we are pursuing a God-given goal, dream, or vision. Proverbs 29:18 says that “without a vision, My people perish (are unrestrained, cast off discipline).”

When we have a clear vision from God, found in Scripture, made alive by the Holy Spirit regarding God’s growth goal for us AND we write it down, we get our mind and heart flowing at a higher level with God’s purposes.

It energizes our hope and faith mechanisms, it gives us something concrete to focus our energy on, and it serves as a reminder as to what God wants to do in us and through us when times get tough.

Write it down; state it.

3. Study It.

2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to “study (God’s word) to show ourselves approved as workmen handling the word of God well”, (my paraphrase).

Especially the first chapters of Proverbs repeatedly tell us to seek, dig, give effort, go after God’s knowledge like treasure.

Reading the Bible is good, but study multiplies it’s impact in our souls. It multiplies the transforming power of God’s word in our lives.

Biblical study is never only about getting more knowledge; it is gaining knowledge with a “prayerful, commitment to action” attitude.

God works in seasons and cycles in our lives. Thankfully He doesn’t work on every area all at once. Working when and where God is working in your life (His GRACE ZONE) makes all the difference. (John 5:19)

If you believe God wants you to focus for this season on living in His grace or being more forgiving or overcoming fear; study the Scripture on those topics. Make it interactive with God, combining your study with prayer, meditation, and a commit to take small steps.

God will work with you and you will see great growth and transformation.

4. Step. Step In, Step Out, Step In.

This is one of the most powerful practices I have ever learned. I cover this much deeper in books and courses, but let me give you the foundational pieces here.

Step In to God’s presence.

The presence of God is perhaps our greatest privilege. What an absolute honor to have a personal relationship with the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

Nothing is impossible in the presence of Almighty God and through Jesus we can come boldly, with confidence to Him at any time. (Ephesians 3:12)

In God’s presence His love, grace, power, wisdom, and resources are available.

Consciously step into God’s presence.

Step Out of past limitations, lies, and lack.

As you take that faith step, and see yourself in the presence of God, shake yourself lose from the beliefs, lies, and fears past experiences have imprinted on you. We all have those areas and God wants to deal with them during specific seasons in our lives.

Sometimes I literally stand up, in God’s presence, and renounce, repent, and shake off the unbiblical belief that has driven my negative behavior. God has given us authority over the enemy, and in His name, using His Word, I can step out of that false belief.

Take hold of God’s word, shake off the wrong belief, say “yes” to God’s truth about who you are in Christ, and step out of the past and then

Step Into Your God-Ordained Future

This interaction with God can be life-changing. It is a faith step, based on your study of God’s word and the timing of God’s process in your life. But when you then, BY FAITH, say “yes” to God’s promises, you open your soul to the power of God’s living word in your soul.

The Gospel is the power of God to salvation. (Romans 1:16). God’s word carries His life and nature in it. (2 Peter 1:4). As you step into who God says you are, before you are actually acting that way, you activate the power of the promise to change you.

5 Soak In It.

Now take as much time as you have and simply rest, soak in the reality of who God says you are in Christ. If you only have a moment, then at least take a minute or two and consciously RECEIVE what God says about you and receive your freedom.

So often, we pray or read a powerful Scripture and then just go about our day. Taking a few moments (or longer if you can), and letting God’s presence, love, power, and truth soak into your mind and heart becomes transformational.

Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, the Prophets, Jesus, and the Apostles all spent good amounts of time simply soaking in the presence and truth of God.

Quick Review

  1. Schedule It
  2. State It
  3. Study It
  4. Step In, Out, In
  5. Soak In It


On average it takes 63 days of doing the practices for a permanent change to take place in our brains; which means lasting change in our behavior.

Most people stop doing these kinds of practices within a couple of weeks because they don’t “feel” like anything is changing. But it is.


Brain scans show that the first day we take steps in working on our thinking, the brain starts to change. It doesn’t change enough yet to make new habits, but it starts immediately.

But like a seed planted in the soil, you don’t see the growth for a period of time. That is happening in you as well.

So, please stick with it. You will be so glad you did.

If you want more specifics on these Core of the Core practices, head over to www.TruVineMission.com and look under “resources, books, courses”.

You can see powerful spiritual and personal growth and transformation take place in your life as you partner with Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of your faith. (Hebrews 12:2)

Mark Furlong

Author, Coach Helping busy, active people know and live ALL of God’s purposes for their life: the COMPLETE life. www.TruVineMission.com,