Cycles of Spiritual Growth

Here is the Process God Takes us Through as we Grow in Faith

Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered why, as a Jesus follower, you have times of strong faith and times of little faith?

It’s all part of God’s growth and faith building process and here are some examples of how it works.

Spiritual Growth Happens in Cycles

When it comes to growth including faith,, it’s a cycle. We see or hear what God says in the Bible. Then, we make a decision to receive what God says is true, internalizing it, working through doubts and challenges, taking action, and seeing faith grow and mature.

We hear it and see it ( so God’s word enters our minds)

We receive it as true, since it is God’s word (decision)

We internalize it (“yes, this applies to me”)

We take action (some type of faith response)

We work through the doubts (“What about? Why isn’t it working? Is this really true?”)

We come out on the other side (and that Word of God promise is more firmly established in us, faith has grown)

A Growth Example from My Life

Let me give you a practical example from my own life. Before I became a Jesus follower I had no Christian friends; not one. So after I received Christ my first year of college, I was nervous about sharing my Jesus journey with the people I had been drinking and partying with just a few months earlier.

I had received Jesus in November and went home for Thanksgiving a few weeks later. And at both Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, I was too chicken to say anything about my new found faith. I just didn’t drink and get wild, like I had previously done.

There were two main reasons I held back from sharing about my new life in Jesus.

  1. I was scared. As I said, NONE of my friends were Jesus followers. We were beer drinking, partying, jocks who only used God’s name to express and emotion of some type. “What would they think of me? What if they ask me questions about life and faith, and I don’t know the answer?”
  2. The second reason, was in the back of my mind, I was still wondering if everyone actually needed to be saved. I knew I did. I knew I was lost, looking for answers, looking for purpose…but maybe, not everyone needed that. Maybe there were different ways to God.

But as I dug into Scripture over the next semester and interacted with other believers, further along in their journey, it became clear to me that Jesus died for everyone and that every single person needed saving.

How did that happen? The process I just listed. I saw in the Bible that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life.”

I had come to believe the entire Bible was the word of God, so I started realizing this is true…everyone needs Jesus. I then internalized it and started looking for ways to share Jesus. When people had questions or challenged it, I had to work through those “What about that? Is what I believe really true?”

As I went back to Scripture to make sure I understood it correctly, I worked through my doubts and I came out on the other side. For decades now, I never wonder if everyone needs saving, it’s just how can I best reach out to people who have not yet received God’s forgiveness.

Because of that, working through the process, receiving God’s word as true, internalizing it, working through doubts, I’ve had the privilege of leading many people to Jesus through the years.

Believing that promise has allowed me to see perhaps the greatest miracle than can ever happen to a person; being born again, recreated in the image of God, connected to God, and receiving eternal life.

Growing in our faith in God opens amazing possibilities for us. The angel Gabriel even told Mary, “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:27) Faith in God, when internalized and established in our hearts and minds launches us into new dimensions and that is one of the reasons God works with us so much to strengthen it in our lives.

It’s a combination of those things in dependence on the Holy Spirit’s power.

Then we go through the course again in another area of life. Step by step, Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith guides the process to build this invaluable trait in our souls as we respond to His words.

The ultimate reality check, the way we test and see how much our faith has grown, is noticing which thoughts become dominant, which words we consistently speak, and the actions we consistently take. When that truth, that promise, that God idea becomes integrated into your behavior, you know it’s now an established part of you.

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Mark Furlong

Helping busy, active people know and live all of God’s purposes for their life: the complete life.,