Spiritual growth often grows out of developing personal disciplines, one of which is to develop a personal model of spiritual growth. In the MasterLife Series, Avery Willis offers a plan by which we can set a personal pattern of spiritual growth. And if we also use this same model we learn to mentor others to become growing disciples.
Consider this plan for spiritual growth. God created us for relationship, and we believe that includes surrendering our hearts and minds to accomplish God’s plan for our lives. The decisions and choices to grow spiritually include willful decisions of the mind and the heart to remain consistent with.
Spend time with God
Regardless of where you are in your spiritual journey spending time each day to connected with God is essential. We can block off time on our calendars if we need that much discipline to focus on God. Honestly, the demands on our time create the most difficult hurdles for us to develop patterns to consistent time with God each day.
At River Oak Grace, we use the Life Journal plan for reading through the Bible each year. This helps our whole church family be “on the same page” in our daily devotional life. It fosters spiritual conversations in families, Life Groups and between members of the church when they meet.If we want to know more about God, we will learn about Him in the Bible. We know more about the heart and mind of God as we study and focus on the messages He inspired the biblical writers to record. God inhabits the Word and provided the Bible to enable us to grow spiritually.
STEP ONE: PRAY
Before you read the scripture for each day, ask God to give you one verse or brief passage that speaks directly to your life and what you’re going through right now. Ask Him to remove any distractions that may keep you from seeing this verse and to open your heart and mind to His word.
STEP TWO: READ
Read the assigned scripture for the day. Don’t worry about the parts you don’t understand. Focus on what you do understand and look for the one verse God is going to give you.
NOW, IT’S TIME TO WRITE IN YOUR LIFE JOURNAL … We use the S.O.A.P. method:
When God shows you the one verse or passage, write it out in your journal with the scripture reference (in case you want to look it up later).
Now take some time and write out what the verse literally means. Pretend you’re explaining the verse to a friend who doesn’t understand the Bible. What was the original author trying to tell the people who would read this verse? What was the situation surrounding the verse? Why is this verse so important?
This is where you take some time to write out how your life is going to be different because of the truth you learned from this verse. What is going to change in your life as a result? What actions are you going to stop and what activities do you need to start? If the author was talking to you right now, what would they tell you to do? This is where it gets personal!
Use the last few minutes of your Life Journaling time to write a short prayer to God. It’s just like writing a letter to a good friend. Be open and honest with your feelings and emotions – God wants to hear from you. You may even want to try praying the scripture back to God. If our prayers are not coupled with confidence that God will answer our prayers, we are not praying in faith. Prayer based on faith is regular (daily) prayer that includes celebration, worship and confession as well as petitioning God with our needs or the needs of others.
If you will develop this as a daily discipline, it will amaze you the way God speaks to you every day! He will do His part. Will you commit to do yours?
To better understand what this step in your spiritual journey looks like we invite you to take our Connections Class at River Oak Grace. This class is designed to encourage your in your spiritual journey and help you understand what it looks like to take another step in your faith. To find out more about the Connections Class simply provide your information and one of our pastors will follow up with you. We’re excited to partner with you in your walk with Christ.