God is meant to be the primary focus of our lives. Is it that way for you?
Everyone’s spiritual journey is different. But there are certain steps that will help any of us move in the right direction, even as we chart our own personal path through life.
No matter where we are on our journey, the STEPS can provide a useful guide for spiritual growth, and they offer practical advice for day-to-day living as well.
Surrender your will to God and make choices based on faith and courage.
God wants to have a relationship with us. Hopefully, we are trying to move closer to him, but whether we choose to accept God or not is ultimately up to each of us.
When we do our best to act in alignment with God’s will, he will help guide us along the way.
As we take steps forward, God will become more and more personal to us, and our relationship with him will grow deeper. If we seek him with an open mind and an open heart, we will eventually find him, because God wants to know us, and he wants us to know him.
“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)
Humbly admit your mistakes and make positive changes in your life.
If we have a heart-felt desire to change, and we understand and accept the authority of God in our life, we are positioned for transformation.
As God changes us, we will grow in honesty, humility, and repentance. Our problems may not disappear, but we will know in our heart we are moving in the right direction.
The key is to humbly admit our mistakes and ask God to help us make positive changes in our lives. As we do, we will find new levels of peace and joy. We will personally witness in our life the comforting presence of our all-powerful, and all-loving, God.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Seek forgiveness and invest in good relationships.
We are built to live in relationship with others.
We have different personalities, but all of us are designed to develop empathy with the people around us. We need to be in relationship, cheering for each other in good times and being there to support one another when things get tough.
God asks us to forgive and love others, even when those things are hard to do. These are not options that God has casually suggested; they are necessary steps for spiritual growth.
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:11-12)
Spend time every day in prayer and meditation.
The step of Progress reminds us how we can grow closer to God on a regular basis.
Our role is to pray to know his will and ask for the power to carry that out each day. We can utilize the direction God has provided in the Bible by using it as a guide book to lead us along the way. God also gave us a mind to meditate on his direction and make good choices.
We all need to maintain positive daily habits to help us stay in line with God’s direction. The more closely we keep in touch with God day-to-day, the better we will stay on track.
“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:4-6)
Serve as an example and add value to the lives of others.
By choosing to serve others, we receive many blessings. We learn that a life of service leads to more peace and joy than we could experience on our own. Key points to remember include:
- God designed each of us with special talents.
- God presents us with opportunities to use those talents to help others.
- God is pleased when we choose to honor him by serving other people.
- We will feel God’s blessing as we serve others with a sincere heart.
“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)
Pursuing a personal path for spiritual growth will improve the quality of our lives by leading us to more contentment and significance.
But, let’s get real, there are even more important reasons why we should pursue God than simply seeking a happier life, such as:
- Because he told us to. Our all-powerful Creator has asked that we seek to know him better.
- It is the only way we can be truly forgiven for our sins.
- It is the only way we can find everlasting life and get to heaven.
Frankly, that sounds like a pretty strong “Why” for doing our best to grow spiritually.
We each take different paths through life, but they all lead in one direction, and there are common steps we can take to help us get there.
Question: How important is spiritual growth to you, and how much of your energy is spent in that area on a weekly basis?
Action: Pause to pray and ask God to direct you how you can grow closer to him.