7 Spiritual Commitments for Spiritual Growth
Trees require water, sun, and soil to grow and thrive. Our spiritual journey is no different. It too has specific needs for growth. Let's take a look at seven daily commitments that will help you deepen and grow your relationship with the LORD.
Commitment 1: Sitting with God in Prayer
To develop a commitment to prayer, follow the example of Daniel, who prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10), despite facing persecution and adversity. (On a side note, look at
Daniel's posture in prayer). As you set aside time to have a conversation with Father God, you open ourselves to His presence and invite His guidance into your lives. You are saying I desire a more intimate relationship with you, LORD. You can lay your worries, anger, and fears at His feet, finding comfort and peace in His infinite love and wisdom. Bring Him your joy and gratitude for all that is good in your lives. Talk to Him and tell Him about your day. Bring people and requests before His throne. Make it a priority to engage in ongoing conversations with the LORD.
As you commit to sitting with God in prayer you will notice yourself becoming more attuned to His voice and presence in your life. I encourage you to pray morning, noon, and night. Keep the conversation going. God is always ready to listen.
Here is a resource to assist and encourage you on your prayer journey. It contains several scriptures on prayer and some instructions on how to pray through scripture; I used Psalm 1 as a reference. I pray this example blesses you and helps you grow closer to God.
Commitment 2: Live by the Spirit
Living by the Holy Spirit means surrendering your will and desires to God's will, listening to those promptings you hear and feel, and having eyes and ears to step into Spirit-led opportunities. It is not just some wishy-washy concept or a vague idea. It's a powerful force that can transform your life and propel you to greatness! When you walk by the Spirit, you tap into a power source beyond your understanding and ability. You become unstoppable, unshakable, and undeniably blessed!
It can be easy to give into fleshly desires and thoughts, but when you choose to live by the Spirit, you set your mind on what the Spirit desires. The Holy Spirit leads you into all truth and gives you the power and self-discipline to live a life pleasing to God.
I encourage you to seek the Holy Spirit intentionally. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your day, protect you from spiritual warfare, and fill you with overflowing joy and love so you can effectively engage others. As you yield to Him, you will see the transformation of your heart and life, making you more like Christ.
If you're feeling stuck or overwhelmed or struggling to find your way or make sense of your life, it's time to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit! Let Him guide, empower, and transform you from the inside out. You have a destiny to fulfill, a purpose to pursue, and a calling to answer. And with the Spirit's help, you can do it! I encourage you to read Romans 8 and let the chapter renew your life.
Romans 8:5- "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit."
Commitment 3: Dwell in God's Word
Dwelling in God's Word is like dwelling in the very presence of God. When we immerse ourselves in Scripture, we allow God's truth to penetrate our minds and hearts. We gain the wisdom and guidance we need to overcome any obstacle that comes our way. As Augustine of Hippo once said, "The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home." This quote is a powerful reminder that when we dwell in God's Word, we hear from our heavenly Father and are reminded of His great love for us. We discover who He is and what He desires for our lives.
Billy Graham said, "The Bible is not an option; it's a necessity. You cannot grow spiritually strong without it." Can I get an Amen? Look at what God tells Joshua in verse eight of chapter one: "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."
Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." This means that when we dwell in God's Word, we have a roadmap to success and fulfillment that can't be found anywhere else. His Word gives us direction and clarity in a world that can often be confusing and chaotic.
But dwelling in God's Word is not just about gaining wisdom or following a path. It's about developing a deeper relationship with God. As we spend time in His Word, we know Him more intimately and experience His love and grace in new ways.
We do not have time NOT to dwell in God's Word. When we prioritize God's Word in our lives, everything else falls into place. We gain clarity, purpose, and direction that can't be found anywhere else.
I encourage you to intentionally schedule time to read God's Word each day. Then practice mediation as Psalm 1 shared with us. Spend 5 minutes meditating on what you read and heard. The goal is to let go of distractions so you can hear from God and be filled with his wisdom. As you commit to meditating on God's Word, try increasing those five minutes to ten, and so forth. Be aware of other opportunities throughout your day to think about what God puts on your heart. Let us allow His truth to shape our thoughts and actions and draw near to Him as we seek to know Him more fully.
Commitment 4: Start Each Day Anew
Embracing each day with a clean slate without yesterday's biases, disappointments, or failures isn't easy. Yet, to welcome a new day and all its wonderful opportunities, we must be willing to release what was to make space for what is to come. Every day is a priceless gift from God, filled with possibilities to love, serve, grow, and gain insights into His great truths.
So, what will you choose to do today? How will you make it new? How will you not allow your past to determine your future?
Paul provides excellent encouragement in Romans 12:1-2: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Your mind is the key to living in the present and embracing each day to its fullest potential. What you think about and know often turns into the convictions of your heart. In time, convictions translate into action. That is why Paul challenges us to renew our minds. Paul is not suggesting "renew your mind," as in a one-and-done activity. On the contrary, Paul said, ". . . by the renewal of your mind," which implies a daily action in your life. One great way to renew your mind is through the first three commitments in this email series:
Sitting with God in Prayer
Live by the Spirit
Dwell in God's Word
Personally, I feel a sense of healing and love after sitting with God. I experience empowerment and safety living in the Spirit. I receive grace, mercy, joy, and love from dwelling in God's Word. Because of these many gifts and benefits, I embrace the day before me with new enthusiasm and purpose.
Courageously step into God's new day for you and feel yourself grow closer to Him. Feel your heart touch His and watch the transformation that takes place. Thank you, Jesus, for new beginnings!
Commitment 5: Express Gratitude
"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 100 (ESV)
I get excited and have such an overwhelming feeling (in a good way) when I read Psalm 100. Expressing gratitude is a powerful practice that can truly transform your life. It shifts your mindset from focusing on what you lack to genuinely appreciating and acknowledging what you have been given. I truly believe taking time to express gratitude daily opens you up to experiencing more joy, peace, and abundance.
Take time to reflect upon your blessings and the goodness all around you. Make it a daily habit to tell God what you are grateful for every day. And don't just stop there. I encourage you also to express gratitude, whether that's through action or in words, to the people God has placed in your life.
So my friend, take this challenge and make gratitude a part of your daily routine. I promise you; it will change your life in ways you never thought possible.
Commitment 6: Practice Silence and Listen to God
In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the noise and distractions around us, making it challenging to hear God's voice. That is why Psalm 46:10 is so vital to the Christian journey: "Be still and know that I am God." This verse reminds us that when we quiet our minds and sit in silence with God, we create space for Him to speak to us, and we open ourselves to His transforming wisdom and guidance. Adam McHugh writes in The Listening Life, "The listening heart seeks to give, to learn, to welcome, to serve."
Jesus often withdrew to quiet places to pray and listen to His Father. He knew he needed a break from the crowds, the constant noise, and the busyness. What about you? How often do you seek silence and solitude? Do you regularly remove yourself from life's distractions and sit with an expectant heart to hear from the Lord? McHugh writes, "Silence is the threshold to deeper listening, and it is in the deep listening that we find ourselves in the presence of God."
In John 10:27, Jesus says, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." As a child of God and a member of His flock, you, my friend, have the ability to hear God's voice. Sometimes His voice may be as obvious as a flashing neon light, while other times, it may be subtle, like the whisper Elijah heard on the mountain. The more we practice stillness with the Lord, the more attuned to His voice and obedient to His will we will become.
Whether through prayer, meditation, or reading His Word, I encourage you to create space to hear His voice. And as you do, trust He will guide you toward an abundant life and eternal joy.
Commitment 7: Love God
The last commitment to help you deepen and grow your relationship with the LORD is not a commitment of action but a state of heart that influences the other commitments.
Commitment seven is: Love God.
"And he said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.'" Matthew 22:37-38
Have you ever wondered what it means to truly love God? It looks like Matthew 22:37-38, love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It's an all-encompassing love that involves every ounce of our being. It's not a flippant or conditional "love" like "I love food" or "I love dogs." It declares honor, surrender, humility, loyalty, affection, and delight.
Why is loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength so important?
Firstly, because God deserves it. He is the one who created us, sustains us, and has shown us love and grace beyond measure. Our love for Him is a natural response to His goodness and faithfulness.
Secondly, loving God leads to a life of purpose and fulfillment. When we love God with everything we have, we'll notice our priorities align with His, and we begin living a life dedicated to serving Him and others.
And finally, loving God transforms us from the inside out. As we grow in our love for God, we become more like Him - kinder, patient, gracious, and loving. We'll also see our relationships with others strengthened and our perspective on life transformed.
Take a moment to reflect on the love God has shown you. I think you'll find your yourself returning the love the best way you know how. With an all-encompassing, all-consuming, and all-satisfying love.
Love God with all your heart (emotionally), soul (spiritually), mind (mentally), and strength (physically) and allow that love to mold you into who He's created you to be.
There is a beautiful intertwining benefit of commitment seven. Loving God makes the other six commitments the natural desire of your heart and inspires you to engage in them every single day.
As you commit to engaging in these seven practices everyday you will see your relationship with the LORD grow, your purpose in His Kingdom will become more defied, and you will mature into that beautiful, strong, and fruitful tree described in Psalm 1:3.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.