Living a Christian’s life in today’s complex and intricate world can seem quite difficult. So many things demand our attention on a moment-by-moment basis. Most of them aren’t bad, but they take our time and can keep us from growing in our faith.
Yet we all know people who seem to have found a way to balance the conflicts of modern life, and of course, countless Christians before us have been successful in their times as well. So what’s the secret? Just as we must eat, breathe, and exercise in order to grow physically, there are three essentials to spiritual growth.
We grow by eating
Reading and studying God’s Word and other edifying material is food for our souls and essential to spiritual growth and life. “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”1 “When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight.”2
We grow by breathing
Prayer has been called the breath of the soul. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing,” and Romans 12:12 to “keep on praying.”3
We grow by exercising
We exercise by actively following in Jesus’ footsteps, doing what we can to help the needy, relieve the burdened, and encourage the downhearted. Most of all, like John the Baptist, we can point others to “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”4
Spiritual growth isn’t easy, but then, growth rarely is! In fact, courage was the quality that demonstrated to the religious leaders of their time that the apostles had been with Jesus: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”5
Read on to explore what Christians past and present have to say about living a God-centered life.