By definition the growing of a living thing involves undergoing a natural development by increasing in size and changing physically. When one grows they change naturally. When one grows, they increase. There are things that help the process of growth and every living thing has to utilise those things in order for it to develop, increase and change. The most common ingredient is food. We eat different types of food in order to facilitate the natural growth process.
Our spiritual life is the same. It must grow. Following in the definition above, we can safely say, “spiritual growth is undergoing a spiritual development by increasing in size and changing spiritually.” When one grows spiritually, they develop by increasing in size and changing spiritually.
A typical example of this development and change is exemplified in the development of the Fruit of the Spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5. “But the spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self control.” All these attributes do not come naturally to people. They are a result of a spiritual input or spiritual diet so to speak. When we eat of that spiritual diet, we develop the attributes mentioned here. We develop that muscle, we develop that strength. That food is found from eating the Word of God according to Jesus in John 4. When the disciples brought him food to eat, Jesus told them that he had another type of food that they did not know about. (John 4:31-33). Here, Jesus is introducing us to the spiritual food that the spiritual man needs in order for him to grow. Jesus continues to name the source of this food in verse 34. “My food is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish the work he sent me to do.” Obeying the word of God is a good diet for our spiritual development.
The apostle Peter confirms this in one of his writings. “Be like newborn babies, always thirsty for the pure spiritual milk so that by drinking it you may grow up and be saved.” Another version says, “desire the sincere milk of the word.” We see from these accounts that spiritual development and growth requires the word. The word of God does to the soul and spirit of a man what natural milk does to the physical body.
Spiritual growth comes by obeying the Word of God as Jesus said. Do you want to grow in patience, peace, love, gentleness. self control and the whole package of the fruit of the spirit? Then, ‘eat’ the word, study the word!
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