This blog post is all about steps to spiritual growth and maturity
Knowing the steps to spiritual growth is important!
- Gives understanding and focus: When we have a better understanding of what steps need to be taken in order for us to strengthen our relationship with God, then we can more easily make steps toward achieving that goal. It also helps us focus on the right aspects of our spiritual growth instead of just focusing on our needs and desires.
- Gives us a roadmap: It provides a roadmap so that we are not left feeling lost or confused when it comes to growing closer to Him. Knowing the steps to spiritual growth can also help us build a strong foundation for our faith so that we can stay on track and continue growing in our relationship with God.
- It helps us embrace changes that come our way: Finally, by understanding the steps to spiritual growth, we can learn how to embrace changes that come along with it—including becoming more open-minded and patient, more aware of our actions and thoughts, and more understanding of others. We can learn how to cultivate a spiritual maturity that will help us become better disciples of Christ.
All in all, knowing the steps to spiritual growth is invaluable when it comes to deepening our relationship with God.
Ready? Let’s go!
What is spiritual growth?
According to 2 Peter 3:18, we are called to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” This means that as Christians, our responsibility is to continually mature in our faith. We must strive for a deeper understanding of scripture and actively practice what the Bible teaches us.
It is also important to note that spiritual growth is a gradual process of becoming more like Jesus and aligning ourselves to His will. It requires dedication, perseverance, and faith in God’s plan for our lives. The steps we take on this journey are not always easy, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can make progress towards spiritual maturity.
What hinders spiritual growth? (obstacles to spiritual growth)
Before we look at the steps to spiritual growth, we must understand the obstacles, barriers, or hindrances to spiritual growth.
So what are the things that get in the way of our spiritual growth?
Here are ten that I’ve pondered on:
The first and most obvious hindrance to spiritual growth is sin. When we give ourselves over to any kind of sinful behavior, it breaks our connection with God, making it difficult for us to grow spiritually.
The solution to this is repentance. We are told in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
2. Lack of Commitment
Another major obstacle in the way of spiritual growth is a lack of commitment. We are called by God to be devoted and dedicated disciples, yet too often, we put other priorities before Him.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23-24, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Pride is another huge hindrance to spiritual growth. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
We must put aside our own pride in order to learn how to be humble before God.
4. Unrepentant Heart
An unrepentant heart can be very detrimental to our spiritual growth and keep us from experiencing the fullness of God’s love.
As we read in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and heal their land.”
Disobedience is another hindrance to spiritual growth.
In Romans 6:16, we are told, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”
We must be willing to submit ourselves to God if we want to experience true spiritual growth.
Many people have difficulty trusting in God when it comes to matters of life or spiritual guidance, instead relying on their own understanding or the counsel of others rather than seeking divine direction.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
The inability to forgive can be a major block to spiritual growth. Matthew 6:14-15 says, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
We must learn to forgive others if we are going to grow spiritually.
Another hindrance that keeps us from growing spiritually is selfishness or focusing too much on our own needs or desires rather than God’s.
We are told in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Putting anything before God is idolatry and can be a huge hindrance to our spiritual growth.
We are warned in Exodus 20:3-5, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
Finally, worldliness can be a major obstacle to our spiritual growth.
Jesus said in John 17:15-16, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”
We must remember to put aside worldly influences and focus on our faith in order to grow spiritually.
12 Ultimate Steps to Spiritual Growth and Maturity
Here are twelve steps to spiritual growth that can have been outlined in Scripture:
1. Pray for Guidance
The Bible encourages us to commit ourselves to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3 & Psalm 37:4-5). One way we can do this is when we pray and express our commitment and request His guidance in terms of spiritual growth.
Yes, prayer is a powerful tool and allows believers to turn to God with their doubts, fears, and worries. When praying, it’s essential, to be honest, patient, and willing to receive whatever guidance He provides. Learning how to hear God’s voice through prayer will help you stay on the right course spiritually.
If you want to develop your prayer life, please read this post that I wrote titled, “12 Super Tips on How to Develop a Consistent Prayer Life.”
2. Read Your Bible
Another important step towards spiritual growth is reading your Bible regularly. This is how we grow in faith (Romans 10:17) and subsequently spiritual maturity.
Reading scripture helps us understand who God is and how we can become more like Him. This can be done through meditation and prayer to gain God’s wisdom and perspective on the world around us.
As you read the Bible, take notes of key passages that stand out to you or questions that arise. Discussing these with a spiritual mentor or pastor can help you gain further insight into a passage and its application to your life.
Here is a blog post on bible study: 7 Steps to an In-depth Bible Study (beginner friendly)
3. Listen To Teaching
Listening to teaching from pastors and other Christian leaders is also an important step in growing spiritually. Hearing sound biblical teaching from trained professionals helps us understand how we should think, act, and live our lives according to God’s will.
During sermons and Bible studies, take notes and ask questions about the material being taught. This will help ensure that you truly understand what is being shared.
4. Practice What You Learn
Another step towards spiritual growth is practicing the things we learn from Scripture (James 1:22-25). It’s not enough to just read and listen; it’s crucial to put into action what we are learning. This can be done by using the Scriptures as a guide in our everyday life.
As we apply God’s Word to our situations, we will start to understand how He wants us to think, act, and live out His truth in our lives.
5. Spend Time With Believers
Spending time with other believers is a great way to grow spiritually (Hebrews 10:24-25). Having others who love and encourage us provides the strength we need to stay on the right path. It also helps us learn from their walk with Christ and gives us an opportunity for accountability.
6. Serve Others In Jesus’ Name
One of the steps towards spiritual growth is serving others in Jesus’ name (Matthew 25:35-45; Galatians 6:10). Serving those in need helps us become more like Christ by showing compassion, kindness, and mercy. As we place our focus on helping others rather than ourselves, God can use that service to shape our faith further and draw us closer to Him.
I believe that spiritual maturity comes with the realization that we are ambassadors for Christ! We are indeed the feet and hands of Jesus, and we can commit our gifts and purpose for kingdom work- to serve others in the name of Jesus!
1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.“
7. Rely On The Holy Spirit
It’s essential to rely on the Holy Spirit as you continue on your spiritual journey (John 14:16; Romans 8:11). Without the Holy Spirit, we can easily become overwhelmed with our own power and limitations. But when we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, He will give us guidance and strength in times of difficulty. He will also help us stay focused on God’s will during times of temptation or despair.
We must also remember the vital role the Holy Spirit plays in spiritual growth. We are filled with the Spirit when we accept Christ (Acts 2:38), and His power enables us to grow spiritually. The Holy Spirit helps us understand scripture, discern between good and bad teachings, resist temptation, and live out our faith daily. We can rely on Him as our source of strength in times of weakness and confusion.
8. Focus On Your Relationship With God
Another important step on your spiritual journey is to focus on your relationship with God. This includes spending time in prayer, reading the Bible, and worshiping Him. As you learn more about God’s character and work in your life, your faith will grow stronger.
One of the most beautiful displays of relationship is when I read the Psalms. The words eloquently display relationship, adoration, and love for God. The Psalms show that we can be authentic and vulnerable when conversing and having a true relationship with God.
Psalm 73:25-26, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
9. Develop a Heart of Gratitude
Another step towards spiritual growth is to develop a heart of gratitude (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Having an attitude of thanksgiving helps remind us that no matter what situation we are faced with, we can always be thankful for something. This not only helps us stay focused on the positive aspects of our lives but also allows us to show appreciation for all that God has done for us.
10. Practice Spiritual Disciplines & Grow The Fruits of the Spirit
Practicing spiritual disciplines is another important step towards spiritual growth (Colossians 2:6-7). These disciplines, such as fasting, prayer, and Bible study, help us become more aware of the presence of God in our lives. As we devote ourselves to studying His word and spending time consciously seeking Him out, He will begin to reveal Himself to us in new ways and draw us closer to Him.
Regarding fruits of the Spirit, ensure you grow the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). These include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As we strive to live out these qualities in our lives, we will become more like Christ and experience true spiritual growth.
11. Be Willing To Make Changes
As we grow spiritually, it is sometimes necessary to make changes that are outside of our comfort zone. This means being willing to take steps towards becoming more like Christ, even if it does not come naturally or easily.
Remember, when you are in Christ, you become a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17). It takes courage and commitment to step outside your comfort zone, but the rewards for doing so far outweigh the effort required.
12. Do Not Compare Yourself To Others
Lastly, it is important not to compare your spiritual growth to others (Galatians 6:4-5). Yep, no two people’s spiritual growth will look alike! Everyone’s journey of faith is unique, and it should be celebrated. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on the steps you can take in order to deepen your relationship with God and grow spiritually.
Three Bible stories of spiritual growth
The Bible tells stories about many people who experienced tremendous spiritual growth in their lifetime. For example, Saul became Paul when his life was completely transformed by Jesus. Peter also underwent a significant transformation when he went from denying Jesus to becoming one of His most passionate disciples. These stories demonstrate that spiritual growth is a process and not an event.
1. Saul, who later became Paul
Saul, who later became Paul, experienced one of the most dramatic transformations in Christian history. His spiritual growth began when he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19). During his encounter with Jesus, Saul received a vision from God and was blinded for three days.
After this experience, Saul was baptized by Ananias and devoted himself wholeheartedly to serving Jesus. He dedicated himself to preaching the gospel wherever he went and devoted his life to following God’s will rather than his own desires. This transformation marked the beginning of an incredible period of spiritual growth that would eventually lead him to become one of Christianity’s most prominent leaders and writers.
Peter also underwent an amazing transformation through spiritual growth after he denied Jesus three times. After Jesus’ resurrection, Peter was filled with remorse for his actions. He even declares his love for Jesus three times in a bible passage titled, “Jesus Reinstates Peter” (John 21:15-17).
Later, Peter then devoted himself to serving the Lord and was given a mission by Jesus to shepherd the Church. Peter became one of the most influential figures in early Christianity and continued to grow spiritually throughout his life.
The final biblical figure we will explore is David. After being anointed as king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:13), David experienced a steady spiritual growth that eventually led him to become one of the most beloved figures in scripture. He composed numerous psalms that are still read by believers today and devoted himself faithfully to serving God until his death. Through his life story, David teaches us about perseverance in times of difficulty and trust in God’s plan.
Though David was a man after God’s own heart, he did not have a perfect life. After an affair with Bathsheba and the death of her husband Uriah (2 Samuel 11:1-27), David experienced great sorrow and guilt for his sins. Despite his transgression, David repented deeply and turned back to the Lord in prayer (Psalm 51). His story teaches us that even when we make mistakes, there is always hope for spiritual growth if we seek forgiveness from God.
How to deal with discouragement and stagnation in the steps to spiritual growth
The journey of spiritual growth is sometimes full of discouragement and stagnation. There may be times when you feel like your progress is slow, and nothing seems to resonate with you. It can be easy to get frustrated or even give up in such moments, but it’s important to remember that spiritual growth takes time, effort, and dedication. As a Christian, it’s also essential to recognize the importance of the Holy Spirit in our spiritual journeys. Without His presence and guidance, we would not have any hope for success on our own.
At times like these, it helps to pause and reflect on what steps we need to take toward achieving true spiritual growth. While this process will vary from person to person, the steps I mentioned earlier can help us better understand our spiritual journey and the steps we can take to move forward.
As stated earlier, it is also important not to compare your progress with others, as everyone’s path toward Christ-like living is unique.
And that’s it, folks, steps to spiritual growth and maturity
As Christians, spiritual growth is essential for living a life that honors Jesus. By diligently following the steps outlined in this post, you’ll be well on your way to a deeper spiritual growth and maturity.
May the Holy Spirit be with you as you embark on your journey of spiritual growth!