As humans, we can observe and experience our bodily growth when we consume the nutrition needed for the body. Just as our body needs to grow so must our faith in Christ also grow to live out the life God has called us in Christ Jesus.
Every human is a spirit being that has a soul and lives in a body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). When a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the process of transformation and growth in the faith begins in their spirit. This process of growth is referred to as sanctification. Sanctification is the lifetime transformative process that takes place in a believer’s whole being( i.e. spirit, soul and body). In the sanctification process, the believer grows into the life and character of our Lord Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit
Growing in the faith requires wholehearted commitment and dedication to God by fully yielding to the Spirit of God to lead and guide you throughout your life. God, the Holy Spirit, is our helper as believers to enable us to live the abundant life we obtained through our salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ. There are key disciplines that we must adhere to according to God’s word (1 Peter 2:2) that will keep us and help us grow in the faith. I want to categorize these disciplines in two main groups; general Christian disciplines and personalized Christian disciplines.
General Christian Disciplines
Study and Abide in God’s Word
God, the Holy Spirit, helps us to know God, His will, ways and desires for our lives through the word of God. The Bible contains so many mysteries about God and His will for our lives. It takes the enlightenment of the Spirit of God to discern God’s truth in His word. It is impossible to know God without knowing His Word. God reveals Himself and speaks to us through the Scriptures. To grow in the faith, commitment to diligently studying God’s word and abiding in it is vital. By God’s grace, we have the Spirit of God to help us in this endeavour.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.2nd Timothy 2:15 KjV
Pray without Ceasing
Praying to God deepens our relationship with God. A believer’s life ought to be entrenched in prayer. The Spirit of God helps us in our praying (Romans 8:26). In prayer, we offer praise and thanksgiving to God, we seek for pardon for our sins, we bring our needs to God, and we intercede for others. God answers faithfully to our prayers, and we experience His power and glory in our lives. Praying to God releases God’s grace, power and glory in the earth. Our faith is ignited when we experience God through prayer, and God’s joy and peace fill our heart.
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,Luke 18:1 NKJV
The general definition of fasting as a believer is abstaining from food that feeds the body to commit and focus more intensively on praying and studying God’s Word to feed your spirit. There are many kinds of fasting which I will not get into in this post, but the essence of this discipline to intensively seek God’s face concerning any matter that is impressed on your heart. Through fasting, our spirit connects on a more in-depth level with the Spirit of God, and we can clearly discern God’s will and embark on God’s purposes and desires.
“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the [a]hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you[b]openly.Matthew 6:16-18 NKJV
Do Good Always
God made us do good works to bring glory and honour unto His name (Ephesians 2:10). As a believer doing good should be a part of who you are to bear witness of the Spirit of God in you. The Spirit of God will lead you to bear His fruit which is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:23). In doing good, our faith is tested and tried, but when we remain faithful, our faith grows, God is glorified, and our joy is made full in Him.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.Galatians 6:9 NKJV
Personalized Christian Disciplines
As one grows in the general disciplines, there comes a time when God will explicitly lay in your heart to take on specific disciplines to prepare you for a task, assignment and purpose He has for your life. In Scripture, we see how John Baptist was led by God to be set apart in the wilderness, eating wild honey and locusts to prepare him for his ministry. Our Lord Jesus Christ was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness for 40 days and nights to pray and fast as He prepared for His ministry. Paul, the apostle, studied and learned from disciples for 3 years before he began his ministry.
There are particular things God will require of each one of us as we press on our journeys in living our lives for His glory. I just want to point that we always ought to be attentive, discerning and obedient to God when He calls. Be careful also not impose your specific disciplines on others as it may not apply to their purpose in life. In all of these, we have the ever-present helper, Spirit of God to guide us through them all.
I pray and hope this has blessed you. Always keep it in your heart and mind that Jesus Christ dearly loves you. Be blessed.