How to Know You’re Growing

Ephesians 4:11-16 11 Christ gave gifts to men. He gave to some the gift to be apostles, some to be prophets, others to beevangelists who go from town to town. He gave others the gift to be pastors and teachers. 12 These gifts help His people work well for Him. And then the church which is the body of Christ will be made strong. 13 All of us are to be as one in the faith and in knowing the Son of God. We are to be full-grown Christians standing as high and complete as Christ is Himself. 14 Then we will not be as children any longer. Children are like boats thrown up and down on big waves. They are blown with the wind. False teaching is like the wind. False teachers try everything possible to make people believe a lie, 15 but we are to hold to the truth with love in our hearts. We are to grow up and be more like Christ. He is the leader of the church. 16 Christ has put each part of the church in its right place. Each part helps other parts. This is what is needed to keep the whole body together. In this way, the whole body grows strong in love.

We all want to grow in our faith, but how can we measure progress toward spiritual maturity? Here’s a short list of benchmarks to look for. We know it’s spiritual fruit when:

We become increasingly aware of our sinfulness and weakness. When I read biographies of godly men and women, it’s clear that they don’t “get better” with age and spiritual maturity. Instead, they become ever more sensitive to their dependence upon the Lord.

We respond to sin with quick repentance. Failure to deal with sin is rebellion against God. Growing believers turn away from wrongdoing and embrace righteousness. As we begin to see the good results of dependence and repentance, our desire to obey intensifies, and the attraction of sin lessens.

We recognize the potential benefit of struggles. Faith is often developed through hardship. So we’ll see maturity in our relationship with God when we view trials and temptations as opportunities for growth.

But remember, the list above is just a starting point. Spending time in the Word and in prayer is the best way to get closer to Jesus. And be assured that no matter what, for those who wait on God and trust in Him, He acts in their behalf (From long ago no ear has heard and no eye has seen any God besides You, Who works for those who wait for Him. Isa. 64:4).

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