God Plans for Growing Us Spiritually
God has plans for growing us spiritually, after he has saved us by the atoning blood of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ. He aims to progressively conform us into the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). We should be willing to follow his plan, and use the help of the Holy Spirit.
God Has Individual Plans for Growing Us Spiritually
By knowing each of his people intimately, God individualizes his plans to grow us spiritually. God’s working in the lives of Peter and Paul are examples of his individualizing his plans of spiritual growth.
Looking at God Growing Peter Spiritually
Peter made his livelihood as a fisherman. Jesus convinced him to become a follower of the Lord. Peter was rash in his thinking and behavior. God was patient in making positive changes in him. As an apostle of the Lord, Peter hastily told the Lord, though all others forsake you, I will never forsake you. But when Jesus was tried before the Sanhedrin Jewish court, Peter timidly denied he knew the Lord three times. When Jesus saw him after Jesus’ resurrection, he taught Peter about God love and forgiveness. The Lord gave Peter an opportunity to repent and to affirm his love for the Lord three times.
Being a Jew, Peter did not associate with Gentiles. But God gave him a special vision of God’s acceptance of non-Jews who loved God. Peter apparently complied with God’s acceptance. However, residuals of Peter prejudice were seen when he refused to eat with Gentiles in the presence of Jews. God impressed the apostle Paul to rebuke Peter for his bias.
Peter had feared to stand up for Jesus when he was being tried by a Jewish council. But after the Lord anointed him with Holy Spirit, he stood and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ boldly before a multitude of Jews on the day of Pentecost.
Seeing God Growing Paul Spiritually
Paul was a Pharisee who persecuted the followers of Jesus Christ. When Paul was on his way to Damascus for more of his persecutions, Jesus appeared to him in a blinding light. Jesus then opened Paul’s eyes to the fact the he was persecuting the Lord’s people. The Lord converted Paul to one a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. Paul was anointed with the Holy Spirit. Jesus chose him to be a special messenger of the gospel.
First Paul went to preach the gospel message to his native Jewish people. Many of them rejected the message. Then the Lord sent Him to preach to the Gentiles. He traveled to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified in many country. The Lord made Paul an example of suffering for the people of God.
God revealed some of his plan for growing me spiritually:
I started to see God’s plan for growing me into the likeness of Jesus. Previously, I wrote that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at age 10. However, the Lord seems to have faded from my mind until I was about 18 years old. At that time, I was home on leave from the Air Force, when a cousin I grew up with invited me to a church service to meet a young lady. I went to see her, but was drawn to the Lord by the Spirit of the service. I could see the Holy Spirit in the process of growing me spiritually.
Growing in Fellowship
When I returned to the Air Force base, I met a Christian brother who invited me to his church off base. At the church in town, I was blessed to meet spirit-filled people who made me an intimate part of their church fellowship. I was particularly blessed by being invited to rest at the home of an elderly Christian couple when I came into town. They both had ministerial backgrounds. The wife was sickly and ailing with age. The husband was in his eighties but labored to take care of her. Helping them was an opportunity for me to grow spiritually.
I helped them in whatever ways I could. They needed help with house cleaning. I did house cleaning. The husband gathered and bundled cardboard and old newspapers with his large pushcart for needed money. I gave him a helping hand. Often after church on Sundays I would drive him to nursing homes where ministered to the elderly. I grew in learning to minister to the sick and elderly. He and his wife treated me as their son. I accepted them as “mom” and “pop.” God used this experience of being in a loving and spirit-filled family to help me grow to be more like Christ
Being Anointed with Spiritually Gifts
After I was discharged from the Air Force, I rented a room in the house of another family of the church. They also treated me like family. At this house, I was blessed to be able to concentrate a lot of time fasting, praying and studying the Bible. God anointed me with gifts of teaching, preaching and ministering to others. Church leaders recognized God’s anointing. They placed me in leadership positions: youth leader, prayer-band leader, assistant superintendent of Sunday school, head of children community outreach. When the Pastor asked me to preach on a Sunday morning, I realized I was being groomed to be a ministry of the Word of God. God gave me a vision of my ministry. God is still in the process of growing me spiritually. But I thank him for all the things he has used as part of his plan to grow me to be more like Jesus Christ.
God has a plan of spiritual growth especially for you
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you review what God has done in your life to grow you more into the image of his only begotten Son?
If you have not accepted Jesus: You should know that the Lord created you to have a unique and loving relationship with him; and to conform you into his likeness (Colossians 1:16). You can begin this special relationship with him by believing and accepting that he died for your sins, so that you might have an eternal life of happiness with him. Begin by writing below and believing what God says in John 3:16: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________