6 Simple Ways To Grow Spiritually in 5 Minutes A Day
Sometimes we make spiritual growth harder than it needs to be, am I right?
As believers in Christ, we know that in order to thrive we need to be walking in the Spirit, but too often we get stuck in ruts. We believe that DOING thing for Christ can replace COMMUNION with Christ and we can run for days on empty. Oh, we read our Bibles, but our cravings for our own way have cut us off from the life of the Spirit. We’re walking in the flesh are hardly know it.
If we are well versed in scripture, we’d know that the fruit of the Spirit brings supernatural peace and a myriad of other God-produced signs of life even in the middle of immense trials, temptation, and annoying people. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control is the overflow of a life that’s connected and abiding and enjoying God and His ways.
Yet, many of us would raise our hands and admit that too often we are anything but filled with the peace of God. In the blink of an eye, we can become worried, irritated, impatient, cynical, unloving, contentious, jealous, discourteous, and unpleasant– especially if someone has offended us– and especially when we are expecting “said” person to fail in “said” expected way again and again… (oh, we’re touchy!) or we feel that said person needs to be taught a lesson and we are the person to do it. (We’re so awesome like that.) We expect the worst and we always find a way to find it, Rachel Lynde!
The truth is that when we step outside of the reactions that are Spirit-produced, we’re just as we were before salvation: carnal, fleshly, and self-absorbed.
Roy Hession in his wonderful book, The Calvary Road, sums it up this way:
As we look honestly at our Christian lives, we can see how much of this self there is in each of us. It is so often self who tries to live the Christian life (the mere fact that we use the word ‘try’ indicates that it is self who has the responsibility). It is self, too, who is often doing Christian work. It is always self who gets irritable and envious and resentful and critical and worried. It is self who is hard and unyielding in its attitudes to others. It is self who is shy and self-conscious and reserved. No wonder we need breaking. As long as self is in control, God can do little with us, for all the fruits of the Spirit (they are enumerated in Galatians 5), with which God longs to fill us, are the complete antithesis of the hard, unbroken spirit within us and presupposes that it has been crucified.
Being broken is both God’s work and ours. He brings His pressure to bear, but we have to make the choice. If we are really open to conviction as we seek fellowship with God (and willingness for the light is the prime condition of fellowship with God), God will show us the expressions of this proud, hard self that cause Him pain. Then it is, we can stiffen our necks and refuse to repent or we can bow the head and say, “Yes, Lord.” Brokenness in daily experience is simply the response of humility to the conviction of God. And inasmuch as this conviction is continuous, we shall need to be broken continually. And this can be very costly, when we see all the yielding of rights and selfish interests that this will involve, and the confessions and restitutions that may be sometimes necessary.
How can you feed your spirit this summer and make sure the Spirit is controlling you?
Here are six ways to grow in your spiritual walk in 5 minutes a day or less. These small steps, almost insignificant amounts of time, can yield lasting change in our outlook, habits, and relationship with Christ:
- Take a minute to listen to the Holy Spirit and ask for Him to search your life for sin. The Holy Spirit is our helper. He not only comforts and guides us, but He helps us recognize sin in our own life. When you listen to the Spirit, He’ll show you error and sin:
- your unloving thoughts toward your husband or your exasperated impatience when so-and-so always does such-and-such. (or doesn’t do! Hello, leaving dirty socks on the floor just inches from the hamper!)
- your envious reaction when you aren’t included
- or your critical spirit at the stupid stuff people do around you
- your willingness to mistreat someone who has mistreated you
- Take a minute to confess any sin. Keep short accounts with others. Walls you build between others become walls between you and fellowship with God. You can’t always make things right with others because that requires two people, but you can always apologize instead of justifying wrong behavior. You can forgive a person in your heart who has wronged you whether they are ever right before God or not. You are responsible for your tender heart, not the behavior of others. If you’ve violated God’s Word in your own life or heart, confess it and the Bible promises that God will remove that sin from us.
- Take a minute to thank God for who He is. Too often we thank God for the material things around us and that’s ok, but first and foremost, we should thank God for who He is. God is the friend who never disappoints you, and the only One who loves you unconditionally, flaws and all. God is loving and Holy. Different in ways we can’t imagine. Always with us, always in control. Think about His goodness (grace!) and His watch care in your life and just thank Him.
- Seek Him. Read His Word or listen to the Bible on an app. PRAY. Sit with a cup of tea and a devotional and think on Him. Read a chapter of a good Christian book or commentary. Read an article.
- Encourage Others. Encourage a friend with a text, Bible verse, or “I’m thinking of you” text. Tell your friend that they are doing a great job and celebrate what they are doing instead of seeing successful friends as your competition. If you are in church leadership, encourage other women in leadership in your church community or in another church community, because who is encouraging the leaders? Drop an iced coffee off to a younger mom who can’t get out of the house. Call a widow.
- Give Thanks. We have so much to be thankful for and saying it out loud encourages our own souls and benefits those around us. My mom used to say, “Thank you, Lord, for this parking space!” when we’d find a space in a hectic lot. She taught us that all of life is connected to God’s provision. Thank God for your food, for your home, for the weather, for the rain, for the trials, for the times when we have to cling to Him because we don’t know what else to do. (Note: if you are a “complainer” you are teaching your kids to grumble and complain as well. You might say, “Well, I don’t feel joyful or thankful. I’m just being authentic.” Um, no. You are just being a complainer.)
Speaking of simple ways to grow this summer, join me on Instagram Stories for a free book study as we go through We Would See Jesus by Roy Hession this summer. (Free PDF HERE.) I’ll be talking through the book which is online free here. I’ll save the stories to Highlights in case you miss a day. We’ll start on Monday morning, June 3rd, so join us if you can! It’s a short and powerful book that will greatly encourage you! Follow me here for updates!
What would you add? What are some simple ways you can grow in your spiritual walk this summer?