Monday, February 17, 2014

Regarding Spiritual Growth

Questions to ponder about your walk with God

  • When you spend time in prayer, do you believe Almighty God is actually listening or has prayer become a routine that once completed, is one more item you can mark off of your spiritual to-do list for the day?
  • When God delays in answering your prayers, how do you typically respond?  Frustration?  Anger?  Bitterness?  Doubt?  Disrespect?  Hardening your heart?  Feeling as though praying is a worthless activity that won't yield the results you desire?
  • In your opinion, why is daily reading the Bible important?  In what ways can you think of that enable spiritual growth through the regular reading of God's word?
  • Are you a grateful person?  If so, do you strictly thank God for the material blessings He has bestowed, decent to good health, and money to pay bills and rent?  Or do you often take the time to praise God for His attributes and character as described in the Bible and offer Him a heart of joyful gratitude over His salvation, intervention, mercy, ability to deliver, forgiveness, and sustaining and sufficient grace?
  • Are you open to genuine accountability or does the thought of "exposing" your sin and strongholds to a trusted mentor or godly friend fill you with anxiety and fear?
  • Are you willing to seek godly counsel if need be or do you believe you can handle all issues concerning you or those around you through your own wisdom?  (May I kindly and humbly suggest that if anyone could solve all their issues without the outside help of trusted people who know God and His word well, there wouldn't be such an option as godly counsel?)
  • Describe your walk with the Lord in five words.  On a scale of one to ten, how much of your life have you surrendered to God to do with as He wills in His perfect and trustworthy wisdom?  How much of your life (relationships, financially, goals, friendships, how you spend your time, the entertainment you view, etc.) are you keeping back from the Lord, still wanting to be the captain of your own life, a "sovereign self", if you will?
  • What are you not trusting the Lord with lately?  What is it that hinders you from fully believing God always has your best interest at heart?
  • How do you typically respond to difficulty, trials, and hardship in life?  By complaining?  Disheartenment?  Anger?  Stubbornness?  Shaking your fist toward God with an attitude of, "I knew something like this would happen!"?  No longer wanting to pray, read the Bible, go to church, and seek after God?  Withdrawing from others and trying to numb your pain in destructive ways (viewing pornography, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, engaging in masturbation, sleeping around, spending money you don't have, eating too much food as a source of comfort...we all know what we are drawn to in times of stress and difficulty)?
  • Are your prayers commonly mundane and pointless repetition or do you pray to the Lord from an honest heart, even crying to Him and telling Him everything on your heart and mind?
  • Do you believe that your life in its entirety is in God's precious and capable hands or are you trying to make things happen in your way and timing because you doubt that God will answer and He knows everything you desire?

God's precious word:

"Why are you in despair, O my soul?  And why have you become disturbed within me?  Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God."  Psalm 42: 11

"Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us."  Psalm 62: 8

"I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!'"  Psalm 91: 2

Psalm 73
Psalm 139

And a great quote by D. A. Carson:

"People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord.

We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance;

we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom;

we drift toward superstition and call it faith.

We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation;

we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism;

we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated."


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