“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” – 2 Pet. 3:18
Everything we are teaching and encouraging you this year is for you to have a personal relationship and encounter with God.
No matter how people pray for you and lay hands on you, when you encounter God yourself, everything about you will change.
Your love, understanding and perception about life will change. Some of the things that worry you will die naturally and you will realize that God is indeed in control. You will start to really accomplish things that matter.
A lot of people go to church, but only very few really have a personal relationship with Christ. Only few really know and walk with God.
This year, we don’t want you to depend on someone else’s prayers and revelations to live your life. We want you to walk with God and know what He is telling you to do per time and follow it.
A personal relationship with Christ is the only guaranteed way to become fulfilled and overcome the myriads of challenges that we face daily.
God wants you to grow Spiritually.
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:9 – 1:10.
Being filled with the knowledge of God’s will for your life and walking in it daily is the only way you can be fruitful in all good works.
That is why I believe that one way you can have a personal relationship and encounter with God is setting a goal to grow spiritually.
Yesterday, I discussed with you the importance of setting spiritual growth goals. Today, let’s look at how to set Spiritual Growth Goals.
1) Make a Personal Assessment of Your Relationship With God in the Past.
It’s hard to know what goals to set when you don’t know where you’re currently at. The best place to start when trying to figure out how to set spiritual growth goals for the New Year is to be brutally honest with yourself about how things have been going up until now.
Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us – ROMANS 12:3 (NLT)
MIKE QUERY of Bay Area Christian Church writes, “Self-evaluation is a tricky thing, especially when it comes to the heart. We don’t want to be overly-negative, but we also want to avoid deceiving ourselves into thinking everything is wonderful when it isn’t. A good way to take on a spiritual self-evaluation is to break things down into the following categories:
- Walk with God – what Bible studies did I make that strengthened my view of God? What memories have I built with God? When were times I was faithful and spending consistent times with God, and when were times I was putting in little to no effort to connect with him? What new things did I learn about God, what inspires him and how he feels about me?
- Sins – what victories did I experience over sins that were dogging me? What areas came up that I see as lingering or continued challenges? What areas was I stubborn or slow to change?
- Friends – what relationships did I love, serve or otherwise strengthen? What friendships did I neglect to invest in?
- Marriage – how much did I adhere to my biblical role in marriage (read Ephesians 5:21-33 and 1 Peter 3:1-7)? What are some ways that I helped my spouse in his/her spiritual life? What are ways that I did not?
- Doing good – what acts of service did I partake in, and to what degree of consistency?
Try your best to be objective, using facts and actual occurrences over your feelings. This will help you paint a clearer picture of what spiritual goals you need to set.
2) Identify Areas of Improvement.
Based on your self-evaluation above, you’ll easily discover areas that need improvement. Take the next step by listing these areas out. It’s not always easy to be comprehensive. It’s also important to avoid negativity and self-guilt. You are not doing this to find ways to condemn yourself, but to learn more of God’s plans for your life.
3). Pray Through Your List.
Now that you have a list of areas that you need to improve on, areas that you desire more of God’s empowerment, it’s time to pray through them. Tell God about these spiritual growth goals and sincerely ask the Holy Spirit to help you commit to them.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – PHILIPPIANS 4:8 (ESV)
Make sure as you go through your goals for the new year that they are focused on who God wants you to become, and not just on what you are afraid of being.
4) Commit to Your Spiritual Growth Goals
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” – James 2:14 – 2:17
All that we have advised above is learning to exercise your faith to grow spiritually. The real growth actually occurs when you commit to your plan. The flesh will always rebel. But look away from its arguments and look on towards the rewards.
5). Avoid the Temptation of Self-Condemnation
It’s important to commit to our spiritual growth goals. Very important. But let me announce it upfront. You are not a perfect person. So when things don’t go as you want them, don’t condemn yourself. Yes, be remorseful, pray about the situation, but move on and believe in the Holy Spirit for help.
Where necessary ask for help, ask for counseling, read books to gain more understanding. But all in all …Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Prayer for Spiritual Growth 2