Principles of Spiritual Growth
"God, please make me a spiritual man or woman at any price!" When we pray this prayer, we can be assured it is a prayer God will answer. God's process of making us like Jesus is the essence of spiritual growth.
Our handicaps, or "thorns" as Paul dubs them, are no accident. God can use them for spiritual service. We must stop window-shopping for what we don't have and learn to live with our own inventory.
Our spiritual crucifixion is God's work to make us into His image. It can be painful and take time depending on our barriers of pride and self-dependence. We can't accelerate God's process, but we can certainly slow it down.
God wants to have a reciprocal, intimate relationship with us. Spiritual children experience the beginning of a relationship with their Heavenly Father. Spiritual young men and women know the Bible, are strong and have overcome the Evil One. Spiritual mothers and fathers experience the infinite depths of intimacy with God Himself.
God is concerned that His image be visible on earth, so it is His will for us to grow into full spiritual maturity with Christ. Unfortunately, we are not all equally ready to persist in the good fight of our faith. Some Christians refuse to grow up because of pride, spiritual laziness and the lack of mentors or models of spiritual maturity.