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017 Tired of the Spiritual Growth Rollercoaster?

For years I was on an up and down spiritual rollercoaster. I knew I needed a change, but it wasn’t enough just to know that. It was time to DO something. To take action. To actually make the change. Hebrews 5 teaches us some great truths about spiritual growth and we take a look at those in this episode. 

Here is the devotional I mentioned: http://www.walkthru.org/devo-magazines/closer-walk-devotional-magazine-detail

And here is my aunt’s blog (Barb Ho). Check it out for weekly encouragement toward prayer! What If We Prayed?

Transcript

Welcome to the simple truth big change podcast. I’m your host, Heather Duff, and this is where we read and explore the simple yet powerful truth of the Bible. 

That truth makes a Big Change in our lives.

When I was a young adult, I felt like I was on a spiritual rollercoaster filled with ups and downs. I loved the Lord but my walk with God would run hot and cold. Looking back, I can see how the Lord was guiding me, disciplining me, and teaching me. After years of the rollercoaster ride, I cried out to the Lord in desperation. 

People riding a rollercoaster, ups and downs. This is what my spiritual growth was like.
Photo by Matt Bowden on Unsplash

But crying wasn’t enough. I’d cried before, many times, weary of my sinful inclination, my selfish living.

As genuine as my sorrow was, I needed more than crying. I needed change. I needed to ACT. 

You know the expression, something like insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

I needed to make a change in the way I was living. 

I lacked a consistency in my relationship with God. 

And God, being gracious as He is, had planted an example in my life. Someone I’d been observing for years, someone faithful, spiritually mature. Someone who constantly pointed me toward Christ. 

And that’s a good description. Constant. I lacked this, and I knew it. 

For those who know me, you’ll have already guessed that I’m talking about my aunt, Barb Ho. 

Barb’s relationship with the Lord was something I longed for. 

Making a Change

I knew her well enough to know that this relationship grew out of a consistent, daily prayer life. 

For years, she’d been sharing with about her time with the Lord each morning. The deep needs she expressed, the way the Lord responded to her, His comfort, His answers. When Barb talked about her prayer life, it was real. It wasn’t just a spiritual exercise. It was life and breath. 

Only by the grace of God, I began to put into practice the discipline and fervor I’d seen in her. 

I started getting up at 4:30 in the morning with a cup of coffee and a little devotional called Closer Walk, which was delivered by mail every other month, if I remember correctly. I’d do a short Bible and devo reading, then spend time in prayer before I went to work. 

Okay, it’s not easy getting up that early, but like I said, I was desperate for change.

You know, aside from setting the alarm and actually getting myself out of bed, this WAS an EASY thing to do. I loved the devotional content…it always included a quote from classic Christian writers, and I enjoyed discovering new OLD authors. The spiritual depth of their writing was rare and fresh. Discovering these faithful saints and the footprints they’d left was an important part of my own journey toward spiritual maturity and spiritual growth.

I also grew to LOVE and LOOK FORWARD to spending time with God every morning. If I woke up late or skipped it for one reason or another, my day just seemed off. I began to need this time in a way that surprised me. 

But this is what happens in a love relationship. We long for the other. And this longing turns a disciplined habit into a heartfelt joy. Into life and breath. 

A Passage on Spiritual Growth

Green leaf with dew, symbolizing healthy spiritual growth
Photo by Akshay Madan on Unsplash

There is a passage in Hebrews 5:11-14 about spiritual maturity. For a little background, the author has been talking about the supremacy of Jesus Christ and His significance in our salvation. I’ll read it in the New Living Translation. Again, this is Hebrews 5:11-14.

11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

These verses teach us some important things about spiritual growth. 

  • It doesn’t just happen over time. These people had been believers long enough that they should have been teaching others. But instead, they were spiritual infants. 
  • Spiritual growth requires training. Training takes work. It takes discipline, repetition, and guided purpose. 
  • That training comes through the Word of God. 
  • And when we are mature, its proven in the fruit of discernment, knowing the difference between right and wrong. 

Can You Relate?

Maybe you can relate to my story, the ups and down of the rollercoaster ride. Maybe you lack discernment. That can be painful to admit, but if you’re often dealing with the repercussions of bad decisions, you can get off that rollercoaster ride. 

If you desire more consistency in your walk with God, make a simple change. 

Do things differently, and you’ll get the different result you’re looking for.  

Growth isn’t complicated. It happens naturally all around us. We can look to nature—to God’s design—as an example.

A seed will grow in the right environment with the right nourishment. 

In the next episode we’re going to be talking about some simple ways to grow and continue growing spiritually.

We all need to keep growing, no matter how long we’ve known the Lord. To me, that’s one of the things that makes this life in Christ so rewarding. We are always learning because the Lord is always teaching. If you’re willing, you can experience God through every circumstance of your day. Even the ordinary everyday tasks of life have the potential for eternity when open our hearts and look to our wonderful, ever-present Savior. 

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Thanks so much for listening!

I hope you’ll join me next time on the Simple Truth, Big Change podcast as we grow in the Lord, together. 

If this has blessed you, please share it with friends or on social media. 

If you don’t want to miss an episode, hit the subscribe button. 

And finally, you can learn more by visiting my website heatherkduff.com.

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