I’m often asked the seemingly simple question, “How can I experience growth as a Christian?”
- Be CONFIDENT in Jesus’ presence and purpose.
- Be CLEAR on your calling.
- Be DEPENDENT on the Holy Spirit.
- Be OBEDIENT to today’s truth from God.
This inquiry comes from lifelong students of the Bible as well as new converts. Because we all know how to learn more and do more, but what about being more effective and living out the calling of Jesus to be witnesses to the ends of the earth? How do we get to a place where we’re willing to live our lives that way?
Here are 4 beliefs that will catapult your impact and growth as a Christian.
1. Be CONFIDENT in Jesus’ presence and purpose.
God has an unstoppable agenda. Are you with Him or not?
The enemy will lure you into thinking your confidence and security come from other outside sources, like your retirement fund or the assurance that your kids will turn out just right. Those are great byproducts, but they are not His agenda.
He has a presence and a purpose, and it’s to do His will on earth. We’ll experience growth as Christians who are confident in His plan. Focus on this verse:
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
God, give me FAITH to trust Your agenda. I don’t know all the plays, but the score is final. I pray for Your will to be done on earth.God’s purpose is unstoppable and He’s calling us to ride the wave right alongside Him. Click To Tweet
2. Be CLEAR on your calling as a follower of Christ.
Do you know what you’ve been called to do? This area can get muddy because we start focusing on ways to talk about Jesus and “witness for” Him. But it’s much simpler than that:
We are all witness-bearers.
Every single believer is a full-time missionary. That means as you shop and live and work and eat, you’re taking on the role of a missionary, bearing witness to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection through your words and actions.
And all of us have good days and bad days, but each of us is either a dynamic, positive witness or a bad witness. Sometimes people meet you or me and watch us relate to other people. Through our interactions, they come to conclusions about Jesus, the Church, grace, and life.
Being a witness-bearer can be surprisingly simple. Be a friend. Act kindly to a neighbor or a colleague. Be missional. Tell others they are loved by their Creator.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Be clear on your calling as a believer. Bear witness to Jesus by acting missionally 24/7 — at home, work, school, sports leagues and at the gym. Every day brings new opportunities to love others. Click To Tweet
Learn about the importance of calling others to a faith decision in a recent article, How Do Regular People Like Us Change The World?
Lord, please give me faith to bear witness every day and be missional. Open my eyes to opportunities to love others who cross my path.
3. Be DEPENDENT on the Holy Spirit for growth as a Christian.
When will we learn that apart from Him we can do nothing?! We get tricked into thinking we’ve got things covered, but not for long.
Do you believe that God can do supernatural things in you and through you? For a lot of us, that’s a tall order. But the Spirit that was given to the followers in the first-century church is the same Spirit that has been given to us.
The key is prayer. Not the kind of prayers you whisper while you drive or utter as you enter a meeting, though those have value, too. I’m referring to a culture of prayer in your life, one that will transform how you see the world and through which the Spirit will communicate with you and give you direction for everyday missional living.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Jesus, keep me connected to Your vine so I can bear fruit in Your name.
4. Be OBEDIENT to today’s truth from God.
This isn’t “capital O” obedience; this is obedience for today.
Acts 1 begins with the events of Jesus post-resurrection. He lived among His followers for 40 days, teaching them and praying with them.
Before He was taken up into Heaven, He gave His followers their marching orders, to bear witness “to the ends of the earth.” Think about what comes next. Peter didn’t say, “Hey, we’re supposed to reach the world. Come on, guys! Let’s go for it!”
What did they do? They went off to pray. For ten days. And we learn that God spoke to them, reminding them to replace the vacancy left by Judas Iscariot. God had work for them, and because they waited in obedience, they heard Him clearly.
How can you have a posture of obedience, prepared to obey the next thing God has for you? This is how you experience God, by obeying the truth He has for you today.
“They all joined together constantly in prayer…” Acts 1:14aExperiencing God starts with obeying the truth He has for you today. Will you wait for Him and pray, and be ready to obey? Click To Tweet
God, show me the truth you have for me today. Give me a heart of obedience so I can be a witness of Your grace and forgiveness.
When lived out daily, these beliefs will propel your faith to new depths. The vital organ of spiritual growth as a Christian isn’t knowledge, rather the application of what you’ve learned. Keep learning, keep praying and keep applying these truths to your life.
The first believers experienced a tsunami wave of grace that propelled the Gospel into today. Experience that same kind of unstoppable grace for yourself. Learn more when you watch my Daily Discipleship Course on YouTube, Unstoppable.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip