Growing in Faith

Growing in Faith-Part 8: Getting Closer to God

draw-near-to-god-printableDo not be conformed to this world,  but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.“ – Romans 12:2

The very principle of growing in faith rests on spending time with God daily. Not weekly or monthly, but daily. Daily renewal is a task that I struggle with but will always work on. I fall victim to being too busy or too tired or too distracted, like many others. There is always time in the day to set aside to be with God–it’s those moments spent in front of the television or playing on the Internet. Growing in faith means spending time in God’s word/the Bible, in prayer, and in community. Spending time doesn’t necessarily mean hours and hours, but some amount of time must be spent to draw nearer to God. As imperfect humans busying ourselves in our life here on Earth, I’d  venture to say that many of us forget that faith must be nourished to grow.

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

I love this quote by Soren because it highlights an extremely important component of growing in faith-the changing of our hearts, and the constant renewal of those changes. God’s way will always reign; there are reasons and purposes for everything he allows to happen and everything he does. Prayer changes our perspective, our understanding, and our hearts so that we may see why more clearly.

Prayer is the most powerful tool that we have, and it allows believers to speak to God. Scripture even tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and prays on our behalf. Scripture also tells us that we should “pray without ceasing.” This does not mean that you must pray all the time (as this would be nearly impossible and extremely burdensome to do), but we should pray often. Now that I’m on the subject, we must also spend time in the Bible to draw nearer to God. God speaks to us through Scripture. We learn more about ourselves, about our world, and about what our calling is through daily time studying and reading God’s word. Church services help us understand tough parts of Scripture, but if you still want more, Crossway has a fantastic study bible that you can purchase on Amazon here. Of course, study bibles are not required, but reading the Bible is. As your faith grows, your understanding of God’s word will also grow. I remember when I first made the decision to focus my life on God and finally be baptized in Jesus’ name, the Bible became clearer to me. Portions that were hard to understand solidified, and I’m finally starting to see the Bible coherently. I really and truly think my law school education helped with my comprehension of the Bible. In law school, I read highly complex cases with crazy Latin words, and sometimes, tough subject matter. This “practice,” so to speak, I believe, helped refine and hone my comprehension skills.

This is also where community comes in. Attending church service helps me to re-focus and re-charge in God’s grace. I also do my best to attend a weekly group where we study scripture and talk about our thoughts on what God is telling his followers. I have found community to be comforting and energizing. I have also made amazing friends at my church who all push me in my walk of faith and help me to grow. Every believer needs to be plugged into a church; otherwise, growth is stifled.

Believers must be doers; not just hearers. Faith and an actual change of heart generates changes in our life; no matter how small. Growing and walking in faith requires constant care and nourishment so we can block out the noise of life and hear the voice of God.

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