Spiritual formation

Spiritual formation

Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment. – 1 Peter 2:2

Ephesians 4:15 We are to grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head.

2 Peter 1:3-8

3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

 5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge,

 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,

 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Peter Pan was not into spiritual formation. As a matter fact he wanted to avoid any kind of development at all. He had no desire to grow up and become an adult. His goal was to remain forever a child in Never, Never Land.

I won’t grow up; I don’t want to go to school.

Just to learn to be a parrot, and recite a silly rule.

If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up

Not me!

I won’t grow up; I don’t want to wear a tie.

Or a serious expression in the middle of July.

And if it means I must prepare

To shoulder burdens with a worried air,

I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up

Not me, not I, not me! So there!

Never gonna be a man, I won’t!

Like to see somebody try and make me.

Anyone who wants to try and make me turn into a man, catch me if you can.

I won’t grow up. I will never even try

I will do what Peter tells me and I’ll never ask him why

We won’t grow up! We will never grow a day

And if someone tries to make it

We will simply run away

I promise that I won’t

No, I promise that I won’t

I will stay a boy forever and be banished if I don’t

And Never Land will always be the home of youth and joy

And liberty

I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up

Not me! Not me!

What is Christian spiritual formation?

Spiritual formation is the process of developing and growing the spiritual aspect of our personality. For children of the King, spiritual formation is becoming more like Christ. Spiritual formation is a relatively new term which many believers are not familiar with. More familiar terms might be, “growing in grace,” “becoming spiritually mature,” “becoming more Christlike,” “becoming sanctified,” or “walking with Christ.”

Spiritual formation is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring about spiritual growth in our lives. The word of God is foundational. Learning it and meditating upon is the epicenter of spiritual formation.

Spiritual formation starts with understanding what the Bible says and what it means. When the word of God is understood, the process of a renewed mind is fostered and increased.

There is simply no substitute for knowing and absorbing the Father’s eternal truth. Convictions regarding right thinking and action follow. Remarkably and inexplicably, an inner compulsion to obey the Father’s Word develops within our heart. Conviction is the fountainhead from which confidence and passion flow.

REFLECT & PRAY

Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more mature in one’s relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Someone who is growing spiritually will become more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ.

Father thank You that You are working to grow me up. Spiritual formation is Your personal goal for me and each of Your children.

INSIGHT

Many of the Father’s children fall in love with His truth. The more time spent in it, the more beautiful and delightful it becomes. It is like nothing else on planet Earth. Imagine your favorite food and how much you enjoy it. Over the millennia, that is what the word of God has become for many children of the King. Once this happens, there is no going back.

Psalms 19:10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.

Spiritual formation cannot be rushed. Spiritual development is a lifelong process. Process and growth are seen everywhere nature. The finer more advanced the organism, the longer the process. The Father is working for eternity. It is not our concern how much time is involved or how long the process takes. That is totally in His hands.

Many of those who are new to the faith, have a burst of enthusiasm and began a fast and swift journey. But this does not last. The Father Himself modifies the pace.

“When God wants to make an oak, He takes a hundred years, but when He wants to make a squash, He takes six months” (Strong).

Spiritual formation is often seasonal. We can learn much by looking at the rings of a tree. Some years were marked by great growth, others not so much. So it is with the Father’s children. During the slow times, growth is solidified and strengthened, often through testing and even severe drought.

“Growth is not a uniform thing in the tree or in the Christian. In some single months there is more growth than in all the year besides. During the rest of the year, however, there is solidification, without which the green timber would be useless. The period of rapid growth, when woody fiber is actually deposited between the bark and the trunk, occupies but four to six weeks in May, June and July” (Strong).

The Father’s methods involve time and a variety of techniques that are all necessary for spiritual development. “The Husbandman’s method for true spiritual growth involves pain as well as joy, suffering as well as happiness, failure as well as success, inactivity as well as service, death as well as life . . .” (Sanford).

Spiritual growth and transformation is not based upon our striving to get something we do not have. Rather it is based on the knowledge and acceptance of, and reckoning upon what is already ours.

We develop a childlike faith and trust and simply rest in the Father’s loving hands, ‘being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ’ (Philippians 1:6).

Biblical spiritual formation is about actively engaging with the Father in His ongoing work in our lives. Our personal determination, fortitude, and character are often tested. Things were not always be easy, but sometimes seemingly impossible. Spiritual formation is not determined by the size of the task, it is determined by the size of the effort one puts into the task.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going (John Wooden).

Never, Never Land should be a distant memory. After all it was a fairytale for children.

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