Daily Decisions Toward Spiritual Growth – Well-Watered Women

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Daily Decisions Toward Spiritual Growth

June 18, 2020  - By Guest Author

Well-Watered Women Blog | Daily Decisions Toward Spiritual Growth

The Everyday Decisions

When my husband and I were in our early twenties, we decided to run a half marathon. It seemed reasonable to us that two couch potatoes could become runners during the twelve weeks of training, but that was an assumption built on the idea that we would actually complete all of the training. In truth, we completed less than half of it. (What can I say? It was 2006, and we had just discovered Netflix.) The race was a disaster. We dealt with muscle cramps, knee pain, low blood sugar, stomach problems, and more. My toes were bleeding by the time we limped across the finish line, and my husband promised he would never agree to such madness again. 

Runners run. They don’t hope one day they’ll wake up and feel like running. They run when they feel like it, and more importantly, when they don’t. Anything we want to learn and grow in doesn’t happen in one big decision but in thousands of little ones. I could have been a marathon runner if I’d made the everyday decisions to run and train on all the days between sign-up day and race day. It wasn’t enough to sign up for the race and hope I’d eventually drift toward athleticism. 

We have similar expectations about our spiritual health sometimes, don’t we? I’ve found it to be a common sentiment among harried, busy Christians that the next season of life will find them more disciplined, more faithful, more devoted to Christ simply because they’ll be older and wiser with the passage of time. If only they can just get through these next few hectic years on a string of emergency prayers and a smattering of verse-of-the-day emails! 

I’ve had those expectations, and I’ll be the first to tell you it simply doesn’t work that way. Stumbling across the finish line with bloody feet taught me the value of daily investment for a desired outcome. Our perseverance in spiritual growth requires daily decisions of investment, and the good news is that God has given us everything we need. 

Everything We Need for Life and Godliness

Knowing that God has promised to complete the work he began in us, we are well equipped to practice perseverance, as Peter explains in his second epistle: 

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him, who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (2 Peter 1:3–7

Because God has given us his “precious and very great promises,” Peter encourages believers to supplement faith with godliness, knowledge, steadfastness, and self-control—all of which have a direct impact on our relationships with other believers. He underscores his exhortation with a warning: 

“For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8–11

Examining Ourselves

If you are making every effort to grow in the knowledge of Christ and in godliness, then you are bearing the fruit of true faith in him, and you will “never fall.” However, if you are not eager to diligently “confirm your calling,” then you may be blind to your true spiritual condition. While many of us endure seasons of spiritual dryness, the long-term patterns of neglect should give us pause about our spiritual condition. 

If we spend much of our lives resistant to pursuing godliness in the ways God has given us, then we might be deceiving ourselves as to whether we have been cleansed from our sins through Christ. If we have been cleansed, then we should long to become like the one who did the cleansing! The power of God within us aids us in our endeavors to grow in godliness, and through the habits of grace we can supplement our faith, building it up with effectiveness and fruitfulness. 

Habits of Grace

With the help and investment of God, the path to spiritual maturity and growth begins and travels through the pages of Scripture and prayer, both individually and within the community of faith. The apostle Paul said that every word of Scripture is breathed out by God, divinely inspired by him and without error. His Word is wisdom unto salvation, and after that, for sanctification (see 2 Timothy 3:16). To follow Jesus on day one, look to him in the Word. To follow Jesus on day 9,412, look to him in the Word. The words of the Lord are for both our salvation and our sanctification. 

In his book on spiritual disciplines, Donald Whitney says, “We find in Scripture how to live in a way that is pleasing to God as well as best and most fulfilling for ourselves. None of this eternally essential information can be found anywhere else except the Bible. Therefore if we would know God and be godly, we must know the Word of God—intimately.”1 And Paul tells us godliness comes by being trained in God’s Word: 

“If you put these [teachings] before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:6–8

Eternal Benefits

Do you see how faithfulness is tied to godliness? And how godliness is tied to God’s Word? Being trained by the words and good doctrine of the Lord requires being rooted in those words and doctrine. The resulting benefits aren’t just for this life but for the one to come. Discipline for the purpose of godliness keeps us faithful on all the days between the first day of following Christ and the day we see him face-to-face, ensuring us that we will see him face-to-face. Those are very long-term benefits! Christ’s finished work on the cross is sure, but our perseverance in knowing God through his Word and prayer reveals and refines our genuine faith. 

Content taken from Everyday Faithfulness by Glenna Marshall, ©2020. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, crossway.org.

Footnote: Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991), 28.

A Giveaway

Today we are giving away three copies of Glenna's new book! You can win a copy by simply commenting on this post. Let us know your favorite verse of Scripture, something you're learning lately, or truth you cling to consistently in a comment below. We'll pick three women to mail a copy of Everyday Faithfulness. (Available only for residents in the contiguous United States.)

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Well-Watered Women Blog | Daily Decisions Toward Spiritual Growth | By Glenna Marshall

  1. Angie Godwin says:

    I am so glad that I was led to this blog. The study of spiritual disciplines helps me to focus on what is most important in my life… knowing and growing in my intimate relationship with Christ Jesus. Thank you for sharing these words of encouragement. I look forward to reading your blog daily. God Bless!

  2. Bailey Robson says:

    A truth I have been clinging to lately is that “godliness is of value in every way”. I struggle deeply with body image issues, and especially in this season of being at home more often. But it is comforting to know that I can go to the Word and find the truth of who God says I am and allow it to dwell in me instead of defining myself by the Words standards.
    Thank you for your daily truth on this blog and for encouraging me toward daily godliness!

  3. Janel Machado says:

    Good Morning,
    I have been really learning what Abiding in Christ means. God is really showing me how to wait and dwell in Him and wait for His good timing. “Time” has never been my favorite word but was I abide and wait on Him I am learning that “time” is what I need to lean in and grow in Him.

  4. paige says:

    My favorite verse right now is, Genesis 32:10, “I’m am not worthy of the least of the steadfast love and faithfulness you have shown your servant.” It was Jacob’s prayer to God before he met Esau, in what Jacob thought would be war but turned out it was a greeting of love!!

  5. Danielle says:

    Such a great, timely read! I have been thinking a lot about the nature and quality of my time with the Lord in my current season. I am determined to be disciplined and pursue the one who has cleansed me!

  6. Miranda says:

    A truth I am steeping in recently is that following God obediently requires more strength than simply living by my own whim. Knowing how hard it is, is driving me to rely on the Holy Spirit for the strength I don’t possess.

  7. Arianna Hulshof says:

    My favorite verse is “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. -2 Corinthians 12:9. Daily I am reminded of the sinfulness and weakness of my human nature. I can dwell negatively on my failures, or I can rejoice knowing that God uses my imperfections and weaknesses to being about His glory. What a blessing that is to me for I am always messing up it seems.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Oh this was a good read!!!! Learning how the Word ties it all together. It all points to Jesus and if we want to point to Jesus too, we must be in the Word. Daily quiet time is something I’m getting the groove of and this really encouraged me!!!

  9. Rhonda Robinson says:

    Recently I have been focusing on meditating on God’s Word and getting my fast paced brain to slow down. The more I let the truths from Scripture sink in, the more sense they make, and they penetrate my mind and heart better. God’s truths are like a gentle rain on dry ground, so needed in our lives, but we have to let them sink in deeply.

  10. Tara says:

    Good afternoon.
    The Spirit has been nudging me to make the habit of waking up before my toddler to read the Bible and to pray- undistracted! It has come up in a virtual Bible study I’m a part of (a mentor mentioned it was the best and hardest thing she did recently but is worth it!)
    Runners don’t always feel like running, the circumstances might not line up perfectly for them to train, so they schedule their trainings and prioritize them. I am learning that spiritual discipline isn’t going to be easy, but it will be worth the effort! Thanks for the encouragement.

  11. Bailey says:

    I have been learning about the holiness of God in R.C. Sproul’s book. Loved this post! Thank you, Well Watered Women!

  12. Julia says:

    Well-Watered Women, your blog never fails to challenge my spiritual life! Thanks for filling my feed with the things of God 😊 In my prayers this afternoon, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me back to the well-known verse: your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I usually interpreted that verse as: scripture will tell me what to do and where to walk. Honestly, that’s not super comforting “in real life” when we see over and over that the lamp and the light don’t reach as far down the path as we would like (at least that’s how I feel sometimes- I’m sure I’m not alone!).

    Today, I felt a different kind of comfort in realizing that the lamp and the light don’t just show me the way, but they also make my journey feel safer and more secure. God’s Word doesn’t just give instructions on what I should do or where I should go- it also reminds me that I am in the hands of a great and mighty God, that I have been saved from my flesh, that God empowers me to be “more than a conqueror” through Jesus, and that nothing will separate me from the love of Christ! After all, what good would it do for me to know exactly what to do and where to go if I was walking the journey in the dark, alone and dead in my sin?

    Thank the Lord for his Word! I only wish I hadn’t waited so long to turn on the lamp and the light!

  13. Stephanie Rosario says:

    This post was great reading reminding me of a time where I had truly forgotten what it was like to be at the Lord’s feet. I thought I had been reading the word consistently. But over a year I looked back and saw that I hadn’t been really doing it. Really digging in deep and actually acknowledging God. So in 2019, I found well watered women and a few other resources and I started to really read again and be with Him in his word and it was consistency everyday doing a little at a time to get me where I am now in 2020 seeing Him for He who He really is. ❤

  14. AncellaMarie says:

    Thank you for pointing us to the Word. I am just beginning and I sometimes feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. Currently I am into Nehemiah. And I am holding on to the verse of Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd. I may not know the way, I may get lost but the Lord is my Shepherd….

  15. Megan Weber says:

    Thank you for these words and this reminder today. One verse that I need to turn to more often is Romans 8:38-39. These words are true, and so is John 15:4. We need to abide in Him to bear the fruit he designed us to bear. Spending time in His word is how to do this and it’s something that I need to work on every day. It’s so easy when the world gets “busy” to fall out of that discipline, but reminders like this blog post from fellow Christ followers are needed and so appreciated. Thank you!

  16. Irene Masek says:

    I have been for a long time heartbroken by the many ways I have longed for spiritual maturity and felt so undisciplined or motivated in some seasons while in others consistency didn’t seem feasible. I tend to be someone who enjoys spontaneity in my devotional time but find that planning for these times have depleted my energy because like you mentioned in the most, I expected far more from myself than what I trained for at a given time. It has been my long term prayer to grow in love with the word and prayer. It sets me on a trajectort where I am concerned about my world, my neighbor than simply my own personal,spiritual fulfillment. I love how this posts exposes our false sense of spirituality and invites us to set healthy rhythms which will eventually add up to what a faithful life is meant to be like. We learn and grow into who we actually are as we spend time with God. LOVE THIS, Thank you so much!

  17. Haley D. says:

    This was such a blessing! My husband I were literally just talking about spiritual disciplines this evening and our desire to grow closer together through, first, growing closer to the Lord. This is certainly something the Lord is showing me- even through my scrolling through Instagram! I’m very thankful I stumbled onto this…thank you!

  18. Anne says:

    As a mom of two toddlers, cultivating daily faithfulness has been a struggle lately. Even though I can only spend about 10 minutes tops in the Word most mornings, I am grateful for the way God uses even those small moments of study to grow my knowledge and awareness of Him.

  19. Emily Fletcher says:

    I’ve been struggling with disciplining myself to dig into scripture daily, so this blog cake at a perfect time! I often tell myself that one day it will just be second nature to read scripture every day, but I truly need to do it even when I don’t feel like it, and in those moments the Lord will be faithful to reveal himself through His Word!

  20. Trina says:

    I love the way this author and others express time in the precious Word of God as investments. Oh, how I wish I had made more investments when I was younger. I read my Bible but I didn’t dig in it. There is gold in it. Praise be to God I started digging in it in recent years and can not get enough of it.

    My favorite verse is Psalm 118:24 … This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

  21. Ashley says:

    I’ve been learning to find the short breaks in my day to read scripture. I’ve realized my setting and cup of coffee don’t have to be perfect to do devotions, and that my quiet time won’t be quiet with 4 kids under the age of 4.

  22. Laurie says:

    Reading the Bible and trusting in God’s promises and faithfulness continually provides me hope and joy especially during difficult times.

  23. Sav OG says:

    My faith has been recently rocked as I was attacked out of no where by my boss (our pastor and an elder- I was the admin assistant). I am trying to memorize Psalm 119:68 You are good and do good;
    teach me your statutes.

    I need to go back to the basics and relearn about His goodness and that He is good no matter what.

  24. Sarah says:

    So grateful for this. I feel it was truly the Lord speaking to me as I haven’t been consistently putting time with Him and being in the Word first. I blame it on being tired or having 2 kids up early, or being in quarantine, etc but ultimately I am only hurting myself by not taking advantage of the abundance offered in time with the One who knows me and loves me the most. I miss the quiet intimate moments with Jesus before marriage and motherhood, but know I can still have them even now. Thank you for sharing your heart! I would love to read your book!

  25. Courtney says:

    I needed this reading and these scriptures in this season I am in. I am a long time believer but not a long time Bible reader. Doing my very best to be disciplined on reading His Word. I don’t know where to start but I know starting is how I do it. Thank you for this blog and making it so easily available.

  26. Cindy says:

    Two of my favorite Scriptures are Lamentations 3:22-24 and Psalm 16:11.
    None of us are perfect; we all mess up everyday. I find comfort in knowing God is merciful. His mercies are new every morning. Each day is a new day we have in Christ. And great is His faithfulness!
    Regarding Psalm 16:11: each time I read this verse I just get so happy inside. Only Jesus gives us complete joy. He shows us how to live, where to go, what to do–everything!.The abundant life, complete joy, and pure delight are all found in His presence. Thank You Jesus!

  27. Monique says:

    I’ve neglected reading my bible recently after setting out to read it more. I keep putting it off but, no more excuses like you said Spiritual Growth is a Daily Decision that doesn’t happen overnight just because we want it to happen.

  28. SARAH ching says:

    Philippians 4 vs 13 – i can do all things through christ who strengthens me <3

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