3 things a Christian needs to grow in the Lord

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Growth in the Christian life requires some things. Just like a plant needs sunlight, water, and nutrients to grow, every Christian needs some things in order to grow in the Lord.

Our growth in the Lord includes many things. We grow in our faith in Him, in our obedience to Him, and in our dependence on Him. As we grow, we will be more mature and Christ-like in character, and thus in dealing with God, ourselves, and people.

Do you desire to grow in the Lord? If you do, you will do well to have these things in your life.

1) The word of God and prayer

Growth in God requires none other than God Himself. We need His word to feed and nourish us, and we need prayer to commune with Him and be able to follow Him.

1 Peter 2:2 tells us that "as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby." We need to crave and hunger for God's word if we want to grow.

Prayer is also very important. If we have the gift of tongues, even better - praying in the Spirit builds us up in the faith (see Jude 20).

2) Obedience to God's word

If we want to grow mature, we've got to obey God. Hearing Him or reading His word is not enough; we've got to believe it, obey it, and apply it in our lives.

James 1:22-24 tells us just how important obeying the word is:

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was"

Moreover, the Lord Jesus Himself said in John 14:23,

"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."

3) Trials and tests

Lastly, we need to face trials and tests in order for us to be mature. Many Christians don't want to face hardships, and that's understandable: who wants to face difficulties anyway? To mature Christians, however, trials are mere refining procedures meant to make us grow in our character.

James 1:2-4 tells us,

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

Remember the first point up there, where we are told to desire the "pure milk of the word"? Hebrews 5:13-14 tells us of the next level, which can only be attained after we trained ourselves to discern between right and wrong:

"For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

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