By Karen Friday
With all that life can throw at you, focusing on your spiritual health might be the best thing you can do for yourself and others. Here are five areas to focus on that will bring spiritual growth.
1. A Heart Completely God’s.
Is a heart completely God’s possible? Here’s my life verse since college, “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NASB, 1995)
This isn’t a half-hearted devotion to the Lord as secondary in your life. Instead, you make God number one with your highest devotion and attention.
Reflection: Is my heart divided between God and the world, or completely his?
2. Celebrating Who I Am: Body, Soul, Spirit.
Do you embrace how uniquely the Lord created you or struggle with aspects about yourself?
This is what God wants you to think, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14-15 (ESV)
I’ve done my share of complaining over the years about my body, weaknesses, flaws, and playing the comparison game. How sad this must make the Lord’s heart.
In, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers described it this way: “To complain about our inabilities is an insult to our Creator.”
Reflection: Do I speak negatively about myself in how the Lord created me?
3. Good Works God Prepared.
Because you are God’s handiwork, he not only created you for good works, but prepared them ahead of time. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
These good works have nothing to do with salvation. Instead they come after salvation for the Christian journey in this life. They encompass everything about you: family, friends, job, church, community, passions, spiritual gifts, ministry and spreading the gospel.
Reflection: Am I actively seeking God for his will and ways in my life and not my own agenda?
4. Walking in God.
What if the Lord desires that you walk daily with him, step by step, moment by moment?
What if God desires that you practice breathing in his grace and breathing out his praise, and walking in God’s word and the Holy Spirit, repenting quickly and authentically?
Salvation never has a period (.) after it. Life in Christ and as God’s child continues throughout your entire earthly life. “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.” Colossians 2:6 (ESV)
The NIV translation notes, “continue to live your lives in him.”
Reflection: Am I walking with the Lord each day and moment? Or do I leave the Lord at home or in the church parking lot?
5. Living Bloodstained.
One of the most important aspects of true Christianity is living the crucified life. It’s a willingness to carry your cross, letting Christ live in and through you.
Christ suffered greatly in your place and on your behalf, to make you bloodstained.
The bloodstained life is the road to holiness—becoming more like Jesus. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
Reflection: Am I living bloodstained, allowing Christ to rise up in my life? Does my life reflect holiness or the flesh?
Wife Step: Ask yourself each of the questions under each point and reflect on ways you can seek to focus on these spiritual areas this year.
Karen Friday is a pastor’s wife and women’s ministry leader. A blogger, Karen “Girl” Friday engages a community every week, Hope is Among Us. She has published a number of articles and devotions in both print and online media, and is currently working on her first book. Vulnerable about her own marriage journey, Karen knows life never gets more real than as a wife. Karen and her husband Mike have two grown children and two grandchildren. The entire family is fond of the expression, “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday.” They owe Monday an apology. Visit her blog at KarenGirlFriday.com