We Must Read the Bible. The Christian who is allowing Christ to control his life is directed to read the Word of God, our spiritual food. Just as physical food is necessary for physical life, so spiritual food sustains spiritual life.
We Must Pray. The Christ-controlled person is also instructed to pray or "talk to God." When praying, remember these things:
1. Pray about everything. Philippians 4:6,7. What is the result if we talk to God about everything? (We won't worry, and we will have God's peace in our hearts.)
2. Pray specifically. John 14:14, John 16:24. Why do you think it is important to pray specifically? (To receive God's specific answers.)
3. Pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17. What does the Bible mean when it says to pray continually? (Talk to God about everything throughout the day.) Praying without ceasing involves talking to our heavenly Father in a simple and free way throughout the day. Our prayer life should help us know the Lord Jesus in a personal way.
We Must Fellowship With Other Christians. Fellowship is spending time and doing things with others who love Christ. In a campfire, several logs burn brightly together, but place one alone on the cold ground and the fire goes out. In a similar way, Christians need to work together or the fire of enthusiasm will go out. Fellowship is vital for Christian growth. That is why church attendance is important.
We Must Witness for Christ. One of the greatest acts of obedience is to share Christ with others in the power of the Holy Spirit. Since Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10) and has commissioned us to witness for Him (Matthew 28:18-20), nothing could please Him more. If you want a vital, exciting awareness of Christ in your daily life, faithfully witness for Christ as a way of life as you walk in the Spirit. Witnessing as a way of life is defined as simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.
We Must Obey God. The key to rapid growth in the Christian life is obedience to the will of God. Knowing the principles of growth is of no value unless we actually apply them to our lives. To be disobedient to the One who loves us and who alone knows what is really best for us would be sheer folly. Remember that He is even more desirous than you are that you have an abundant life.
The first two principles of Christian growth help us deepen our relationship with God. This could be called our vertical relationship. Through the Bible, God communicates to us. Through prayer, we communicate with Him.
The next two principles help us reach out to others. This could be called our horizontal relationship. In fellowship, we communicate with other Christians about our Savior and the bond He gives us with one another.
In witnessing, we communicate with non-Christians. We tell them about Jesus, what He has done for us, and what He desires to do for them.
Principle five is the core of our spiritual growth. As we obey Christ, we experience increasing joy, peace, and fellowship with fellow believers. And we become increasingly more mature in our Christian walk.
Excerpted from Bill Bright's 5 Steps of Christian Growth, © Campus Crusade for Christ.