It isn’t always easy to know if we are going in the right direction. It seems like some people are born with an innate sense of direction and always seem to know where they are going. Others struggle with finding their way, even when they have a GPS to help them get there. I’ve been lost a couple of times, and it isn’t very fun. Not knowing where you are going or how to get back can cause frustration, anger, and fear. Nobody likes feeling any of those things.
The same can be true with our faith journey. When we are following Jesus, it doesn’t take much to wander off the path and before we know it, we are some place we never planned to be. It can be scary. But there are some ways to help us stay on the path, or if we find ourselves lost, these three suggestions can help us get back to where we need to be on our faith journey
Are you spending time in worship with others?
And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love and good deeds. Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:24-25
There is a fundamental need as a follower of Jesus to be in worship on a regular basis with other believers. We could point to a number of different verses to make the point, but the author of Hebrews says what needs to be said. We were designed for community and for worship. We need each other. We need to regularly pray with one another, bear each others burdens, and as this passage states to encourage one another toward love and good deeds. A helpful measuring stick for your personal spiritual formation is your worship attendance. If you aren’t worshiping with others in community then you are missing a significant component of your spiritual formation.
Are you becoming more like Jesus?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the self with its passions and its desires. – Galatians 5:22-24
The point of discipleship and spiritual formation is to become more and more like Jesus. This is a process that can be difficult to measure from day to day. However, when you look at the general trajectory of your life, you can look at the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5 as a way to tell if you are growing in your faith. If over time you can see a noticeable difference in your lives in these areas, then it is a pretty solid bet that the Spirit is working in your life and transforming you into Christ-likeness. If you love others more deeply, experience more peace and joy, and are more faithful and gentle than you used to be, then you are on the right track. If you look back and realize that not much has changed in these areas, then you need to rethink your spiritual formation strategy. The key is understanding that it is a Holy Spirit driven maturation process that occurs over time.
Are you serving others?
He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. His purpose was to equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son. God’s goal is for us to become mature adults—to be fully grown, measured by the standard of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
A great way to know if you are walking well in your faith journey is to determine if you are ministering to others in the arena that you have been called to. Each of us are created differently and have different talents and spiritual gifts. We are meant to use those gifts in service to the Kingdom of God. Part of the spiritual formation process is learning about your gifts and figuring out how to use them to God’s glory for others. If you are serving in this way, it is a pretty good indicator of a healthy spiritual formation process. If not, then there is some work to be done in your life.
We are not meant to stay an infant in the faith. We are meant to grow and mature and help others to do the same.
As a result, we aren’t supposed to be infants any longer who can be tossed and blown around by every wind that comes from teaching with deceitful scheming and the tricks people play to deliberately mislead others. Instead, by speaking the truth with love, let’s grow in every way into Christ, who is the head. The whole body grows from him, as it is joined and held together by all the supporting ligaments. The body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does its part. Ephesians 4:14-16
Questions for reflection:
- Are you content with where you are in your faith formation?
- Do you desire to grow in your faith?
- What areas might you need to grow in?
- Do you have a specific plan for your own spiritual formation?