Whitney Standlea will be my guest blogger in the next several GB posts. She has a 3-part series on spiritual growth I know you will benefit from. You can read part one here. Whitney is a Christian, a wife, and the mother of three little people. She finds herself floundering through this difficult journey called parenting and is thankful for God’s grace over each step, jump, and fall along the way. She loves to snuggle with her entire family, plays piano, and enjoys writing (sporadically). 


Last time we left off with the question: 

If it’s all of the Spirit, why do we need to intake spiritual food in order to have spiritual growth?
When we learn that all growth in our life comes from the Spirit’s work behind the scenes, we can use it as an excuse to abdicate our role in growth. But I love this quote that an elder at our church often uses: 
“Sanctification [again, sanctification is talking about growth] is 100% the work of God with maximum human effort.” You see, the Spirit produces the fruit, but as with our bodies, we have to eat something for our cells to work. And the better we eat, the more our body has to do its job. The same woman mentioned above added “Having studied and memorized … scriptures in the past makes God’s Word able to speak to us in our trials, carrying us through, giving us strength to carry on.” So we see that as we know, study, and grow in our knowledge of the Word, we are feeding our spirit with the nutrients that are used by God to cultivate and shape us. The intake of spiritual food is key for us to grow spiritually! It is also necessary for other vital things such as discerning what God has called us to do, refreshing our hearts, and cultivating a true relationship with Christ.

How can you find time to prepare and consume healthy spiritual food?
If we know that we need spiritual food to grow and allow the Spirit to work in us, how is it that we get that food? We know we can get refreshment and intimacy with Christ when we are in His Word. We know we need it. But what about the ministries around us? The people to serve? The sleep to get? The laundry to fold? The kids to watch after? The over-time at the office? The friends to fellowship with? The home business to run? As you deal with whatever season you are in, let’s realize that obstacles will always abound. What should we do about this? There are never enough hours in a day to get done everything we want to do. But, as one lady I interviewed put it, you will never get everything done, but you will always get done what is most important to you. Another lady said the same thing: “You will find time to do what you want to do.” Both of these women were in very different seasons of life, but each shared the perspective that there are many things that take up our time that are good, bad, or neutral: Facebook, crafting, serving, friends, cleaning. Wealways find time for what is most important to us. The question is, does the way we spend our time reflect that being in the Word is priority? One lady shared that in some seasons she spends more extended amounts of time in the Word. During these times she explained, “My laundry may be clean and folded in baskets, but it hasn’t made it to the drawers.” Not everything is going to be done 100%.

So, if intake of spiritual food is important, we have to make it a priority. When it becomes a priority we will find time for it. Next week we will take a look at some very specific, practical ways to increase you spiritual food intake (get more of the Word!) into your life.

RESOURCES:

Check these resources out to get in the Word with a reading plan:
www.biblegatway.com (includes plans, study tools and multiple versions)
www.esvbible.org (includes plans, study tools, and audio recordings)
Apps:
There are many free apps to access the Bible or Bible reading plans on your phone!
Bible Gatway
ESV Bible
YouVersion
Print Resources:
Macarthur Daily Study Bible (Has a daily Reading Plan in the Bible)
CJ Mahaney’s For the Love of God (Daily devotional based off of the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan)
Precepts Studies These studies walk you through indepth personal Bible study, teaching you the tools you need toe xplore the Word of God for yourself.
Church Bible Studies
Your church likely offers several opportunities for accountability and encouragement surrounding your growth. Check with our church or local seminary for women’s Bible studies or one-on-one mentoring and discipleship.

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