I Want to Grow In Faith

Gwen Smith Blog 88 Comments

Sir Isaac Newton wrote a book that was published in 1687 called The Principia: Mathematical Principle of Natural Philosophy. In this book, Newton unpacks research that redefined the way the world looks at science and physics. One of the three Laws of Motion he wrote about is this: an object in motion tends to remain in motion unless an external force is applied to it.

Interestingly enough, this particular law of motion presents a compelling analogy for increasing growth and progressing toward mature faith. When it comes to growing in spiritual maturity, the most important thing to do is getting started. Once you begin to move, it is much easier to stay in motion. To progress. To mature.

Motivation often follows the simple discipline of getting started.

Though I know this to be true, I am still the princess of procrastination. (Tiara worthy!) Even though I am aware that progress and procrastination are oil and water, I am also blissfully delusional with rationalization. My oil and water blend just fine, thank you very much.

The antithesis of procrastination then is simply to do something . . . anything! Find a way to move forward. Start small. After all, objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Right? So if you and I want to experience the power that God has for us, we need to intentionally direct our hearts in ways that leads us to His strength.

The writer of Hebrews gave a challenge to those who are believers in Christ, but who lack maturity.

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.(Hebrews 5:11-14, NIV)

Where are you in all of this? Are you intentionally moving forward in faith or is your faith unintentionally waning and taking a back seat to everything else in your life?

There was a short season when my children were young and needed to be fed and carried. Brad and I encouraged them as they progressed from sitting up, to crawling, and then to walking and running on their own. Their growth was our mission.

My spiritual growth needs to be my own personal mission. Mature believers grow.

Spiritually speaking, where are you now as compared to a few years ago?

One marker of spiritual maturity is that the fruit of God’s Spirit is evident in our lives. Do people see God in you? They know about your pains, but do they know about your peace? Do others leave your presence and wonder where your joy comes from or do they wonder if you were weaned on a dill pickle? And how do you respond when you face temptation? Are you led by the Spirit of God or by your own desires?

The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in the church at Colosse to draw strength from Jesus by being rooted in and built up in Him.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.(Colossians 2:6-7)

To make this happen, I have to know the teachings, the character, and the life-changing love of Jesus. Since motivation often follows the simple discipline of getting started … I need to just get started. Pray a prayer. Talk to Jesus. Read a verse. Read a whole chapter. Read the notes in my Bible that correspond with that verse or those chapters.

I can do this. You can do this. We can strengthen our faith by just getting started.

Let’s start now in prayer and then move into a time of response – a time of motion – in the “Now It’s Your Turn” section.

Dear Lord, I want to grow in faith. Please help me to intentionally seek and know You more so that others might see evidence of Your goodness in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

COLOSSIANS CHALLENGE: Pick a starting point from the following:

Read the book of Colossians, a few verses a day. Read then respond in prayer.

Read the book of Colossians, one chapter a day. Read then respond in prayer.

Read the book of Colossians for four days straight, a different translation each day.

Read then respond in prayer.

AND since it helps to lock in some accountability, CLICK HERE to leave a comment on my blog and tell me which of the Colossians challenge levels you are committing to: Daily Verses, Chapter or Book! {No shame! A few verses per day or a whole book a day … doesn’t matter! Do what you can do. Just do something!}

🌸🌸🌸

Thanks for growing with me!

GWEN

 

Have you listened to the new GRACEOLOGY with Gwen Smith podcast yet? Hang out with Gwen and friends when you go on walks, exercise, run errands or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?) Each GRACEOLOGY with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more. These discussions are going to encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes, or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceology for more information.

 

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Comments 88

  1. I commit to reading the book of Colossians for four days. Regularly I use the NLT or KJV. This is a great challenge. Thank you for asking me to be accountable as well.

  2. I stumbled on that Philemon is about restoring broken relationships, and I read the WHOLE BOOK!! OK, so it’s only 25 verses long… 🙄 But it’s a start!
    (PS – I recommend the NIV Quiet Time Bible!! ISBN 978-0830821051, Or if you prefer online youversion.com!!)

  3. hellos
    I accept the challenge and I will read a chapter a day and respond in prayer. ty for this I needed that push/drive. feel that that need to be more spiritually mature and get real serious about God. …have a good week hope you and your family are safe from the hurricane…… in pa getting a lot of rain/flooding in some places.

  4. I am going to be reading a chapter a day of the book of Colossians. I love your devotionals and have been subscribed for almost a year. I don’t always do the devotions but I am excited to “get started” and further my faith!

  5. Good morning!
    Collosians is great!
    I have been seeking the Lord in knowing His will for me and His plan for my life. I pray for Him to reveal His plan but I don’t think I’m hearing. I am in limbo looking for work desperately (need income) but nothing happens, perhaps that IS His will at this time?! I will be meditating on these verses today; Col: 1:9, in part, I pray ” that you (I) may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”…Col. 1:13, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and delivered us into the kingdom of the Son of His love”. Col. 1: 17, “And He is before all things. And in all things He exists”. Col. 3:1,.. “Seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God”. 3:2, Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth”. 3:3, For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God”. 3:4, ” When Christ, who is our life appears, then you will also appear with Him in glory”. Wow, what a beautiful thing, I praise God and with all thanksgiving my prayer request is to stay focused on these things instead of being overwhelmed by my trial. I pray for unwavering faith, wisdom, strength and the power of Jesus in my life today and everyday. I pray that everytime a fear comes to destroy my peace that it finds no place in my heart, soul or mind, I pray to be delivered from these attacks, as Gid us my stronghold. Thank you, in Jesus name.
    I want to go from “frozen to freedom”!! I pray for all my sister’s to be delivered from any darkness they experience and that we may be a collective shining light in the name is Jesus. Today (everyday) is a day of love, grace and blessings. Peace and joy to all.

  6. I commit to ready one chapter a day. Started reading today while I was in the clinic and then responded with prayer. Thank You I needed that push to help me find my way back to GOD!!!!

  7. I am committing to reading the book of Colossians each day for the next four days, each day a different version. Today I am reading from my NIV.

  8. Thank you- this is perfect timing on so many levels. Committing to the book of Colossians (new translation each day) for 4 days.

  9. I’m accepting the Colossians Challenge and I choose a chapter a day. Praying for my relationship with God to grow stronger and deeper.

  10. I am committing to the Colossians Challenge:
    Read the book of Colossians for four days straight, a different translation each day. Prayerfully!

  11. I am in a place spiritually right now that I never thought I would find myself in. I was in a really strong Church in Albuquerque. It was a season in my life of such fruitfulness. Jesus was my life. Then I married and moved to Nebraska. I have felt so empty and so lost. For the last few days my heart’s cry “Lord help me know you again!” Thank you for this post today… I so desperately needed this! I know it was for many – but I also know it was for me. 💕

    1. Right there with ya, Peggy! Or should I say, we are in the same boat, but locked away in different compartments?? :/

      I left my life time job with my family’s business at the age of 45. Completely burned out, resentful, TIRED! That was 5 years ago!! Since then…nothing. I have been brought to what I like to call my Cherith Brook (where Elijah was hidden away at Cherith and sustained by God). LITERALLY. We moved from the city to a rural area- a bend in the stream on the map (the exact meaning of Cherith: a cutting; separation; a gorge, a torrent-bed or winter-stream). So I named our small farm, Cherith Brook! Because in the beginning, it was truly where I wanted to be! Safe, serene, quiet; a balm to my bruised soul. It afforded me a secure asylum. I gardened, tended my animals, took long walks, and just sat at His feet, to just BE.

      But it’s going on 5 years. I started feeling like I was being lazy, my mind was turning to mush, my body was getting a bit too round and soft, my heart was getting a bit too dull. So I thought I needed to DO SOMETHING. But all attempts to try to do different things (a women’s Bible study, volunteering somewhere) have failed. I can’t seem to find my niche…what are my gifts? What do I want to be when I grow up? What does GOD want me to be? WHY isn’t He telling me??

      I am now dealing with depression. Apathy, lethargy, numbness and directionless are settling in. And now sometimes a twinge of fear; fear of being MADE to move and becoming uncomfortable?! But that’s what I wanted, right? Not so much now. HOW did that happen???

      Going to church is getting harder. I used to go to a church where I was involved in a few different things and had some good friends. I am not connecting with anyone anymore. The message seems dull. I go and that’s it; no more. It’s a GREAT church with a truly Spirit filled Pastor! The people are awesome, but I just don’t feel connected! I try to sign up for this or that, but I feel like I’m only doing these things to appease the Pastor; my heart isn’t in it.

      I KNOW in my head and heart that this is not right. I try to justify it to myself (or maybe I’m trying to reconcile it in my head???)… maybe He is hiding me away for something big later? Or from these awful days as we near the end? Or, how about; “if I stay here, like a hermit, I can’t possibly be a bad witness. I can’t be exposed to the things of the world that drag me down”. Believe me, all of the scenarios run thru my mind all the time…in fact, that seems to be the only ’emotion’ left!

      So I keep reading my devotions and the Bible. I keep praying (THAT I am good at!). I keep digging to try and find the answer; the WHY, the WHEN, the WHAT. I try to remember that He knows what I need and where He wants me to be. I am trying to just BE. At His feet, with Him. But that little niggling voice in the back of my head whispers, “I’m pretty sure it’s been too long. NOW what??” 🙁

  12. Thanks Gwen for the Colossians challenge. I’ve elected to read the whole book each day for four days using a different translation. Today I read from the New Living Translation, and added a whole bunch of new underlining! Yessss

  13. I have decided to read achapter a day. I want to be pleasing to the Lord and I want his blessings in my home. Thank you for your daily devotional from you and all the other Grilfriends. I read it daily and I love seeing the Lord work thru you to help reach me. May His blessings continue to rain in your life!

  14. I’m committing to reading a chapter of Colossians per day! I try to write 3 things I’m grateful for each day….I will incorporate this into my grateful journal!

  15. Good morning Gwen
    Thanks for For the challenge. I will be breeding one chapter a day and praying in journaling over that chapter. Looking forward to seeing what the Lord has for me. Thanks again. Jean

  16. Good morning, Gwen. I’m committing to the four days straight Colossians challenge. I love the idea of reading in different translations. I do that when I write my own devotions…comparing what differences and similarities exist between them. Thanks for the challenging Monday morning devotion! Blessings.

  17. I will try reading Colossians for 4 days in different versions. With two little girls, 4 and 1, quiet time can be challenging. But I’m usually able to read your devotionals through Bible Gateway. Sometimes my almost 4 year old will grab her Bible and “read” along with me😊

  18. Thank you Gwen for the challenge and encouragement! I plan to read a chapter a day. I’m excited to be doing your Psalms Adventure study as well!

  19. Good Morning!
    I plan to read a chapter a day. Thank you for your challenge and encouragement! I’m also excited about doing the Psalms Adventure Study!

  20. Our church has also been studying Colossians the past few weeks. I will plan to read a few verses a day. Thank you for the little push into motion, Gwen!

  21. Thank you for challenging me to grow in my faith. I want to be able to give an answer when people say, “i’m Not very religious “. I’ve never been on a blog so this is new to me. I’m going to read a chapter of Colossians each day. God bless.

  22. The message at our church for the last six weeks was based on the book of Colossians so this fits very well. I will try to read the entire book each day this week. Thank you so much for all that you do for all of us.

  23. I’m committing to a few verses a day maybe more but I want to start somewhere. Thanks so much for this challenge…. I definitely needed it!

  24. I made a vow yesterday to start studying the Bible before I start my day but wasn’t sure where I would start studying. I woke up to your email about getting started and this challenge for Colossians. Thanks for being my nudge from God. I plan to read one chapter a day and then write about it!

  25. I have decided to read one chapter a day in 4 different Bible versions, NIV, The Message, Amplified Bible and Living Bible. Thank you for the inspiration. Loved my quiet time today focusing on chapter 1.

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