We all hit points of plateau in our Christian life—times when we don’t seem to be growing like we wish or when we are struggling to gain momentum in spiritual growth.
Are you there? Do you want off the plateau?
First Thessalonians 5:16–20 spells out five specific actions which I have found help me gain traction in spiritual growth.
- Rejoice evermore. Have you ever purposefully noticed the difference in your own attitude through a given day when you have chosen to praise God from the beginning? Starting the day with a choice to rejoice bends our mind toward praising God all day long. It trains our thinking toward noticing the blessings and thanking God for His goodness. Attitude is a choice!
- Pray constantly. Your “prayer closet” is arguably the most important location in your home or office. But your prayers aren’t required to stay confined to the closet. As you conduct your daily business, pray all day long—asking the Lord for wisdom, interceding for others as they come to your mind, staying in communion with your heavenly Father. Prayer should be more than an activity; make it a habit.
- Give thanks. At any given time, all of us could voice legitimate irritations or share ongoing trials. But in those same moments, we could also voice thanks. Like rejoicing, thanksgiving is a choice. All of us have so much to be thankful for. The practice of offering God thanks helps us to be filled with gratitude.
- Don’t quench the Spirit. No one falls off a spiritual cliff overnight. And no Christian does it without willfully and repeatedly quenching the Holy Spirit along the way. The Holy Spirit prompts us to serve and warns us against sin. He will lead us in paths of truth and guide our thinking and our decisions if we will listen. Be sensitive to His will and obedient to His voice today.
- Listen to the preached Word of God. What do you think about in church? Is your mind preoccupied with the activities—or even your areas of ministry—that will take place after the service? God’s Word is a treasure, and the opportunity to hear it preached is a gift. Focus on the truths God would give you through it.
When these five actions are set in motion, they propel us toward the spiritual victory God wants us to experience on a daily basis.
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings.—1 Thessalonians 5:16–20