My experience in pursuing God has shown me that the farther down the difficult path we run, and the deeper we search out the mysteries of the kingdom, the more we discover things we do not have which He has either promised His children or He expects of us. This includes hearing, direction, discipline, fruit, gifts, faith, and understanding – just to name a few.

God has a way for us to receive and be faithful in all He has offered and commanded. He is working in us to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). His Son is making us and the Holy Spirit is transforming us through the renewing of our minds (Mark 1:17, Romans 12:2). It is by grace, through faith, that we are saved – to walk in the Father’s good work (Ephesians 2:8-10).

There is truly very little that we, the sons and daughters of God, bring to the table. We are not sufficient for such things. Knowing this, God has made provision. So, why is it so hard?

Most of us have a favorite and ready answer (e.g., “dying to self is hard”; or “our enemies are fighting us tooth-and-nail”). A dozen or more responses would be correct, but that’s not the direction we are trying to go with this. Here we hope to offer three spiritually practical steps every Christian can take to join the Godhead in the good work They are doing to save, sanctify, and transform us.

So, how do we lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of us (Philippians 3:12))? How do we become faithful stewards of the mysteries of God (1Corinthians 4:1)? How do we partake of the greater-than life (John 14:12)?

The following steps are God’s way for the deeper Christian life:

  1. We ask God to give us faith for the grace He has offered. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the (rhema, spoken) word of God (Romans 10:17). It is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of our quiet time with God – time invested to wait and listen.
  2. We ask God to stir up (or set aflame) the desire in our heart for the thing we are missing. He has promised to give it to those who will surrender to Him.
  3. We search out the matter, both in the Bible and in our being. In the Bible we find truth to reckon as our own and meaning for our meditation. We ask God to search our hearts and reveal what He finds – our misguided motivations, fears, and ways of thinking. We confess our sin and trust Him to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9).

Two notes, as we close: First, these steps are listed in a somewhat prescriptive order. However, we should be open and obedient to the Spirit’s leading.

Second, those who find this process to be too difficult have only one remaining option: to throw themselves onto the mercy seat of God. Keep crying out for Him to convict, draw, and secure you. Ask Him to increase your hunger and thirst for righteousness, and your discomfort with the world. Seek Him with as much of your heart as you are able.

Humbly yours and forever His,