Spiritual growth generally takes place relationally. It is life upon life, heart upon heart.
While information and experiences make up part of this beautiful process, it is something that typically happens as lives are opened up to the reality of God.
If you were to go back to the Garden of Eden, you'd find that the first man and woman learned the ways of faith by intimate relationship, not extended precepts and rules.
The only requirement that God made was that they must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17).
It seems that much of what they learned came to them as they communed with God at the close of day. "Then they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day" (Gen. 3:8).
We might surmise that this was their time of meeting, their moment of exchange. God taught them many things and invited them to step into their destiny as He fellowshipped with them.
Later, after the fall, God continued to engage His people. He desired to bring them into a deeper place of life and understanding through relationship. He declared, "I will walk among you, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people" (Lev. 26:12).
We see here that the development of identity and community often takes place through relational engagement.
Interestingly, this is not just between humanity and God. This also takes place as humanity engages one another. God intended for righteous men and women to build up others in the faith.
So spiritual growth is more than just a classroom exchange. It is more than quoting Bible passages or even expressing an occasional prayer. It is a deeply relational process of growth and interaction that only comes through ongoing personal engagement.
J.D. King, director of the World Revival Network and co-pastor at World Revival Church, is writing Regeneration: Healing in the History of Christianity. King is a sought-after speaker, writer and author.
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