Have you ever wished you could grow faster in the Lord and have more wisdom, grace, and power to overcome your challenges?
I wish I had some fancy shortcut to share with you, but I don't.
Do you remember the race between the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise wasn't the fastest thing on four legs, but he won because of his consistency.
I've always admired the salmon that bruise their bodies hurtling rapids and fight their way upstream to lay their eggs. They know how to go against the flow.
I've also liked the ox. He won't win any footraces but his plodding endurance will get him to the end of the row while pulling a plow.
The following five practices aren't anything new, but they will cause you to grow at WARPP speed if you practice them.
W Stands for Worship.
We become what we worship. (Psalm 115:8, 2 Cor. 3:18)
If we worship the things of this world, we become worldly. If we worship God, we become like Him.
When we draw near to the Lord in worship, He draws near to us. (James 4:8, Hebrews 10:22)
Nothing is more life-changing than being immersed in the presence of the Lord. We can’t get enough of Him.
In His presence, we are renewed and transformed, equipped and energized.
A Stands for Attendance
In my experience, the people who grow the quickest are those who show up at church every time the doors are open.
Regular attendance at in-person worship services causes us to establish a spiritual rhythm. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
God created the week for a reason. After five or six days of work, we need a day of rest and spiritual recovery.
I become spiritually weak when I do not regularly attend church. That apathy makes it harder to overcome my challenges.
Attending church is the high point of my week. It gives me the energy that I need to face the duties of the coming week.
By the end of the week, I may feel depleted spiritually because contact with the world often drains my spiritual vitality.
Rather than staying home for natural rest, I need the inward renewal of my spirit that comes from attendance at my local church.
(As this is written, COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted on in-person church services. We all need to get back to regular attendance in a safe and responsible manner.)
R Stands for Reading
According to General Joshua, King David, and the Lord Jesus, daily meditation in God’s Word is the key to prospering on our journey, having good success, bearing good fruit, and enjoying personal freedom. (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2-3, John 8:31-32)
As we meditate in God’s word morning and evening, we stretch our roots into the spiritual streams of grace. We become like a tree planted by the rivers of living water, not affected by heat or stress.
By reading God's Word, we honor God, love Him with all our minds, and His Holy Spirit comes to instruct us.
The Spirit not only helps us understand the words we read but grants us specific wisdom for our day.
How can we please the Lord if we don’t know how He thinks? By reading His Word, we get to know Him.
Meditating in God’s Word is an essential Christian discipline that helps us bear fruit.
P Stands for Practice
Jesus said that if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is a foolish person, building his house on a foundation of sand. When the storm and flood come, the house collapses.
But those who are doers of the Word build their lives on a solid foundation that will weather the storms of life. (Matthew 7:24-27)
Obedience to God’s Word reveals the genuine disciples.
Obedience pleases God, and Jesus said that He always does those things that please the Father (John 8:29). Since His Spirit lives in us, we also should live to please the Father.
But when we deliberately ignore the Word, we act like we think we are smarter than God and that our ways are higher than His ways. As Dr. Phil says, “How is that working for you?”
Obeying God's Word is always the highest and best way to live.
You don't have to take my word on this: you can test and prove it in your own experience. But it will be easier if you obey from the start.
P Stands for Prayer
In his letter, James made this rather blunt statement that we have not because we ask not. (James 4:3)
In other words, prayerlessness causes lack. If we want to receive, then we must ask (or pray) to the Lord.
Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
Sometimes, we think that we don’t really have to pray because God knows our needs already. But that’s not how things work in His kingdom. We must officially put our prayers on His record by vocalizing them.
The simple fact of your having needs does not move God. Everyone has needs. But prayer and faith in His Word move Him to act on your behalf.
God never intended prayer to be a last resort. It should be the first thing we do at the beginning of our day and whenever we start a new endeavor.
By implementing the above simple steps in your daily and weekly life, you will grow at WARPP speed and grow into the image of Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:29)
While you may not become a spiritual giant overnight, you will grow as fast as possible every time you worship, attend church, read the Word, practice what you read, and pray. As you do these things, God’s grace and peace will be multiplied to you. (2 Peter 1:2)
Thank you, Pastor Mike. This was very good! A simple but effective way to remember how to move forward at WARPP speed.
Thank you, Karen.
Fantastic insight into an open heaven with our Heavenly Father. How can we hear if we don't listen? How do we know what we hear is true unless we read the word of God? We cannot stand alone; it is in the sweet fellowship with other believers that our spirits harmonize with the Spirit of God. Thank you, Pastor Mike, for your consistent attention to the glory of the gospel of Christ.
Mike, thanks for sharing your insights and encouragement. It's always good to hear from you.