Dr Richard Green looks at how your growth is one of the greatest assets to the planting of a church.

The ‘within factor’ causes us to grow. Jesus said the influence of his rule and reign is within.

Luke 17:21 (KJV)
“Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.”

It is the ‘within factor’ that will be our greatest asset. There is no doubt at all that personal growth is at the core of all other growth. If we want to help others to grow, we ourselves have to be growing. Inner growth precedes external growth; private victories come before public victories. Our external weightiness flows from the strength of our inner life. Integrity of heart is the foundation of true character.

Management of others is directly related to our ability to manage ourselves. Self-control enables us to direct our life; therefore self-control is a pre-requisite for directing others. Harry Truman said, “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves – self discipline with all of them came first”.  Robert A. Cook declared, “There is no substitute for character. You can buy brains, but you cannot buy character”.

People without self-control have no root:

Self-control >> Inner strength >> Deep root

Luke 8:13 (Paraphrased)
They receive the word with joy, but they have no root. They believe for a while but in time of testing they fall away. 

[one_half last="no"]People Without Character

Do what’s easiest
Are controlled by moods
Look for excuses
Quit when challenged
Rely on external motivation
Words and actions don’t match
Choices lead to failure[/one_half]

[one_half last="yes"]People With Character

Do what’s right
Are controlled by values
Look for solutions
Persevere when challenged
Rely on internal motivation
Words and actions agree
Choices add up to success[/one_half]

 

Focus >> Connecting with God

There are six practical steps to staying right with God. These are:

>> Daily reviews

>> Journal keeping

>> Repenting

>> Confession

>> Cleansing

>> Mentors / Coaching / Spiritual fathers and mothers

1. Daily Reviews

Daily reviews are like windows into the health of our soul. Pause and be still, ask yourself questions about your actions or inactions.

>> Why did we do what we did?

>> Why did we not do what we could have?

>> The most effective reciews are done at the end of the day

Sit in a comfortable chair in a quiet place, ask the Holy Spirit to show you where He was at work in your life and how you responded. Thank Him for being at work.

2. Journal Keeping

We all need to increase our ability to hear and act in obedience to the Lord’s leading. Keeping a journal enables us to practice the art of holy listening. The first word we need to hear is the word of the Lord, so start with his word. Pick a book of the bible and work through it systematically. Choose only a small portion and listen as you read. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you and record the phrase that stands out.

Once you write down the phrase turn the phrase into a prayer. Having prayed the prayer, then turn the prayer into an action and pray for the Lord to help you act on it.

Having listened to his word, recorded it, prayed it and made a plan to act on it, be still and ask the Lord to speak whatever He desires and write that down. At this point you are trying to develop your listening in a deeper way – don’t be too concerned at this point in setting an action, unless what you hear is totally in line with scripture.

3. Repentance

Turning away from our sin and to God is something we need to do daily; it brings refreshment.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
“Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”

Be committed to a lifestyle of turning to God. Do it daily and often.

4. Confession

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you have failed and confess that to the Lord. Confession is powerful not just in dealing with sin, but also in appropriating the promises of God. Take the passages that the Lord has spoken to you during your prayer and journal time and confess them aloud. Turn the passages into proclamations through confession.

5. Cleansing

Many people repent and confess but don’t know how to receive cleansing. Cleansing comes through applying the word to your area of weakness or failings.

John 17:17 (NASB)
“Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.”

Ephesians 5:26 (NASB)
“That He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NASB)
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your 
spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without the blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The cleansing that comes from the word is for every area of our life.

6. Mentoring

1 Corinthians 4:15 (NLT)
“For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you.”

We need to have someone who has an intimate knowledge of us and is committed to our spiritual growth. For many this is a great challenge. If this does not come naturally it is still important to find someone you can meet with regularly who will be willing to listen and ask the right sort of questions keeping you on track in your walk with God.

Whoever it is, they need to be someone who has strength and sensitivity. Strength is required to hold you accountable and challenge you when required. Sensitivity is needed to what’s going on in your life. They need to be a person who knows the word and who is in tune with the Holy Spirit. Mentoring is more than skills. It ought to encompass your head, hands and heart.