For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things– That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition]. [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy,
Colossians 1: 9-11
We are called to grow in the knowledge of what has been given to us freely that we may live in the fullness of it and in the manner that is in accordance to the will of God.
This is why our conduct is defined by our identity, which we must have an accurate knowledge of. We see a more reason why a believer can not be corrected without pointing him back to who they are in Christ(their identity), this shows that our behaviour sterns from the revelation of who we are in Christ.
And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short].
1 Peter 1: 17
The false gospel, that is anything that looks like the message of Christ but is actually not the message of Christ will give you an identity contrary to what God has called you to be. A message that does not disclose who you are in Christ but mask your identity will not lead you to growth.
We can’t pretend to be growing in the spirit, it must start by realizing who we are which is what the new birth has given us ( a new identity) then walking in the reality of that identity, for example, you can’t try to be kind, try to service in the church or try to walk in love, trying to be what is already in you are mere mental exercise, we need to know of our nature so we can walk boldly in our nature.
The born again man has the characteristics of the word of God – he has the same nature with the word of God, that is why trying to love, trying to be kind, trying to be joyful etc by your own effort is the work of the flesh, we don’t try but we boldly walk in it which sterns from our knowledge of Christ.
Emotions won’t make you grow either, this is another firm reason to make new believers understand that being born again is not an automatic change of conduct – your conduct will not change automatically even though your spirit changes immediately.
For all flesh (mankind) is like grass, and all its glory (honor) like [the] flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower drops off, But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever. And this Word is the good news which was preached to you. [Isa. 40:6-9.]
1 Peter 1: 24,25
How will our knowledge of Christ affect our conduct?
But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.
James 1: 22-24
Brother James is teaching growth here, in his words we don’t change, the only thing that changes is perspective(how we begin to see ourselves) which is seeing ourselves from the reality of who we are in Christ and consciously walking in it.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. [Exod. 19:5, 6.]
1 Peter 2: 9
Growing spiritually is showing off the perfection of who we are and who we are becomes our conduct among men. Growth will only be seen in our conduct and not our nature, everything that should be in my conduct is already in my nature which is in me. There is nothing in our nature that needs growth, they only need expression for our nature is in God’s word and God’s word is Christ and Christ is in us.
Mere listening to message that leads to growth will not cause you to grow, you have to hear, desire it and walk in it, so that the way you think can be influenced by the truth of God’s word, when the way you think has not been influenced by the truth of the word, your conduct will not change, as consistent application of the truth leads to growth and we well know that our life is a function of our dominant thought.
Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4: 22-24
People will know you are growing as it reflects on your conduct,you begin to see yourself put things away, things like habits, mindset, this is why I earlier wrote that spiritual growth begins with how you think then it reflects on your lifestyle.
Our desires and conduct has to change because of where we are now, take the new man from your spirit and wear Him in your thinking, meditatively wear your new identity on your mind.
Spirituality is in the mind and the mind will continually be mentored by the spirit through the written word, our mind do not just know by teaching but also by the unveiling of the deep things to it.
Sign of spiritual growth is moving from knowledge to wisdom, its practically living the things you’ve known well, this is why an elder in this walk is not by age but whom the word of God is visible in their attitude, expressing God in their character.
Repeat after: The life of God is flowing through my conduct.
I put off the old man and put on the new man in my thought and conduct.
PS: There is the will of God for your life but you need the knowledge of that will, for when you are filled with the knowledge of that will you will begin to walk worthy of the Lord.
As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 2: 6,7
Remember, to be built up in Him is a product of an accurate teaching.
You are unstoppable!
Love X Uju.