Feeling Stagnant Spiritually? 3 Ways to Jump Start Your Spiritual Growth

Feeling a little stagnant spiritually latelY? It happens to all of us. The key is not staying there ... 3 ways to jump start your spiritual growth!

Can I be really honest? I’m in a bit of a slow spot spiritually. It happens to me periodically, those seasons when my quiet time and Bible study seems “flat” and I am really just  going through the motions. Early in my spiritual journey I believed seasons like this indicated I was a failure.

But over the years, I’ve learned this is really just the ebb and flow of discipleship.  There are mountain seasons when the Word is vibrant and I can’t wait to dig in …. there are valley seasons when I’m aching and I need the Word to sustain me … and then there’s the rest of the time which falls somewhere in between.  And honestly, MOST of life is lived in between the mountains and the valleys. And each of us will experience days or weeks when we’re just not that into the spiritual disciplines.

If that’s you right now—it’s okay! And if that’s been you in the past—it’s okay! And when it is you later in life—it’s okay!

There are countless reasons why this happens and I may dig into those in a later post, but for today, let’s focus on what we can do to jump start our spiritual growth when we hit those seasons.

Feeling a little stagnant spiritually latelY? It happens to all of us. The key is not staying there ... 3 ways to jump start your spiritual growth!

3 Ways to Jump Start Your Spiritual Growth

Here’s what I’ve found—these seasons are going to come. But I always have a choice to stay stuck or to move forward. Some times I’ve stayed stuck. And when I have, it’s been harder to get back on track.  {You probably know exactly what I’m talking about right? Every time you miss reading your Bible or praying or attending church for just a few times, it gets more and more challenging to re-engage.}

If you’re in one of those seasons like I am, where it all just feels rote, let me share three ways I’ve found to jump start your spiritual growth.

 Change your location.

I am a very ritualistic person. I like to do the same things in the same places in the same ways at the same time every day. But this trait can also feed into my dry seasons. For me, a simple change of location can help me get back on track. Moving from the desk in my office to a chair in our dining rom is a super small change on the surface but I’ve discovered it can make a huge difference.  The sunlight comes in the dining room in the mornings but not in my office. The dining room faces the front of our house while my office is in the back.  Sitting by the window in the dining room offers a totally different perspective on the world than the one from my desk (also by a window).

A move from one place to another can be a simple but highly effective way to jump start your spiritual growth. {Does this one shock you? Maybe you’re thinking, TL, there is no way moving from one chair to another or one room to another can make a difference … try it! You might be surprised.}

Choose something different.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve recommended this to people who felt stagnant spiritually. And there is just no telling how many times I’ve done this myself.  Perhaps you’ve been using a one-year reading plan for the past couple of years and now it seems rote or boring.  Try digging into just one book of the Bible.  Or maybe you’ve been doing a lot of group Bible studies at your church and completing the homework for those has been the mainstay of your quiet time.  Perhaps you might switch to reading a chapter of Proverbs every day for a couple of months and give yourself space to process what you’ve been learning in the more intense studies and apply it to your life using the wisdom in Proverbs.

I’ve been doing the studies from She Reads Truth for the past couple of years. But the current study just isn’t resonating with me. I’m reading and making notes … but it still feels like something is missing.  So, I’m just reading the study and the Scriptures allowing the words to soak in as I read them. But I’m also doing the Word Writers James study with a group online and with a group at my church. That study is really energizing me! So, I’m doing both. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that for everyone but for me, right now, it’s been a good blend of the discipline of reading longer portions of Scripture and then digging deeper into smaller chunks.

{Let me also say, I think it’s okay to stop doing a study or a reading plan sometimes. It’s hard for me to quit because I like to finish what I start but there have been times when I just needed to move away from what I was doing and start something new. I don’t recommend doing that just because you don’t like what you’re reading, etc., but if what you’re doing is draining you and filling you with dread, it might be time to switch it up.}

Feeling a little stagnant spiritually latelY? It happens to all of us. The key is not staying there ... 3 ways to jump start your spiritual growth!

Check your expectations.

True confession: I want to have the best quiet time in the world every single day. 

Yeah, it’s sort of ridiculous, right? I know. But my expectations often make it really hard for me to “feel” like I’m doing the  spiritual disciplines right or well.  But here’s the truth, much of being a disciple of Christ is found in the root word—DISCIPLINE.  The truth is, showing up is a huge thing! I think we undervalue what it is to be committed to reading our Bibles, prayer, study, meditation, and engaging with others over the Word.

We have somehow begun to believe if we don’t FEEL enthusiastic every time we read our Bibles or pray or gather for group study, we’re doing it wrong. But, y’all, I don’t believe that at all.  If you read the gospels, it’s easy to see that the disciples were not always overly excited about the places their journey with Christ took them. They got tired, hungry, frustrated, and even doubted.  But they kept walking along those dusty roads.  Hear me say this: The call to abide is less about what we’re doing and more about where we are! Because the truth is, we can be doing all the “right” things and not be in the presence of Christ.

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Does any of that resonate with you? I hope you find some grace in these words and some encouragement for the times when you are struggling.  I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it until the day Christ calls me home — God is not concerned about how many hours your spend in prayer, what time you start your quiet time, or how often you read through the Bible, His concern and desire is for you, for time with you, for a relationship with you. 

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Take a deep breath and move forward!

xoxo,

Teri Lynne

Recommended Resources:

Some of these links are affiliates … I only share books and resources I would recommend to you if you were sitting here with me.

  • Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas — This is one of my favorite books about how we engage and interact with God. It is one of the most helpful tools I’ve discovered for identifying the ways we connect spiritually and how to embrace those things and experience more intimacy through them.
  • Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin — If you feel uncertain about HOW to study the Bible on your own, you need this book! If you lead a Bible study and want to help others learn how to study the Bible more effectively, you need this book.  Basically, I’m pretty much saying everyone needs this book.
  • 10 Tips for a Great Quiet Time
  • 10 More Tips for a Great Quiet Time
  • Word Writers studies by Denise J. Hughes — I absolutely love these studies.  Great for both individual and group use, the Word Writers studies are excellent tools for anyone who wants to dig a little deeper into one book of the Bible.
  • FOCUSED 15 podcast by Chris and Katie Orr — This is one of my newest recommendations for everyone! Each short episode is packed with great information! In particular, I encourage you to listen to this episode, “What should my quiet time look like?”

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