I’ve read lots of books giving you 8 steps to this, 14 steps to that as it relates to spiritual growth. I’ve tried some of them. On occasion one of them will really work for awhile and add a bit of a spark to my devotional life. But inevitably something will get me behind and throw of my groove. I never can recover and so I just give up.
For the past couple of years I’ve just tried to keep it simple. I’ve done this in family devotions and in my own personal devotion time. I was happy to discover that I’m not alone. I appreciate the simplicity of John Newton’s advice on spiritual growth:
The chief and grand means of edification, without which all other helps will disappoint us, and prove like clouds without water, are the Bible and prayer, the word of grace and the throne of grace.
“Just read the Bible and pray”, is essentially what Newton is saying. His method for reading the Bible is pretty simple too; namely, to “read it through from beginning to end; and, when we have finished it once, to begin it again.” Just keep at it. No need to put yourself on a calendar and force yourself to read X amount of verses per day. Just read the Bible and keep reading the Bible, praying over it while you do.
Of course we will still feel prone to lay the Scriptures aside and perhaps spend our reading time in other Christian books. Newton likened this to, “a disposition to hew out broken cisterns which afford no water, while the fountain of living waters are close within my reach”. This is not to say that the Lord won’t be “pleased to smile upon” some books and letters. But at the end of the day the Bible is the chief means the Spirit uses for our spiritual growth.
The Bible is the fountain from whence every stream that deserves our notice is drawn; and, though we may occasionally pay some attention to the streams – we have personally an equal right with others to apply immediately to the fountain-head, and draw the water of life for ourselves.
If you are trying several different things to boost your spiritual growth perhaps try the tried and true method of simply reading through the Bible—over and over and over again. It might not be fast but it sure is effective helping us know God as He has revealed Himself.