What’s My Spiritual Level?
I believe that I’m a +3 on my spiritual journey. I want to propel myself on the scale. What specific steps or what should I be doing to move on to step 4?
Questioner #1 from Casas’ “What’s Next Class.”
I feel I am at a +5 but I still have the question of how do I get to the point of having Jesus as my complete foundation? How do I completely be in love with Jesus?
Questioner from Casas’ “What’s Next Class.”
I will gladly give you some direction regarding your spiritual growth; but, first, let me set the context for our readers by explaining the meaning of “+3” and “+5”.
We utilize the “Engel’s Scale” at Casas to help people determine just where they are on their spiritual journey. The scale moves from -10 to 0 to +10. A -10 describes someone who has never heard of God or Jesus Christ. A -4 describes a person who is seeking to find truth about Christ. A -1 is someone on the verge of accepting Christ. 0 is the moment of conversion. In the positive direction, +1 to +2 describe spiritual babies; +3 to +4 describe spiritual children; +5 to +8 describe a spiritual young men or woman; and +9-+10 describe spiritual mothers or fathers (See 1 John 2:12-14 and 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3 for some of the Biblical support for Engel’s Scale.).
New Christians are often told three things about what to do in order to mature in the Christian life: (1) read the Bible; (2) pray; and (3) go to church. These are three are just as essential for +1s as they are for +10s. Here is why. The Bible gives guidance and maturity as the Light of God’s Word (Psalm 119:105). We find God’s plans and intentions here. Prayer brings us into relationship with the Living Christ (John 7:37-39). Going to church brings us into the Light of God’s people (Matthew 5:14-16). The Christian life is never an individual thing. It is always lived out in the context of relationships.
Bible study can be done in many contexts from individual to group to sermon experiences. Prayer is both talking to God and listening to Him speak to us. Church settings allow us to have our needs met in a loving environment and to use our skill and gifts in meeting in the needs of others. Over time, these three essentials will move us steadily along in our spiritual journeys.
Please use books and resources like commentaries, dictionaries, maps and concordances to help in Bible study. These will make the Bible come much more alive in your heart. Take notes. There are two kinds of Bible students: those who take notes and those who do not. One group tends to get farther along in the journey faster than the other.
Prayer can be a continual thing. You don’t have to get on your knees in a quiet place all the time. The farther along in our journeys the easier it is to imagine Jesus sitting right beside us in the car as we drive. He enjoys a good sharing time, even as we move down the road—with our eyes open.
Choose your church carefully. Look for a functional one filled with openness and grace and where conflicts are never allowed to go underground. Find one with a worship setting you can enjoy. Consider that you want to sit at the feet of a man or woman of God who consistently teaches and/or preaches the Bible with integrity and truth. Evaluate the leadership. Is the pastor autocratic? Do several men or women “run the church”? Stay away from those places. Do you sense the Spirit of God in the people as well as in the pastor? A.W. Tozer advises: “Listen to the people who listen to God.” Those thoughts give some insight into is the kind of church you are looking for.
Let me add another thought. Watch for God’s hand at work in your life. God may surprise you in how he works in developing your maturity and guiding you into His plans. He uses all sorts of tools in His processing us to maturity. In every event in life—from good to great to stress-filled to painful—and everything in between—don’t miss the hand of God at work. He is everywhere and continually working to move you along in your spiritual journey.
Let me add one more thought. Every evening when you go to bed and ever morning when you awaken pray for God to mature you into a spiritual mother or father at any price. This is one prayer He is certain to answer.
Well, questioners, I hope these thoughts not only give you some direction but also help in taking you on to maturity.