It’s easy to recognize you’re growing in your walk with God when you’re at the beginning of your faith journey, because it may have begun with a significant experience. You may recall the moment you gave up the right to run your own life, you put down your dukes and you cried out in repentance for true mercy and grace and recognized Jesus as your King forever. But somewhere in the middle of a decades-long, day-in and day-out faith walk, you wonder, “am I truly growing closer to God?”
In my own fait journey, I’ve discovered a few pieces of evidence that tell me I’m going in the right direction toward the Lord, so take heart.
- You find you’re not as interested as you once were in the things the world holds dear. Worldly ideas, philosophies, past-times, entertainment – all begins to become much less interesting and you are not impressed by these things anymore. It’s the deep things you’re after. It’s the Mystery you seek. You want it like you’ve wanted nothing else. Your bookshelf proves it. Your playlist proves it. Your prayers prove it. Maybe you’ve even been criticized by those who aren’t where you are. They don’t see the things of Heaven like you do. They’re not looking. Scripture confirms this in Romans 12:2.
- Your conversations change. You are discontent to talk rubbish small talk, engage in negative conversations about people or the latest neighborhood gossip. You crave to discuss the Word. You find yourself wishing for more meaty conversations. Worship is on your lips. His word is on your tongue, ready to bless and correct when necessary. Your words are power, and with them, you build, you prophesy, you pray, you groan and plead and you lift burden. Scripture confirms this in 1 Peter 3:10.
- Your thought life is disciplined. You’ve come to realize that you have a choice in the things you think about all day. This knowledge is power. You direct your thoughts by feeding on the Word and ruminating on it the rest of the day. You don’t just idly think all day, you bring your thoughts to the light and you decide whether to keep it our toss it. You count as garbage thoughts that do not improve your relationship with God, your relationship with yourself, your relationship with the church and your relationship with others. These, you discern, are not of God and you dismiss and renounce such thoughts and replace them with the thoughts of Heaven. Scripture confirms this in Philippians 4:8.
- God is using you to pray. Your prayer list is long and growing daily. It is no coincidence that hurting people find you, that you become aware of tragedy and needs. You carry the spiritual burdens of many and the refining fire is near you always. You feel the flames and you are scorched. For you, joy will be your song. You lift the spirits of the burdened and those who come to you will be blessed. The Spirit is drawing others to you. Scripture confirms this in Colossians 4:2.
These are just a few of the ways to know whether you are growing closer to the Lord. And if these things aren’t yet reality, the last piece of evidence to know whether you’re growing closer is simply that you desire Him more. You want your life to look like this. That’s where it starts. The desire. That is your proof. Holy Spirit putting this desire in your heart and leading you to Jesus.