Growing upward is all about your relationship with the Almighty God and maximizing the various avenues that he has set out in the scripture for this to happen. For your growth in and towards God to be upward, you have to be intentional about it.
This will just not happen by wishing. You have to crave his presence and genuinely seek him. What is important to the Almighty God must be important to you.
What you need to do—You have to be:
- Connected—”Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he isa new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].” (2 Corinthians 5:17, TAB)
Everything that God created has its optimal habitat—fish excel in water (river, sea, ocean), birds excel in air, Lions, elephants excel on the land but for humans our natural habitat is the supernatural i.e. in Christ.
This is why the Bible says, if anyone is in Christ. John puts it this way, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, TAB)
The avenue of your connection is faith. “I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20, TAB)
- Compatible—”Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? (Amos 3:3, NLT)
To be compatible is the capability to exist or live together in harmony. There must be agreement that you are going in the same direction. The only way that this can exist is by knowing who is boss in the relationship. You have to submit to him in all ways.
The avenue to accomplish this is how Jesus Christ said it, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone [just one grain, never more]. But if it dies, it produces much grain and yields a harvest.” (John 12:24, TAB)
You have to die to self to be compatible with him. Paul the Apostle puts it this way, “I assure you, believers, by the pride which I have in you in [your union with] Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily [I face death and die to self].” (1 Corinthians 15:31, TAB)
Our gospel is not once saved always saved.
- Committed—” Now it happened while Zacharias was serving as priest before God in the appointedorder of his priestly division, 9 as was the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter [the sanctuary of] the temple of the Lord and burn incense [on the altar of incense].” (Luke 1:8-9, TAB)
God wants to see your commitment to him. It is interesting to note that the devil will also challenge your commitment. When the Devil comes to tempt, he wants to know whether you are committed to the Almighty.
Your commitment will show forth in your diligence and excellence. How do you do the things you are asked to do? How do you take the things of God?
- Consistent—” Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” (Daniel 6:10, NKJV)
It is not about doing it once but doing it always
- Covenant Practitioner—”While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest…shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22, NKJV)
No matter the level that you attain, to keep being distinct, you have to be a covenant practitioner. The covenant will always speak no matter the challenges that an individual faces and the only way that the covenant will speak goodness to your destiny is if you keep to the terms.
What are the Covenant Practices: The answer to every one of our challenges can be found in the Word. An understanding of the word and the correct application will always yield profitably. God does not delight in sacrifice he prefers obedience.
“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17, NKJV)
- Never say what is happening most especially if it is negative, speak what is written: “Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (Psalm 35:27, NKJV)
- Honor your parents—” Honor[esteem, value as precious] your father and your mother [and be respectful to them]—this is the first commandment with a promise— 3 so that it may be well with you, and that you may have a long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2-3, TAB)
- Train Your Children—”Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6, TAB)
- First Fruit: “And it shall be, when you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, 2 that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. And you shall go to the one who is priest in those days, and say to him, ‘I declare today to the Lord your[a] God that I have come to the country which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.” (Deuteronomy 26:1-3, NKJV)
- Tithing: It defends you from the devourer. “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord.” (Leviticus 27:30, KJV)
- Freewill / Worship Offering: “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty:” (Deuteronomy 16:16, KJV), Luke 6:38, Deuteronomy 8:18
- Alms giving—Job 29:1-12, Psalm 41:1-3
- Kingdom Projects—1 Chronicles 22:1-14