What is Spiritual Formation?

 Posted by on Sat, Jan 9, 2016
Jan 092016
Spiritual Formation

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go….. Genesis 28:15

Sometimes big words throw us off, but Spiritual Formation is just the fancy term for how we grow spiritually. It encompasses all that God does by His Holy Spirit to bring new life to us. Spiritual Formation is the transformative process that happens when we submit our lives to God and surrender to His will. It is the means by which He changes us from carnal people far-from-God, to Christlike saints, who are walking with God and living to see His will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
So how does this happen? How do we participate in our transformation? What can we do to grow spiritually?
God has made our spiritual progress dependent on our relationship with Him. We can only go as far as we walk with Him. We can only grow in proportion to our intimacy with Him. We will only change when we are doing life in the way that He designed.
God desires that we commune with Him. Another weird word. Let’s unpack it. Commune means “to converse or talk together, usually with profound intensity, intimacy, etc.; interchange thoughts or feelings.” This word originated in 1250-1300 from the Middle French comuner to share, derivative of comun, meaning common. So, breaking it down, God desires that we share life with Him; that we have life in common. What an amazing thought, that the God of the universe wants to have life in common with us. He wants to live with us through our ordinary day-to-day, sharing our experiences, as our constant companion.
This is His plan for our transformation.
As we walk with Him through the day-to-day, running things by Him, asking for His opinion, listening to his thoughts, we become more like Him. We pick up on his interests, we share his perspectives, we think like He thinks. His positive influence rubs off on us, and we become more and more like Jesus.
This is a gradual change. It happens over years, not days. Transforming fellowship with God is meant to last a lifetime. As long as we are on this earth, we still have room to grow, and He still has more to teach us.
Can we be proactive in our own spiritual growth? Of course. We can daily purpose to spend time with God. We can prioritize reading His word, asking Him to speak His mission for us into the ordinary days of our lives. We can commit to daily prayer time; acknowledging His majesty, delighting in His goodness, confessing our sins, asking for His guidance, interceding for others, and petitioning Him with the desires of our hearts. We can carve out time to listen to Him, as we sit quietly and process with Him what we are experiencing in our lives.
This is spiritual formation.

James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.

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  4 Responses to “What is Spiritual Formation?”

Comments (4)

    Thanks for this great reminder!


    So beautifully written, Jodi, and you explain it so easily…Thanks.

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