5 steps to help grow your spiritual muscles and find true happiness
Our Father in Heaven wants us to be happy. Through his prophets, he's sent messages from home that have been published as the Bible. These Bible-centered steps will help you grow your spiritual muscles and find true happiness.
God works through the humble — those living in meager accommodations, willing to depend on and learn from him. Even his son, Jesus, was sent to Earth born of a virgin and his earthly father was a carpenter. His birth took place in a stable, and his crib was a manger.
Prior to, and after, Jesus' birth, Heavenly Father communicated his concerns, love and desires for his earthbound children through his prophets. These messages from home are found in the Bible. Today, these messages are as important and helpful as they were when first given.
The following steps will help you grow your spiritual muscles and find true happiness through the Word of God.
Away from our heavenly home we have questions and concerns. Through his word Heavenly Father teaches us how to be happy while living on Earth and how to find our way back home. His loving messages help us through conflicts, raising our families and strengthening our spiritual muscles.
Paul explains happiness is not the absence of conflict. Philippians 1:29 tells us we are to "suffer for his sake." Proverbs 29:18 tells us obeying his commandments is happiness, "he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says happiness comes from opposition, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:" We can't understand good without bad because bad defines good and vice versa.
Reading the Bible can be done in any order, such as start to finish — Genesis to Revelation, but searching is done, by topic, through a bible dictionary, by history, or verse to verse to understand a point, commandment or confirmation of a way of life.
Proverbs 2:4 tells us to search with the same determination and hard work as you would look for "hidden treasure."
We should stop and ponder any questions, commandments or concerns as we read the Bible. This requires serious thought about the message(s) found within its pages.
Pondering helps reach an understanding of how to apply the messages at a personal level and answers the questions, why or what. Why did God send this message to me? What is God trying to tell me?
In Romans 8:28-31, God told us how much he loves us and, if you read further, he helps us understand the importance of being watchful. Satan attacks in small degrees. "One won't hurt." But the lack of moderation could lead to the thought, "I'm so far gone, no one can save me."
But God can, as he tells us in his messages. Ponder the verse(s) you are reading and make them personal. What does this mean for me? How can I use this to strengthen me?
Because Satan attacks in degrees, and often from within, prayer is the most important way we can communicate with our Heavenly Father and solicit his help. When you can, pray vocally. This lets Satan know your thoughts, desires and he'll hear your faith that Heavenly Father will answer your prayers.
He asks us to pray, 1 Chronicles 16:11, for the right reasons, James 4:3, even if we're not sure what we're praying for, Romans 8:26. It doesn't matter if we're rich, poor, humble, pretentious, free, bound, loved, unloved, educated or uneducated; you can tell him your thoughts and concerns, and ask him for understanding so you can benefit from his loving messages.
This part may be the hardest. Ask yourself the following questions. Who saves the world if the family is destroyed? Are you more comfortable in the light? The dark? What does Heavenly Father's message mean to me? To others? As asked in Galatians 1:10, are you striving to please God? Or man?
I have found the best way to find the above answers, to feel the love in Heavenly Father's messages, to stay close to him and to find true happiness is to serve. Jesus taught us unselfish service and Matthew 16:24 explains that when we serve others, we're following him.
While here on Earth, you can't get any closer to Heavenly Father than through service. Service often creates an "aha" moment in which you receive the answers or understanding you're seeking, so "Let your light so shine before men,... and glorify your Father which is in heaven," Matthew 5:16. Forget and lose yourself in the service of the Lord.
Are you willing to learn from and depend on the Lord? Are you reading his word? Are you pondering what you read? Are you praying for clarification and understanding? Are you applying what you learned? Are your spiritual muscles growing?
Sometimes you may not understand what he is asking of you or how you will grow from his loving advice. These times requires faith, even the faith as small as a mustard seed that can "move mountains," Matthew 17:20.
Stay close to God, continue growing, read and re-read his messages, when you're happy and during the times you are discouraged, afraid, or depressed. You'll receive inspiration, be uplifted, your spiritual muscles will grow, and you'll find the happiness only available from your father in heaven.