Bible Study: How to Go Deeper in Your Faith and the Casting Crowns’ “Thrive Challenge”
Written by Christi Given | November 5, 2014
PI Girls, as you know, I love reading God’s Word and I will be contributing a couple of articles a month on a “Bible study” topic for you. My prayer is that these pieces will deepen your faith, stir a hunger for more truth and spark an interest in other facets of your relationship with Christ.
Some PI girls want to go deeper with God, but maybe don’t know where to start. Going deeper with God may sound intimidating or complex, but it just happens to grow over time the more you learn about the Bible, the more you pray and the more time you have fellowship with the Lord. We were meant to have an abundant life with the Lord full of wisdom, knowledge, revelation and the fruits of the Spirit. In order to make our roots go down deep so that we have an unshakeable anchor, we need to build our lives on the foundation of the Word of God, and the rock.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19)
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)
A government website from Fairfax County explains how tree roots serve a purpose. A tree’s roots are the ANCHOR for the life of the tree, which keeps it alive and able to flourish.
Tree roots anchor the tree in the soil, keeping it straight and stable, and absorb water from the soil. Tree roots also take nutrients and chemicals out of the soil and use them to produce what they need for the tree’s growth, development, and repair.
Don’t we as believers want to be anchored to good nutrients for our souls and for our lives? Do you want to flourish in your relationship with Jesus, and understand who God is? Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you, guide you and for God to give you wisdom, for He will grant it generously…of course to those who pray and ask. Already we have some answers to HOW we can go deeper. First off, we MUST be abiding to the main source of life and where the soil’s nutrients are to keep our lives growing. Read John 15:5 for more about how to ABIDE in the Lord.
God gives us the analogy of us being the branches and God being the vine. If we are disconnected, just like a vine in real life, we cannot bear fruit or good things, amen? If we are not connected to God through prayer, church/fellowship and the Word, how can we possibly prosper spiritually as Christians?
We NEED the Bible for survival, because Jesus is the Word. God’s Word is alive and powerful, is sharper than any double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) and is also life-giving. There are so many verses that indicate how the Word of God is ALL-POWERFUL and how you will increase by reading it and renewing your thoughts and minds. I really pray this encourages you to read even just a scripture verse a day! Don’t feel like you need to read a whole chapter, but hey, if you feel led, go for it!
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness… (2 Timothy 3:16)
Next, it isn’t enough to only pray or only read the Bible once. We need to continually do this. To abide, just like it says in John 15:5, means to stay. This can also mean continually be connected. If you say, “Oh, I went to church a few times…I’m a Christian, I don’t need to go back…,” that isn’t wise, because the Lord specifically tells us in the book of Hebrews to not forsake gathering together as brothers and sisters in Christ. You don’t need to be religious and feel guilty if you missed one Sunday or if you need to go on a vacation with family, etc., but it’s a given that you need to be in church under a pastor or shepherd to grow. To say you don’t need to go to church is like someone saying you’re good not going back to school. In order to learn, you need a teacher (someone who is older and wiser beyond your years) to pour into you and help you with any questions or struggles, and also to meet people your age who have the same faith. Church is so inspiring and encouraging! We are to build each other up in love. Yes, sometimes there are difficulties, but that is what family is all about, and you are invited to be in the family of God. We need each other and we are meant to be in community. If there is one trick Satan wants to pull on believers, it is that they can survive alone. Sure, your salvation isn’t based on whether you’re in a church service weekly, but it surely does help! Can I get an amen?!
One way to continue to stay connected with the Lord and to go even deeper in fellowship with God is to spend time with the Lord. Spending time with God isn’t always going to church or praying. Reading the Bible is a way to connect with God, of course, but also worshipping God through praise, hymns and songs and through our focus are beautiful ways to honor God. There are MANY verses, especially in Psalms, about praising, worshipping, singing, dancing and exalting God’s name. God says it is His will for us to thank Him, think of Him and worship Him. Obviously, we can’t necessarily do it 24/7 with school, work, sleep and extracurricular activities, but we can surely try, amen PI girls?!
Who are some of your favorite worship bands or singers? Some of mine are Kari Jobe, Chris Tomlin, Tenth Avenue North, Switchfoot and Hillsong United. I love worshipping Jesus, especially while singing to Him! God is so precious and beautiful to me, and is WORTHY of all praise, honor, glory and attention! We were made to worship God!
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. (Psalm 100:4)
Another way to connect with the Lord is to start a prayer journal or diary. I love writing down all that God has done. He is SO faithful and I love reflecting on all the good things and the things I believe in and hope for in my journal(s). What about you? Do you like to keep a prayer journal? I believe when you write things down you can remember them even better. In the Bible, God even instructed people to have memorial stones like Joshua, and also for people to remember what He did. God has never, ever failed us, but always comes through for us…just not how we expect or when we expect. We still can be surprised even if we have been walking with God for a long time! Also, we can learn so many new things even as mature believers. God’s Word is so powerful, it is multifaceted…you can read a Bible verse one day and another day get a different meaning or revelation from it! So exciting!
Finally, an excellent way to grow in your faith beyond the surface level of just simply choosing to follow and believe in Jesus is to be plugged into a life group or mini church or even a Bible Study in mid-week. You can find out through your church if there are women’s studies or even youth groups, college groups or young adult groups. This is a way to expand your circle of friends, meet new people of faith; you can also learn so much in your different studies that may focus on specific sections of the Bible! It may sound challenging now, but it will be worth it! Some groups can be more like social gatherings than Bible studies, but the important thing is your focus and motive. All those things aren’t bad—you can have great friends and times together—it just depends what you’re looking for. Ask your mentor, parent or youth leader to guide you to a meeting time that will be suitable for your age.
Finally, I wanted to share Casting Crowns’ new YouTube channel series called the “Thrive” series about growing in your walk with God. Watch the video below to get inspired to take your relationship to the NEXT level with Jesus!
PI Girls, do you have any ideas on how to go deeper in your faith? Comment below!
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