Woman in Field With Sun Shining

5 Ways to Create Real Growth In Your Life


It feels like the last few years have just run together and seems to have left so many people in a state of confusion or even just left longing for different or better. Many have faced loss of loved ones, financial hardships, relationship struggles, political confusion or frustration, tested faith, and so much more. Whether you're reading this at the start of a new year, or you're finding it somewhere in the middle, you're likely looking for how you can grow in your life and what changes you need to make to create that growth. We all like the thought of new and fresh. It gives us a sense of being able to try something we haven’t done, finally accomplishing that one thing, or the feeling that we can leave something behind; like closing a chapter and starting a new one. If that’s you, hey, I get it! Being someone who has had all the goals, the word of the year, and the dream boards, I want to raise a few questions for you to consider, if you will.

  1. What kind of new chapter do you want to begin?

  2. How are you going to do that?

  3. Who are you looking to for guidance from?

And last, I want to ask, “Why?” to each of your answers to those three questions. Why do you want to do that, in that way, with those people?



When a new year begins, so also begins a rush of media posts telling you to buy this self-help book, lose weight with this program or that machine, build the life you’ve always dreamed of, and do it using this product or that program. There is no shortage of people sharing enticing opportunities and giving artificial hope of happiness. Don’t get me wrong, many of those things are great opportunities, and just might be a good fit for you. Before you start jumping into new opportunities, and filling in your calendars with new goals of losing weight, building your dreams, changing your life, starting a new business, or trying to make this season of life the season you reach “that” rank; may I suggest to you a better goal than all of those things? A goal that can still take you farther than you imagined, when met with your true calling?

What if you decided to set your focus FULLY on Jesus?

For years I made all the new year’s goals and dreams, and they always left me empty, whether I was moving forward or not. When I made my goals fit what I wanted for my life, family, and future, instead of aligning my goals with God’s will; I fell short every time. But when I realized that my purpose on this earth is the same as yours, to know God more and to make Him known; everything began to change. I no longer felt weary trying to accomplish things in my own strength. I was no longer using verses out of context to try and fit them into what I wanted them to mean for my life. I no longer pushed for dreams I thought I wanted, yet didn’t know if it was actually the direction God was calling me to go. Dreams can be good! However, our dreams should be more about what God wants to do in and through us, rather than what we think will satisfy and make us happy.

Is your will clashing with God’s authority? If so, this needs to be the year that changes.

The best way to create change in your physical life is to create change in your spiritual life.

It’s time to build some traction in your spiritual life! Are you ready?!



5 Ways to Create Real Growth in Your Life This Year


1. Fully surrender your life to God.


It all starts here. Our strength comes from absolute surrender to the absolute Authority, the Author and Creator of this world, and of you and me. To surrender is to yield everything, to cease resistance, and to submit to authority. It’s not easy. We will fight our flesh on a daily basis. But when we also surrender on a daily basis to God’s will for our lives, we can rest knowing we are never moving in the wrong direction. Surrendering to God looks like, “Your will God, not mine.” It’s a daily decision, a daily submission. It’s dying to ourselves to live for Christ. More of Him, less of you. It takes intentionality to fight against our human desire, and to replace it with God’s purpose and plan. Every morning we need to submit our will to God. Our will needs to decrease, while God’s will increases in our lives.

Recently, whenever I would be in a moment of fighting my flesh, whether something I wanted to say or do, that I knew would not be honoring to God, I began saying in my head, “You God, not me.” I would repeat it over and over, sometimes more times than I’d like to admit, because I know that my flesh will fail me; and if I am going to fight against it, if I am going to fight against the schemes of the enemy, I have to do that in the name of Jesus!



“Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 (HCSB)

“For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose.” Philippians 4:13 (HCSB)

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” Psalm 37:5 (HCSB)


2. Make plans, but leave space for God’s direction.


We must continue striving and as Paul says, “running the race”; but we must run a God honoring race. So of course, keep making plans and working hard, on the right things, in the right areas, but keep your steps ready for redirection from God at any time.

“A man’s heart plans the way, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“A man’s steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way.” Psalm 37:23

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit. You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring – what your life will be! For you are a bit of smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”” James 4:13-15



3. Keep your priorities in order.


Sometimes we have to say no to things, in order for more important things to take place. In my blog, ‘How to Discern Your Calling’, I talk about our purpose verses our calling. We are a part of the Great Commission, lest we not forget. We have been saved and sent. We are to go out into all the world and share the gospel so that others may come to know Christ. That goes back to our purpose of knowing God more, and making Him known. Everything else comes secondary, and falls within our callings in this life. Our callings can be different in different seasons. As a parent, that is a calling. Your job can be a calling, maybe one that stays, maybe one that changes over time. One thing is for sure, whatever callings we have in our life, no matter what season, they come secondary to our purpose of knowing Him and making him known.

God honors order. If we focus more on income, ranks, business growth, friendships, outward appearances, or anything of that nature, before what is taking place in our hearts; we have our priorities out of order. Have your priorities been in order? If not, now is the time to reorder what’s been out of order.


4. Have the right people in your life.


It’s all cute and fun to talk about a circle of friends and how much fun we have growing business together, or raising babies together, or just doing life together! It’s crucial though, that your ears hear from the right people. The voices of the enemy can come in many ways, through many people, whether they mean to lead you astray or not. These past couple years have shown this to be extremely true and frightening. By frightening, I mean a need for strong awareness of who is speaking into our growth, our life, our faith.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “But test all things. Hold on to what is good.”

If it sounds encouraging, that doesn’t mean it’s biblical. If anything goes against what the Word of God says, it is not right. If a friendship, job, or even pastor says things that go against scripture or is self-validating, they are not for you. Run, don’t walk. And be aware, partial truth is still a lie. Verse 22 continues on to say, “Stay away from every form of evil.” Our guards have to be up on what our eyes see and our ears hear. There are so many false teachings.

There is so much negative media and music; friendships that are not good; books that are unbiblical and are not “self-helping” you in a biblical way. Be aware! Test all things. This may be the time to let go of some relationships; change the music you listen to; the shows you watch; the books you read; and hard as it may be, even possibly the job you have. It’s not easy to walk against the direction of the world. But that’s exactly what we are called to do.

I encourage you to take some time to consider all these things, and see if there are areas that you haven’t been honoring God in, but rather indulging fleshly desires. This is something I’m taking time to consider as well. We always have to check and recheck these things.


5. Pray and get into God’s Word every day.


This mirrors number three in that our priority needs to be God first; then everything else, in its right order, should follow. If we find that we are too busy to give our Lord and Creator any time out of our day, we have a problem. It could be a priority problem, a heart problem, or a problem of not starting because of not knowing where or how to start. Regardless the reason, when we do life without God, we cannot be the light for others to find Jesus. We cannot build His kingdom. We cannot point our children in the right direction. We cannot stand steadfast when the waves of the world crashing. We will be building our house upon the sand; and well, we all know what will happen to that when the waves come in.

Sometimes we can completely miss the direction we are supposed to go because we aren’t able to discern what God is calling us to, or even calling us from. If you are beginning this year feeling far from the Lord and you don’t know where to begin to fix that, start by reading the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It will change everything, and you will begin to have a sense of direction and understanding in your walk with Christ. It’s not about reading the Bible in a year, it’s about growing closer to the Lord and understanding what He wants to teach you and growing in areas He wants you to grow in.



If you struggle to know how to pray, tell God. He already knows, and God is not offended with what you don’t know. It’s okay not to know where to begin, but it’s not okay to continue on not doing these things because you don’t know where or how to start. He is your Father, and He adores you. More than anything in this world, our hearts should yearn for Him. He tells us in His Word to ask for wisdom and understanding from the Holy Spirit, and He will give it to you. Have you asked for that lately? Have you spent time in prayer lately? If not, let today be the day.

If you want to be usable by God, then make yourself usable. Get into His Word and into prayer so much, that the enemy doesn’t even know where to even begin shutting you down. We aren’t promised an easy life as a Christian. In fact, we can guarantee trials and hardship; but it is meant to refine us, and bring glory to God. We also aren’t promised tomorrow. So instead of a pretty dream board and calendar of goals and steps to take, first make sure your heart is fixed on what truly matters in the end. That's where we can gain our strength for today and our vision for our future. Make this the year, make today the day, that your life becomes a vessel for the Lord.

I pray, sister, that you grow closer in your walk with Christ this year. I am on that journey too. Oh, what a great joy!



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I would love to hear what growth you're experiencing in your life after shifting your focus on God. Drop me a comment and let me know! 



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