When it comes to spiritual growth, there are internal and external obstacles we all face when achieving our goals. Internally we can deal with spiritual bondage and idols just to name a few. Also there are some external factors that hinder us from spiritual growth.

Growing spiritually is no easy task. It certainly doesn't happen overnight and many believers are misunderstanding what spiritual growth is. For starters, growing spiritually is not becoming righteous. You were made righteous by your faith in Jesus Christ by receiving salvation. (Romans3:22) And that is a beautiful thing my friends!

Spiritual growth is growing closer to God and becoming mature in your understanding about yourself and God. (Hebrews 6) Through this development you will achieve peace and freedom by way of revelation about God's word and overcoming the misapplication of God to your life.

{For example, some believers struggle with reading the Bible because they hear a harsh tone or an angry God declaring them sinful. This is untrue, and can be fixed by reading out loud or willfully changing their own tone of voice.}

As in life we all have choices to make. When it comes down to spiritual growth, we must make choices that reflect choosing growth or choosing stagnation. Internally, taking the comfortable path always seems like the best idea but if we choose to stay comfortable; the pain, the idols, the bitterness, and the bondage just build on top of each other as we go through life hardening our hearts.

If we choose growth, then we can allow God to mold our hearts and hold our hands in the process. (Hebrews4:12) Finding comfort in God as he leads you through your growth should be the only time you are comfortable in this journey. Why haven't you heard?! God is in the business of shaking things up! Uncomfortable faith is the best faith to have, because it stretches your trust into uncharted territories. (Matthew 14:22-36)

If we know the real honest benefits of spiritual growth is peace, freedom in Christ, discovering your purpose then why would we avoid it? Let's look at some of those possibilities and discuss how you can overcome.

1. Facing the truth about who you are.....or......who you are not isn't pretty.

Though you may be righteous in the eyes of God, we have to understand that spiritual maturity is not a given. In order to grow spiritually, or mature we must first seek God. Developing a relationship with God through prayer, worship and sometimes fasting is just the beginning. There will be instances in life where you will face conflict externally and internally. 'Internally' refers to spiritual bondage, patience, confidence, idols, etc. Internal conflicts can cross over and contribute to our relationships and create external conflicts.

When we experience conflict, first understand that this is in no way God's punishment. Conflicts are the red flags that something inside of you or outside (relationships) needs to be developed. In most cases, it's both. Never let a conflict blow through your life without growing from it, even if it means facing the ugly truth about your nature. I know it's tough but look at it with wisdom, is God trying to tell you something about yourself? The answer is always yes.

2. Maintaining change is virtually impossible when your environment isn't set up to accommodate change.

Have you ever tried to maintain an organic diet in a house full of junk food? Epic fail.
The same can apply with spiritual growth. It's virtually impossible to maintain your maturity when the people closest to you are not growing themselves. What about your church? Are you being fed the proper nourishment to accommodate your growth?

3. 40 days is a long time to work at adopting a new habit, or breaking old habits.

Scientists say it takes 40 days to break a habit or adopt a new one. Even Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. Well guess what? Spiritual growth is a life long process. Yes you will achieve your goals in whatever set time God allows for, but we should never stop growing or yearning for the closeness of God. Rest assured there is no time limit for maturity in Christ. Living with the zeal of capturing God's wisdom is how you will never tire from seeking God.

4. You really just don't know where to begin.

I definitely remember the first time I just wanted to hear from God. I sat up straight on my bed, lifted my arms and proclaimed "I'm listening God!!" And you already know, I heard nothing. So I totally understand if this is you or if you're just looking for a good starting place. Begin with identifying what you want to achieve with God or what you haven't achieved. Each one of us has a vision for our relationship with God and if you just think about that vision, you can make a list or find your starting point.

5. You've been trained to believe your peace, freedom and purpose is equated to how much money you make, relationships, real estate and lifestyles.

This economic downturn has definitely ruined the American dream for some perhaps just temporarily. I actually read an article yesterday that suicide rates have quadrupled since the beginning of the collapse. Marriages end over money and countless young people are striving for big money careers leaving behind the ideas of strong family bonds and parenthood. Now this isn't a criticism for those of you who see nothing wrong with this, but there will come a day when these things no longer feel in the voids of your heart. And from that we see alcoholism, suicide, illness and countless other ailments that affect society and those closest to you.

With this in mind, there is no easy solution to just turn off this concept that your joy, happiness, freedom is equated to these things. But I can think of one: Fasting.

Fasting is not just about food and hunger. You can fast from the Internet, the TV, radio even social circles that trigger your hope in these things. It doesn't have to be for 40 days. You can start with one hour a day for however long you need to ween yourself off this thinking. Use that hour to read, spend time with your family or be in isolation with God. When you find yourself mentally rehearsing your hope in these things, quickly choose to think the opposite: Matthew 6:19-34.

Author's Bio: 

Sabrina C Anderson is an Author and blogger from Texas.
For more spiritual growth tips and to receive a free ebook, visit her blog at http://afabulouslifeinchrist.blogspot.com/.