8 Helpful Keys to Spiritual Growth For a Closer Walk with God

A relationship with Jesus awakens your spirit and changes every part of your life!

Because your spiritual health is directly related to your relationship with God, there is no exact formula for spiritual growth. There are helpful keys for how to grow spiritually that help you enjoy a closer walk with God.

When I was young, I loved God and desired to do the right things and please Him. What I didn’t do was seek keys to spiritual growth.

I was more focused on seeking keys to fun and escaping the wrath and disappointment of God.

I have learned that the keys to spiritual growth are not found following some real or imagined checklist.

Spiritual growth happens by following Jesus and seeking a close relationship with the creator of the world who loves us so much He died to give us new life.

Spiritual growth reminds me of the Katrina roses in my backyard; a beautiful flowering vine that many people grow in their yards. The rose’s beauty inspired me to write a Bible study about its origin and our identity.

I planted my Katrina rose several years ago anticipating the same results as my friends’ beautiful flowering vines. But my plant wasn’t growing, blooming, or thriving. I was tempted to compare my plant’s growth to others or pull it out of the ground and give up.

Admittedly my expectations were unfair because I hadn’t invested the time, money, or attention to help the rose be all it was designed for.

It takes the right amount of sun, water, nutrients, and pruning for a Katrina rose to experience growth and bloom its gorgeous flowers.

Your spiritual growth requires intentional care too; a deep desire to know Jesus and emulate His life.

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. He also trims every branch that produces fruit to prepare it to produce even more. You have already been prepared to produce more fruit by the teaching I have given you.

Stay joined to me and I will stay joined to you. No branch can produce fruit alone. It must stay connected to the vine. It is the same with you. You cannot produce fruit alone.”

John 15:1-4 ERV

Just like a newly planted rose bush requires attention, there are things we need to do to learn how to grow spiritually.

When you find and follow the keys to spiritual growth, you surrender to God and blossom with the gorgeous fruits of the spirit.

A key unlocks a door and gives us access. When we obtain the keys to spiritual growth we unlock the greatest door there is…a life in the presence of God!

What Does the Bible Say About Spiritual Growth?

Once you embrace your identity in Christ, there are many ways to experience spiritual growth.

What does the Bible say about Spiritual growth?  Growth is vital to your Christian walk. Growth draws you closer to God and the freedom He offers.

Your spiritual growth is not what saves or earns God’s love. Your growth is a product of spiritual transformation that comes from a decision to follow and seek Christ.

The Bible says we are saved by God’s grace and because of His grace and out of gratitude, we seek to grow spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.

What does the Bible say about spiritual growth? Growing spiritually is the most important, gratifying challenge that leads to growth in every other area.

When we choose to stay spiritually stagnant, we miss the opportunity to experience a divine, close relationship with the king of kings, Jesus.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT

lady in field-keys to spiritual growth

What are the Elements of Spiritual Growth?

If we examine ourselves and discover signs of spiritual growth, we are encouraged to grow closer to God and experience more change.

On the other hand, if we are struggling with spiritual fatigue, we become discouraged and give up; it helps to remember spiritual growth is not a contest and God is not standing above us judging how we do.

God is interested in your heart. Signs of spiritual growth develp from a deepening love for Christ and a desire to become more like Him.

Here are 8 elements of spiritual growth. Understanding and practicing these elements of spiritual growth helps us move in the right direction.

8 Elements of Spiritual Growth

What are the elements of spiritual growth?

  1. We become more selfless
  2. We adjust how we spend our time
  3. We become more generous with our resources
  4. We pursue peace instead of chaos
  5. We choose and are willing to forgive
  6. We experience a deepening connection in relationships
  7. We spend more time with God in prayer and worship
  8. We focus more on the eternal instead of the temporal

It is impossible to exhibit these elements of spiritual growth on our own.

In Christ, practicing these elements of spiritual growth helps us hold the keys to spiritual maturity and experience transformation.

What is Spiritual Maturity?

Spiritual maturity is not a destination but an ongoing journey.

Our physical bodies develop, grow, and mature. Our emotions and spirits can follow the same path if we choose, but they can also stall and stop growing.

Unlike physical aging, spiritual maturity must be intentional.

Not intentional in that we strive for spiritual maturity as our main focus. But intentional in our desire to become closer to Jesus and bear His beautiful fruit in our everyday, ordinary lives.

As our trust in God grows, we can overcome doubt, surrender control, embrace our unique gifts, and experience day-by-day spiritual maturity.

We must fight the urge to compare our spiritual maturity to others; it is defeating. We must also never feel we have arrived at spiritual maturation.

To mature or grow spiritually means we continue to press into Jesus, learn, question, change and adapt. We can’t help but become mature and wiser through this process.

Through this evolution, we grow closer to God and begin to show signs that we are more like Jesus than our unchanged selves.

“God, who gets invited to dinner at your place? How do we get on your guest list? Walk straight, act right, and tell the truth. Don’t hurt your friend, don’t blame your neighbor; despise the despicable.

Keep your word even when it costs you, make an honest living, and never take a bribe. You’ll never get blacklisted if you live like this.”

Psalm 15:1-5 MSG

lady smiling-keys to spiritual growth


Keys to Spiritual Growth

There are many keys to spiritual growth, but growing spiritually starts with a desire to move away from our way of doing things to God’s way.

When these 8 keys to spiritual growth are done consistently, intentionally, and heartfelt, they offer a powerful way to deepen your faith.

8 Keys to Spiritual Growth

Key 1 Embrace Humility & Gratitude

A humble heart is aware that without Jesus’ sacrifice, we are nothing. From that place of humility, gratitude flows. It is difficult to grow if we do not begin from a place of humility.

Key 2 Read the Bible

When we discover that Bible reading is not an obligation but a way to learn more about God, His great love, and what he wants us to do, our purpose and plans will be revealed.

Key 3 Prayer & Worship

Conversations with God through prayer and worship will have one of the greatest impacts on your spiritual maturity. If you are a new Christian it may seem awkward at first. But the more you communicate with Jesus through words and music your communication and connection with God begins to flow naturally.

Key 4 Spend Time with People Who are Invested in Spiritual Growth

In Proverbs, the Bible says iron sharpens iron. It is challenging to grow alone. Find some good friends who are as passionate about following Jesus as you are!

If we don’t spend time with people invested in spiritual growth, we can get off course and miss opportunities to share the joy and struggles that refine us into Christ’s image.

Key 5 Serve and Give

When we spend our valuable resources serving others a wonderful thing happens…we are blessed and grow in gratitude and appreciation. This is how we replace our natural selfish view with a more Christ-like selfless view.

Key 6 Participate in a Church Community

A church community is vital to spiritual growth and gives us the opportunity to practice and share the growth we experience alone with God.

Key 7 Release Things that Do Not Bring Peace or Growth

When we release people or circumstances that do not bring peace, we make room for those people and things that add to our lives.

I have learned with my rose bush that it is important to prune or ‘cut off’ weak branches that are drawing too much energy away from the health of the entire plant. After pruning, the rose bush has renewed life and begins to look healthier.

In our lives, the same principle applies. Although it is painful and difficult to lose people and walk alone for a while, sometimes it is the only way to pivot, manage emotions, and experience new life to continue to grow spiritually.

Key 8 Repeated Repentance

It is important to realize when our thoughts or actions are getting in the way of our ability to surrender and grow spiritually. The Holy Spirit reveals our mistakes to us, but we must choose to acknowledge them and change.

Repeated repentance is vital to spiritual maturity. We are all imperfect people and through repentance, humility grows as does dependence on God.

flower-keys to spiritual growth

Bible Verses About Growing Spiritually

One of the greatest resources we have is the Bible. We can research any topic about life and find wisdom and answers.

Here are 9 verses about growing spiritually that will guide and direct your spiritual growth and connection to God.

9 Bible Verses About Growing Spiritually

  • “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
  • “How well God must like you; you don’t walk in the ruts of those blind-as-bats, you don’t stand with the good-for-nothings, you don’t take your seat among the know-it-alls. Instead, you thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.” Psalms 11:1-6 MSG
  • “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.” Philippians 1:6 TLB
  • “So, we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.” Colossians 1:9-10 NLT
  • “So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy, and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.” 1 Peter 2:2 MSG
  • “I am warning you ahead of time, dear brothers, so that you can watch out and not be carried away by the mistakes of these wicked men, lest you yourselves become mixed up too. But grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be all glory and splendid honor, both now and forevermore.” 2 Peter 3:17-18 TLB
  • “So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.”  Hebrews 6:1-2 NLT 
  • “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NLT
  • “God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.” Titus 2:11-14 NLT

bible-keys to spiritual growth

Spiritual Growth in the Bible

As part of the discussion on keys to spiritual growth, it is helpful to study stories about spiritual growth in the Bible.

These stories take place in different times and places with many of the same issues of today.

These bible characters faced struggles and obstacles to spiritual growth but still made an impact.

2 Bible Characters Who Grow Spiritually

1) Judah Repents and Grows Spiritually

Judah the son of Jacob, brother of Joseph, and leader of one of the 12 tribes of Israel is also in the genealogical line of Jesus. But he struggled with spiritual growth just as we do.

After losing his wife and son he promises his daughter-in-law Tamar that she will marry his youngest son, but he breaks that promise.

Judah and Tamar cross paths again as broken widowers and deceivers in Genesis 38. Tamar approaches Judah as a prostitute out of desperation and becomes pregnant.

When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”

Genesis 38:15-16 NLT

“About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.” Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!”

Genesis 38:24 NLT

When Judah discovers Tamar’s deception, he is quick to judge her. But his mistake and spiritual growth are revealed when he is caught and accepts his part in the scandal.

“She is more righteous than I…”

Genesis 38:26

Although Judah did not always practice the keys to spiritual growth and made many mistakes, he is eventually humbled, acknowledges his wrongdoing, repents, and changes.

2) John the Baptist Doubts and Grows Spiritually

John the Baptist was born around the same time as his cousin Jesus. The Bible says he paved the way for the ministry of Christ.

That is quite an impressive purpose and plan for his life.

“There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.”

John 1:6-8 NLT

In John 1:34, John boldly declares the divinity of Jesus,

I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

John the Baptist persevered in his mission and hit the pinnacle of spiritual growth when he baptized Jesus and bowed in humility to announce Jesus as the Messiah.

“Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized there by John. John didn’t want to do it.” “This isn’t proper,” he said. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you.”

But Jesus said, “Please do it, for I must do all that is right.” So then John baptized him.”

Matthew 3:13-15 TLB

But at some point, John is thrown into prison and while facing death begins to doubt and question his purpose and the identity of Jesus.

“After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.”

Mark 1:14-15 MSG

“John the Baptist, who was now in prison, heard about all the miracles the Messiah was doing, so he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you really the one we are waiting for, or shall we keep on looking?”

Matthew 11:2-3 TLB

Even though John knew Jesus, witnessed miracles, and declared His majesty, he doubted; John’s spiritual growth stalled.

The beautiful ending to John’s tale, although he suffered and was unjustly killed, is how Jesus describes him.

 “Truly, of all men ever born, none shines more brightly than John the Baptist. And yet, even the lesser lights in the Kingdom of Heaven will be greater than he is!”

Matthew 11:11 TLB

Judah and John the Baptist experienced fear, and doubt and had to overcome obstacles to grow in their faith just as we do.

But no matter what we face, walking beside Jesus and finding true contentment and wholeness in Him is the best life!

I hope these Biblical stories encourage you to continue to find keys to spiritual growth and cling to the love God offers.

What have been your keys to spiritual growth? I would love to hear about your journey of learning how to grow spiritually!


Mary Rooney Armand

Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. Her writing is featured on multiple websites. She is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ”  and “Life Changing Stories“—a collaboration with 34 authors available on Amazon.

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Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is an Author, Speaker, and Creator of the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their relationships. Her work is featured on multiple websites including Woman of Noble Character, Pray with Confidence, and The Brave Women Series. Mary is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and, “Life Changing Stories” a collaboration with 34 authors sharing stories of God’s faithfulness. Besides writing, Mary leads small groups and speaks at retreats. She directed Kids Hope USA, a mentoring program for children, worked in marketing and sales, and has led mission trips to Honduras. Mary is a life coach with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and an MBA. She and her wonderful husband Cory live in New Orleans and are the parents of four children, a new daughter-in-law, and two dogs! Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.


  1. Paula Short on May 7, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Amen Mary. Thank you so much for this blessed lesson today. Blessings.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on May 10, 2021 at 2:16 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  2. Lisa notes on May 11, 2021 at 7:10 am

    My favorite rose bush is the Knockout Rose because it doesn’t require any attention. 🙂 But I know that’s the opposite of the way relationships work and I appreciate your insight: “The keys to spiritual growth are not found following some real or imagined checklist; the key is following Jesus and seeking a close relationship.”

    • Mary Rooney Armand on May 11, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      Lisa, I love the knockouts too! Thanks for reading and your encouragement.

  3. The 4 Amazing Benefits of Daily Prayer on July 29, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    […] However, regardless of my filing system or journal organization, my prayers are prolific. I wish someone had told me sooner that daily prayer makes a difference in life. […]

  4. Arline Westmeier on September 21, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    This sure has enlightened me more about this specific aspect. Thank you!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on September 23, 2021 at 4:50 pm

      Thank you for stopping by and reading. So thankful when my words are helpful! Many blessings!

  5. Lizzie Ng'ambi on March 16, 2022 at 6:31 am


    • Mary Rooney Armand on March 16, 2022 at 7:09 pm

      God bless you! So thankful that you learned from my words!!

  6. Fay Newman on November 14, 2022 at 12:32 am

    Hi Mary I’m up late writing about David’s fallen tabernacle. As I was browsing through different commentary’s, I ran across your site. Wow! I would love to use your 8 keys to spiritual growth to enhance on how to rebuild our tabernacle. We carry the glory of God into the House of the Lord as we tabernacle with one another. Thank you Fay Newman 166 moon brake Rd, Elgin Texas 78621

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 15, 2022 at 12:47 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and I am grateful you found my words helpful. Please feel free to link to my site or use quotes ( please credit Mary Rooney Armand at ButterflyLiving) Many blessings on your writing of David’s tabernacle.

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  21. Victoria Addington on October 20, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    I appreciate how you pointed out that reading the Bible is a way to understand more about God rather than a requirement. This would be a perfect place to start for my mother to begin developing her faith, which is something she has been trying to do. I’ll most sure let her know about this and look into any helpful church services.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on October 22, 2023 at 10:25 am

      Victoria, I am grateful this article was helpful. May you and your mother continue to experience the love of God through His presence!

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