After World War I, the French government began a massive project, led by André Maginot, to provide a stronger border defense. Billions went into building a series of fortifications—the Maginot Line—stretching from the Swiss border to the Ardennes Forest. Maginot died in 1932 without realizing his major life’s work was largely a waste of time and money. He had based his strategy on the past, in terms of the trench warfare experienced in World War I. He didn’t anticipate how a modern enemy could circumvent his defensive plans.


When Germany invaded in World War II, they swiftly went around both sides of the Maginot Line, occupying France and trapping British Expeditionary Forces. The Maginot Line became a symbol of our tendency to think within the context of past experience rather than current reality and future potential.


Christians battle daily, engaged in continual combat with the world around us, the devil against us and the flesh within us. As the Last Days draw nearer, it’s paramount for us to maintain personal commitment to growth, progress, and success in our walk with Christ. We need to constantly learn more about God, His Word, and His work. We must adopt Paul’s attitude in Philippians 3:13-14: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”


It’s easy to stop growing, isn’t it? We’re biologically programmed to stop growing physically once we reach biological maturity. Not true of our mind or soul. Peter appealed to his readers to keep growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). There is always something new to learn in God’s Word, and progress is needed in how we love others, spread cheerfulness, perfect personal holiness, and serve the Lord. We must pray, “Lord, teach me more, that I can press onward toward the goal.”


Take Inventory

First, take spiritual inventory of your condition. A yearly physical promotes good health. The Great Physician does the same with our souls. Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”


How’s your spiritual health? Thriving? Ask yourself:


  • Have I made an exciting discovery in the Bible or memorized a verse of Scripture recently?
  • Have I made time to pray and be involved in my church?
  • Am I serving God passionately?
  • Have unhealthy habits taken root?
  • Am I growing in the fruit of the Spirit and excited about telling others?


Take Advice

Having taken honest stock of your condition, you may need help. Some take the do-it-yourself route, correcting whatever is wrong. Others need coaching. In terms of spiritual conditioning, you might talk with a pastor, Bible study leader, or Christian whose maturity you respect. We’re never too old to ask a mentor questions that involve the best methods of Bible study or planning prayer habits. We might ask how to stay close to God, handle temptation, or for book or discipleship group recommendations.


            We must guard against complacency. Zephaniah 1:12 says, “And it shall come to pass at that time that I will….punish the men who are settled in complacency.” A. W. Tozer wrote, “Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people.” A good mentor can help you thrive.


Take the Next Steps a Day at a Time

John Maxwell recalls a friend challenging him to develop a personal growth plan. John invested in an audio course on personal development. After every tape he determined one item to immediately apply. He set a goal to read two books a month and make a monthly appointment with someone who could help him grow. Those decisions changed him forever.[1] Maxwell said, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”[2]


Perhaps you’ve been following Christ for months, years, or decades. You’ve learned a lot; but remember—there’s always more to learn. As Paul admonished, let’s define a thriving faith by doing as God has told us: “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11, NIV).


David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about Dr. Jeremiah or Turning Point, visit


[1] John Maxwell, Today Matters (New York: Warner Faith, 2004), 284-290.

[2] Ibid. 19.