We long for a deeper relationship with God and to grow spiritually. In her book, Stages of The Soul, Nancy Kane helps us to understand and identify five stages of spiritual growth.
In a most encouraging and gentle way, the author defines and understanding to the way we grow and how God grows us in each stage of our relationship:
Stage One: Our First Love. This stage is explained as “the encounter with God’s perfect love in Jesus Christ”. This is where we are invited to a “radical change of mind, heart, body, and soul”.
Stage Two: Obedient Love. In this stage, our souls are formed by the learning of biblical truths and the practice of life with other believers.
Stage Three: Persevering Love. Here we learn to grow as we persevere through painful circumstances which develop a deeper intimacy with God.
Stage Four: Sacrificial Love. Moving into this stage, we find ourselves more aware of our own spiritual state and therefore enabled by God’s love to extend His compassion, grace, and mercy to others.
Stage Five: Intimate Love. In this stage, we find ourselves desiring nothing more than to dwell with Christ, and a willingness to lay down our lives for His purposes.
The author explains each stage so that each stage builds on the one before. She takes you on a journey which develops an eagerness to begin to develop a daily pattern of prayer and spiritual practices.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is:
“He [Jesus] calls us, on increasing levels, to the renewing of our hearts through His Word and presence. Our lives are Emmaus-road journeys; God walks along with us, making sense of our pain and bringing hope to our questions, as He did in the encounter recorded in the gospels of Luke and Mark. He continues to speak to us and direct us as He did His followers after His resurrection.”
(from page 49)
The book has many modern and classic quotes which brought a richness and a depth of understanding to each stage. This is a book for everyone wherever you may be on your spiritual journey.
*I am most grateful to Moody Publishers for providing a copy.