I have been struck over and over in my Bible reading lately just how serious God takes the spiritual growth of his children. God doesn’t just want more children, he wants wise and mature adult children.
From the moment we first accept Jesus as our savior, we begin our journey toward maturity. We must learn and grow from that point forward, never letting up.
Ephesians 4:14-15 states that God desires that we “…no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.”
Remaining spiritually superficial makes us easy prey for our Enemy and causes us to get tossed around by any trial or persecution that comes along. It’s like being a young tree with very shallow roots, easily blown over. This is not God’s desire for you and you are being disobedient to his commands.
True spiritual maturity is learning to walk in obedience to God’s Word. Continually conforming your life to the life of Jesus as taught in Scripture. This is a daily task and takes intentional, ongoing effort. This is the life of a true Christian.
We should never get to a point in our relationship with Christ when we feel completely satisfied. We shouldn’t get comfortable with our current routine of religious activities. If this is you, you likely have a serious problem on your hands. If we are growing in Christ we will be in a continual state of wanting more: more wisdom, more knowledge, more understanding of who Christ is and how that affects our lives.
If you are comfortable with how much Jesus you have in your life, if it is “just enough” then you have officially boxed him up and put him on a shelf. Stagnation has come and decay is soon to follow.
What does perfect maturity look like? Jesus. As we grow in faith, we will look more and more like Jesus. We will be doing what Jesus did: spreading the gospel, making disciples and teaching them to grow into maturity. Sound familiar? Look up Matthew 28:19 and 20, these are Jesus’ final instructions to his disciples.
Women, this is not an easy task and often it can be painful. As we mature we will push harder and harder against a world trying to shove us in the opposite direction. We must keep pushing! Press on and strain forward like instructed in Philippians chapter 3.
This may mean staying home to raise your children when the world is telling you to stop being lazy and get to work. This may mean selling everything you have and moving to Haiti to be a missionary instead of chasing the false idol of the “American dream”. This may mean beginning full time ministry work in your golden years instead of retiring to play golf and travel. It means being a true “living sacrifice”, Romans 12:1.
Paul demanded maturity in the churches he oversaw (see 1 Timothy and Titus) and prayed earnestly for it in believers. One example is found in Colossians 1:9-10, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
How often do you pray for your fellow Sisters in Christ to grow in spiritual maturity? I enCOURAGE you to start today. We need to spur one another on in this growth and hold each other accountable to what our life’s actions are displaying.