March 3, 2019 - Inscriptions From The Heart
GROWING TOWARDS SPIRITUAL MATURITY
When I prayed to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour in 1976, I had no clue what spiritual maturity was all about. Back then, I thought our pastor who quoted Scripture verses and doctrinal stuff as if he was chewing gum, was my idea of "spiritually mature." The guy can take on anybody who would engage him in any theological discussion. I was convinced he could go toe-to-toe with anyone. I watched and listened to him with a quiet admiration. I also got bored. A lot of the stuff went over my head. I got lost in the details and I would zone off in daydream land. I didn't know him well enough to see if his "spiritual walk" matched his "spiritual talk".
Hey, don't get me wrong. Memorizing and understanding Scripture verses and mastering the major doctrines are all good. I'm just thankful that the process of being more like Jesus Christ in our character and lifestyle is a more down-to-earth picture of spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity is an on-going process. Getting into the habits of praying, systematically reading the Bible, getting into a small group and learning to live generously beginning with giving back to God His tithes and our offerings are at least tangible starting points with which to gauge one's progress towards becoming Christ-like.
If your world is like mine, it’s so easy to sink under the demands of work, family, friends, responsibilities and just keeping one foot in front of the other. God’s still small voice or His whispers come to us like a drop in the pond. If the pond is already disturbed by strong winds or stirred by storms above and from underneath, the droplet will go in unnoticed. Yet if the pond is still like glass, one small drop of water will send ripples and waves throughout the pond.
You and I need to be intentional about being quiet and still before God. In the 10th verse of the 46th Psalm, the Lord says, “Be still and know that I am God.” On the other hand, take Jesus’ words. They may very well soften a heart that has taken a beating:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I will show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)
Allow me to share this with you as well. “It is foolish to pray without The Bible, because through The Bible the Lord reveals Himself to us. God speaks to us through His Word and it is our responsibility to respond. Every now and again The Bible requires us to change our behaviour, our way of thinking and our prayers.” (Bennie Mostert, Change Your World Through Prayer)
If more followers of Jesus have the determination to grow spiritually, families and churches would have more impact in a spiritually dying and lost world. Don’t wait until you hit a rock bottom experience, start practicing the daily habits of praying and Scripture reading.