Monday, December 4, 2017

Time To Grow

Time to grow up

I’m still crawling along at a snail’s pace as far spiritual maturity goes. Everyday, I look in the mirror to see the subtle changes of aging – only to realize that my maturity level is not catching up with that mirrored image.  You would think we would learn from our mistakes and immaturity. One would think that the little slips of the tongue would help us live with tongue in cheek. Sometimes the tongue behaves like it is still frozen from being at the dentist. When it is frozen you can bite your tongue right off and not even feel it. However, like in life, when the freezing comes out and the damage is done, it is hard to sew your tongue back on. Often times the hurt and damage is done and the dentist and care providers have left the building, leaving you to wipe up your own saliva.

We have heard the sermons. We know how and what we are supposed to do as Christians. Speaking for myself, I always fall short. My human efforts are not enough. Many days I seem to say something I should not say. Sometimes I make a judgement I should not make. Often I realize this, too late. When that happens it always seems to lead me back to repentance. That being said, I believe the first step would be: getting on my face and praying, seeking God with all my heart, soul and mind. That being said, knowing and behaving are two different things. There is a long distance from the head to the heart.

I just watched a video last night called “More than Dreams”. It was about five people at a crossroads in life – crying with all their heart for a deeper understanding of God. It is said that in every person’s heart there exists a void only God can fill. For these five Muslims their cry to God brought them new discovery and a relationship with Christ Jesus. They found the truth they were seeking to find. They discovered more than superstition… more than magic… more than ritual… more than religion… more than dreams… They discovered Jesus. Their lives were radically transformed. God can change  all of our lives. I couldn’t help but notice that within each person’s story, they had one thing in common. They each had a desperate desire for God and His truth. Desperate seeking of God, is the best place to start in our pursuit of Spiritual Maturity. Start on our knees before the God of the Universe. Allow His transforming power to work. He is the heart transformer. He can change a heart full of hatred, jealousy, anger, addiction, pain, judgment, depression into a heart of Christ-like love and Spiritual Maturity. When we receive Jesus in the truest sense – it is like being born again. Being changed to a new creation. God becomes the rudder of our ship. We will not go anywhere if don’t get on board, all the way. We can’t have one foot on the dock and one foot in the boat.

It struck me – a lightbulb moment as I watched that DVD. It occurred to me that I seem to want to protect certain areas of my heart; fill that void with other things or people, rather than give all my heart to the Lord to fill. No wonder I struggle with Spiritual maturity. After examining my own heart, I repented, prayed and ask Jesus to fill that area of my heart that I had not given over to him. I know that has to be my constant prayer. It is a life long process.

Maybe you have a void in your heart and you feel that desperation, but you don’t know what to do with it? Think about what Jesus did on the cross and ask Him to fill that void in your heart.
Did you know that it is God’s will that every person become spiritually mature? It’s true!
God wants us all to grow to spiritual maturity. Paul scolds the Corinthian church for their lack of maturity. He treats them as if they are babes in Christ. One scripture verse comes to mind.

”I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh.  For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?”(1 Corinthians 3:2-3)

Some of us have been following Jesus for years and it is easy to slip away from what we know to be right and true. Like looking in the mirror and the moment we look away forget what we look like. Or we don't want to face the mirror of change. Reality is that we need positive change to grow and mature. That is why they say that we become wiser with age. Life's experiences teach us much. Or at least they should. 

I think of my grandchildren and how much they have grown in the last year. From a baby and eating breast milk to now eating more solid food. That one little verse teaches us that it is the same for us spiritually speaking. Often we stay on a diet of little spiritual nourishment. Satisfied with the basic messages of God's Word. Maybe a verse we memorized when we were a child. Or we may have said a little prayer to accept Christ Jesus as our Saviour at one point in time, but have not grown in that relationship with him. We are still like babes satisfied with the milk. 

It is so familiar to me, that place where we often get stuck in life, spinning our wheels so to speak. The bowl of baby food gets empty and we don't replenish it with Spiritual food. The only kind of food that will grow us. The bread of Life. I believe there comes a time in each person's life to think about God as these people in the video did. Often we wait until a crisis happens in our lives and in our desperate cry we call out to a God we hope will hear us. He hears. He waits. He loves. It does not have to take a plea of desperation to bring us to our knees. How much better it is to look in that mirror and take an inventory of our life and seek the one who came to save us so that we may have life eternal. 

Christmas time is approaching. It is a great time when our hearts are warmed and the best of all of us seems to generously exude from us, even people like the Grinch. It a time such as this, to unwrap the greatest gift ever given. That gift is God the Son, our Saviour who emptied Himself of all His power and came to earth as a baby, to one day take our sins upon Himself on a cross.  Let's seek God and find Him in our quest for maturity.

Yesterday I saw a little 2 year old boy sing, "Holy Holy, Holy is God Almighty" It melted my heart as he closed his eyes to pray. A babe in Christ, yet so much older in His spiritual maturity than many adults. Praise be to God.