Guest Author: Robert Richardson | read more: AssemblyHub
Maturity is a concept that is essential to our lives. Not only is maturity vital in human development, but it’s a reality built into the fabric of the universe. We experience it in nature as we wait for plants to mature before harvesting them for food. Another example could be found in the financial world, as millions wait for their investments to “mature” to benefit from their full potential. We could explore many different examples of maturity, but there’s one instance that’s the most important of all: spiritual maturity.
What is Spiritual Maturity?
Let’s first start with the word “mature.” A quick Google search will lead to many definitions, but I want to quote two from the online Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Mature (adj): (1) Having completed natural growth and development; (2) having attained a final or desired state
When we speak of maturity, we describe something that has completed a phase of development that results in a final, desired state.
Now concerning spirituality, John 4:24 tells us that “God is Spirit,” and He has designed people with a spirit as well (Ecclesiastes 3:21). Humans are made for more than just a physical existence, because human existence transcends the physical. We are made for a purpose higher than ourselves, and this purpose is found in God. In Scripture, God is called the “Father of spirits” to whom all other spirits owe their existence and obedience (Hebrews 12:9).
Every human being is meant for perfect community with God and each other. Our path to God our Father is through Jesus (John 14:6), who died and rose so that we could be re-united to God.
Therefore, True Spirituality is found in being
united to God by faith in Jesus Christ.
Being spiritual is not an esoteric, subjective, self-defined journey. Being spiritual isn’t founded on meditation, self-discovery, or a universal connection, as some may teach. The starting point of spirituality is a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ (John 17:3). It is from this relationship that we grow in grace by loving God, loving people, and loving the world around us.
This means that spiritual maturity is the result of walking with God, and thus becoming more like Him. Jesus is the very image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), so to be “spiritual” is to be as Christ is. Romans 8:28 tells us this has been God’s plan before creation even began! He purposed that those who love Him, would be conformed to the image of his Son, so that we could share in His perfection and glory (John 17:21-23)!
The Call to Toward Spiritual Maturity
God’s purpose is to transform us into the people we are meant to be. We have a great promise that the One who started a good work in us will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Possibly the most famous illustration on spiritual maturity is the analogy of the “Fruit of the Spirit.” Basically, in the same way a mature, healthy tree bears fruit, Christ-followers are called to bear fruit, as we develop. Galatians 5:22-23 reads,
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
These are all qualities that our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated for us while on the earth.
Are these qualities that we are willing to pursue?
No matter what joys or sorrows you face, remember that God is for you, not against you. God uses our experiences to develop us and work out everything for our good (Romans 8:28).
If we are honest, we know our spiritual development is vital to our lives. In the same way that an adult is to cease acting childish, we are also called to cease remaining “infants” in our faith. The Lord urges us to leave the “elementary teaching about the Christ (and) press on to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1). That is why great leaders in the faith, such as the apostle Paul (and countless others), looked at their trials as paradoxical blessings (James 1:2-4). It was an opportunity to be divinely transformed, by practicing the fruits of the Spirit in all circumstances – good or bad.
Our responsibility as believers is to
take every opportunity to mature.
Thankfully, the Lord has not left us alone. God Himself strengthens us to do this, so let’s work out the salvation He’s given to us (Philippians 2:12).
We aren’t saved simply for our own comfort.
We are saved so that we can know God, and become like Him.
God doesn’t merely see you as you are. He sees you as what you will become. He is committed to our perfection – our spiritual maturity. So let’s continue to press on.