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Maturity in Christ
by Steve Countryman
6/01/2011 / Christian Living
Hebrews 6: 1-3 1Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so. Ephesians 4:13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. James 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything Maturity in Christ is God's expectation of us!
I used to think about Hebrews 6: 1-3 and wonder what it would be like to rise up to that level as an immature Christian and allow the Holy Spirit to work through me that way. Then I would realize that being that immature in Christ is still far from being mature in Christ. That's when the natural view would interfere with the spiritual view. We, His children, have so far yet to go to become immature in Christ that being mature in Christ seems obtainable only after reaching heaven. Becoming mature in Christ seems to be impossible here on earth. That is when it hit me. I was only seeing the goal of maturity in Christ in the natural as an obtainable thing to be reached on my own if it were possible. And if reaching heaven was the only way to be mature in Christ why did God mentioned it in the Bible as obtainable while we are still alive? The truth is that it is impossible to obtain on your own but totally possible with God.
Maturity is always associated with growing up, with living and learning. Maturity comes with responsibility and accountability for ones self and ones actions/decisions. I have found that our heavenly Father is a caring and giving God who always makes a way for His kids and wants to see His kids grow. Just as salvation is a gift of unmerited favor so are the gifts of the Holy Spirit and all spiritual blessings that God makes available to us. Maturing in Christ is a growth process that has its requirements. We can't get there on our own because if that were so then that means that it was achievable without God or His help and we didn't need God to obtain maturity in Christ. How totally wrong! A religious spirit will tell you that if you will "jump through enough hoops" it will be yours. Then you can brag to others of being super spiritual instead of living with the reality of being self-deceived.
Maturing in Christ is not something that is earned, or bought, traded for, schemed to get or stolen to obtain. It is based on three basic things that are tied together that God requires from us all: willingness, obedience and faith. Willingness to submit and commit ALL things to Christ. All means all! All your problems, hang-ups, troubles, cares, worries, possessions, hatred, un-forgiveness, your past failures, all of your flaws and faults, relationships, sicknesses, diseases, physical problems, emotional problems, relational problems, your past hurts and pains, family members, loved ones, friends, jobs, stocks and all finances. Everything submitted to God. It means your willingness to allow God to be God in your daily life not just on Sundays or a couple days a year. Your willingness to be teachable, a good listener, a Bible studying addict, a disciple of Christ and be Christ like. Willing to receive and utilize the gifts of the Holy Spirit as you step out in courage and boldness. Willingness to have an intimate close walk/relationship with Jesus daily that brings habitation instead of just visitation. Willing to allow God to use you everywhere you go. The willingness needed to be obedient and faithful to God and His Word.
To be obedient to God, responsive to His voice, to His calling in your life, to God's ways, to stay on God's path and to God's Word. To be obedient in your dedication and commitment to God. To think, act and live a life worthy of your calling. To be obedient even when you don't feel like it. To make the righteous decisions. To seek God's counsel daily. Obedience without hesitation or procrastination. Delayed obedience is disobedience! Obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Obedience in your willingness and faithfulness to God.
To have faith and believe in God. To have faith in God's Word and in His promises. To have faith in God's power, might, wisdom and His abilities. To have faith and trust in God's judgment as to what is best for you not what is good for now. Faith in God's love and mercy. Faith in God's awesome love for you and God's powerful faith in you and what God can do through you. Faith that removes ALL fears and doubt. Faith the size of a mustard seed that can move mountains. Such trust in God that you know that your future is totally secured and that your every need has been already provided for even before you ask. Faith in God's prosperity and great plans for your life. Faith in the destiny that God has already laid out for you to complete. God's faithfulness is made complete in His faith in us. John 11:40 "Did I not tell you that if you believed, that you would see the glory of God?" daily! Faith that enables your willingness and obedience to mature in Christ.
I had a vision that was of a glass elevator that was along the outside edge of a very, very tall building. It started in the subbasement about five floors below ground level and shot up through the clouds. The elevator of salvation required your decision to step into and accept Jesus Christ as your savior. The elevator, the Holy Spirit, would take you to the floor of your choice. This elevator only went up and the only way to go down was when you choose to sin off of the elevator. You then had to step back on board in repentance. There is no view in the subbasement floors just darkness outside. The darkness forces a view of oneself ignoring the outside world. This is where the willingness on your part to submit and "let go and let God" starts. Then choosing your next floor becomes easier. Once you make it to the ground floor your view really improves. Now you see the world from a different perspective in bright sunlight instead of seeing it only as it pertains to you and your immediate needs and wants of the subbasement levels. God's plan is for you to go higher in God. To get a heavenly perspective that is closer to God's view. Each floor along the way equals growth in wisdom, revelation, knowledge and understanding as the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus more clearly to you.
The Holy Spirit reveals those hidden things of God in scripture that have always been there but always overlooked. Each floor also represents a newer and higher level of expectation you now have in Christ. As you go and grow higher in the elevator the more mature you become in Christ. Past the floors that contain the milk of the Word and onto the floors that has the meat of the Word. Reaching the floors above the clouds your view is now one of the bigger picture and of God's view of the moving of His Holy Spirit over the entire world. Your focus in now that of the world view from heaven instead of the narrow view of just your world and neighborhood. To reach full maturity in Christ!
Living in the last days has brought a sharper end-times picture to mind. That the outpouring of God's Holy Spirit on all flesh is bigger and more powerful than we could have ever imagined. It means that to those of us His children who are willing, obedient and faithful will be transformed into the mature sons and daughters in Christ. Things are moving and changing at a faster rate everyday. We are being transformed daily by the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we are willing, obedient and faithful to God and His Word. John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. In the Bible weakness in ones life represents a lacking. God is made strong in our weaknesses. Maturity in Christ is that we "lack for nothing". So to be mature in Christ is that God is made strong in those areas that we are lacking in. Have you submitted ALL of your weak areas over to Christ yet?
Don't miss out on God and His plans for you. God chose you for a time and place such as this. To fulfill your destiny that God predestined for you to complete. To be the impactful, mighty man or woman of God who influences your surroundings and those around you everywhere you go. Who allows Christ to shine brightly through you as you reflect God's love and mercy to others. Who walks with boldness, courage, confidence in Christ and His Word because of the your daily walk. Who allows the moving and leading of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct your paths, thoughts and direction. Who is totally dedicated and committed to the kingdom and the cause of Christ. Someone who perseveres in prayer and will not give up, give in, compromise, dilute, ignore, overlook, be politically correct, be a man pleasers or accept the lies of Satan. But to be called the sons and daughters of the Most High God who will stand upright, stand firm, stand in the gap, stand on God's truths, stand on God's Word, promises, principles, and commands. It is time to stand in the maturity in Christ!
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