The Road To Spiritual Maturity
Updated: May 24, 2020
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
My 15-year-old son recently got his learner’s permit. Although this new milestone is scary, I have to admit I am thrilled that we will soon have another driver in the family. Ethan plays the drums in the high school marching band. This has been fun for him as well as our family, however, it involves a lot of time, including some very early mornings and late nights. There were many moments last year as I sat in the high school parking lot, at an hour I typically like to be home in my pajamas when I would think, “Please Lord, let him be driving by marching season next fall.” I anxiously await the day he is standing before me proudly holding his brand-new license after he has proven to the DMV (and his parents) that he is a safe and responsible driver. Sadly, however, this will not happen magically overnight. It is going to take time, effort, practice and patience, on the part of Ethan, as well as, my husband and myself.
Our road to spiritual maturity is no different. I have this vision of the mature Christian woman I want to be….wise, full of faith, trusting God’s plan, loving others the way Jesus did, yet I find myself falling short of this vision. Our spiritual maturity is a never-ending journey. As long as we are here on this earth there will always be opportunities for God to teach us and grow our faith. If I want to mature in my faith, I need to be intentional about it. Just like Ethan learning to drive, I need to be willing to put the time in, to deepen my relationship with God. This involves reading the Bible, learning from Christian leaders and mentors, and spending quiet time in prayer. There will be bumps in our road to spiritual maturity. Trusting God and leaning on Jesus during times of trial in our life strengthens our faith and develops our maturity. This is why Paul tells us to “rejoice when we run into problems and trials.” (Easier said than done!) James reminds of this as well.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4 NIV
In the Book of Hebrews, the Christians are called out for their lack of spiritual growth.
You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.
Hebrews 5:12-14 NLT
We see in this verse that as we grow in our maturity, we are better able to discern what is right and wrong as well be in a place to help teach and guide others. Just like an infant does not go directly from drinking milk to eating steak, our spiritual maturity is a building process. When we learn basic truths and put them into practice, we become ready for the next step in our walk with Christ. God will continue to reveal more to us as we show we are ready. I know there have been seasons of life where my faith walk was stagnant for too long. I ate rice cereal for years when God had a delicious buffet waiting for me. Where ever we are at in our walk, the challenge is to continually move toward spiritual maturity, embracing the bumps in the road that give us perseverance, and incorporating what we’ve learned into our lives, which in turn expands our knowledge of God and understanding of His Word.