Sunday, July 29, 2012

Spiritual Maturity

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14 NIV

What does it mean to be spiritually mature? Does it mean that you no longer make any mistakes? Does it mean that you always think, feel and do the right thing at all times? In other words, does it mean that you are already blameless and faultless? Hardly. For Paul, spiritual maturity is all about direction. He presses on toward the goal. He has not yet arrived. In other words, he knows he is not yet perfect. He knows he still struggles with sin and temptation. He also knows that he has experienced some victories. Perhaps even many of them in his lifetime. But he doesn't focus on them, either on his defeats or on his victories. He presses on toward the goal. His movement is forward, not backward. He doesn't make a big deal about his failures in the past. He knows that by God's grace and through Christ Jesus he is forgiven and accepted. That is already resolved in his heart. Concerning victories, he does not boast about them, for he knows it is only by grace that he is able to overcome. So instead of worrying about the past or bragging about his accomplishments, he focuses on his direction toward the future. He presses on toward the goal to win the prize to which God has called him heavenward in Christ Jesus. He may not know everything -- whether past, present or future -- but he knows Jesus. His eyes are set on His Savior and Lord. That is his direction. So are you spiritually mature? Have you resolved it in your heart not to focus on your defeats or victories but on Christ Jesus? What is your direction right now? Are you moving back? Are you standing still? Or are you moving forward toward the goal of Christ Jesus in your life? His purpose is for you to finish your race, to fight the good fight, and to glorify Him now and forever. Stay focused on the goal, on the finish line, not on the cracks on the road or on the beautiful scenery around you. Glance at them once in a while maybe, but don't stay focused on them. They are not your goals. Jesus is your goal. He has called you heavenward toward Himself. Move toward Him constantly. That is what spiritual maturity is all about.

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