Spiritual Maturity

Most of us have been there. Pushed to the edge of our ability to cope, emotionally and physically exhausted, and feeling overwhelmed from the pressure, we lose our cool and lash out. Or perhaps we just grow frustrated and impatient with the process. However, the self-control, perspective, and peace that spiritual maturity offer grow us beyond even these feelings when life is not going our way. David wrote many psalms where he acknowledged being overwhelmed, frustrated, impatient, and exhausted, though gradually turning to his faith to address these negative feelings. However, despite circumstances that mirrored many of his earlier challenging situations, in Psalm 63 David responded with positivity and faith from the very first line of the psalm. Written during his self-imposed exile following Absalom’s palace coup, David expressed a peace that many people long for in life but few find. And it demonstrates just how much David had grown spiritually throughout his life. Therefore, when we can develop the same spiritual perspective, we can handle anything that Satan sends our way.

Spiritual maturity begins with making God your priority. In everything. All the time. Learn to long for God and a deeper relationship with Him. It is when you know how much you need Him not only in times of trouble but also in times of plenty that you begin to appreciate Him properly. This is when we truly draw near to God (Jas. 4:8) and begin to think of Him as “my God” (Psa. 63:1-2). Spiritual maturity is content with the spiritual (Phil. 4:11). When you truly see the depth of God’s love, expressed in so many ways, as greater not only than anything in this life, but even “better than life” itself, then your relationship with Him and responding with love for Him takes on personal meaning and personal importance (Psa. 63:3-5). The spiritually mature meditate on God. They can spend hours counting up all the ways God has cared for them and blessed them. They do not doubt God is there to help because they have come to understand God so well (Psa. 63:6-8). The more you mature spiritually, the less concerned you become about what will happen to you in this life and what will happen in the world around you, including those set on evil, because you trust God’s justice to govern the world and to care for your soul (Psa. 63:9-10). Following this path, spiritual maturity leads you to find joy in God and have confidence that everything will turn out right in the end (Psa. 63:11).

Spiritual maturity manifests itself in many ways. It will exhibit itself in consistent and heartfelt worship (Jn. 4:23-24), in dedicated and sincere service (Rom. 12:1), and in passionate morality and holiness (Eph. 4:17-24). Such maturity will hold itself far away from the works of the flesh and cling to the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:19-24). Without a doubt, love for God and for others will dominate the heart, life, and motivation of the spiritually mature (Matt. 22:37-40). However, the true test of maturity in one’s spirituality comes when conflict, pressure, and even pain confront the spiritual heart to provoke a response. Thus, our goal in maturing spiritually must center on handling a crisis in the world well—not sitting amongst the saints contentedly. Jesus displayed spiritual maturity in many ways throughout His life, but nowhere was it tested as it was when He was beaten, humiliated, and crucified. The love shown on the cross is the height of spiritual maturity, and it is this to which we should all aspire.

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