Friday, March 14, 2014

Lent: Day Ten ~ Spiritual Maturity

Prov. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Spiritual Maturity

Well they were new words tossed out at us one Sunday, Spiritual Maturity. What did it mean? To be mature in your Christian journey?

I spoke the other day about being Born Again, and it is just that, you are reborn, your eyes see differently the new world surrounding you. Like a babe in a bassinet, your hands are curled in a tight grip, as you look around you, you see the world in a mobile; a newly spinning environment.

Does being born again mean you just one day wake up and become sinless? No, we are all sinners, even the ones who walk with Christ, our road has as much rubble and thorns as anyone else, we just handle the road a little differently. Like babes in a crib our beginning is being wrapped in love, we are pacified of all the dangers lurking, but they’re there nonetheless.

In my case I was walked through a dark valley with surrounding hills shadowing me. I had no one that supported my new ‘born again’ status but Jesus knew and every step I took He was there on the sidelines cheering me on, or sparing a shoulder to cry on, or carrying me along the sandy shores.

There was a river flowing right through the center of the valley with sandy beaches leading to the water, it became my living water, just as the bible says. I was no longer a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes; I was a toddler getting into everything I could. Climbing stairs where I knew danger lurked. Opening cabinets full of poison. Touching fire and getting burned.

As my adolescent years of being born again were full of mischievous iniquity, I pursued everything that I knew I shouldn’t have. Climbing in dark tunnels, trudging up the side of tree lined hills, only to be knocked down to the waters edge. Always the water, the cleansing healing water.

I waded in the water for a bit feeling the spiritual cleansing on my soul. I was growing but was not fully mature yet so my path, lined with stone, made the footing that much harder to walk on.

Job 19:8 He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.

I could see the path up ahead. It was getting greener and greener and grass was lining the walkway. Church was calling to me but I had to endure more rubble in my road first. Some really big boulders blocked my path and it was up to me to move them out of the way, climb over them, or allow them to hinder my goal of finding a pasture filled with wildflowers and sheep.

Even in my darkened days, there was a Light shining as bright as the morning star, warming my body and filling me with hope that there was a pasture, waiting just for me up ahead.

I think I was on my thirty seventh mile of walking barefoot that I saw it, singing out to me and calling like a bird in a tree, it sang a beautiful melody and moved me on to maturity I had never known.

I was now feeling a Spiritual Maturity wrapping around me. I was clothed, I had shoes now that made the path more bearable. Had I reached my destination? No, not yet. More walking but now my hand was full of seeds. I scattered the seeds along the path so anyone coming behind me on their path would see, see the beauty that they know is up ahead.

When they say the grass is always greener on the other side, they weren’t kidding. I saw a lush pasture; every blade of grass had its own song that sung in the morning dew. Filled with wildflowers the song became an orchestra of melody that chimed from the ground and kissed the sky good morning.

Day after day this song in the field lightened the walk. I saw sheep gathered on the hill grazing, talking about the beauty that lay in this pasture. A layer of wool adorned the hill, but lo, behold, a wolf, looking very much like a sheep, lashed out; snarling with teeth exposed, he was moving in for the kill.  I sprinted forward to put some kind of fear into the wolf and keep the sheep safe, protected in this beautiful land.


That’s what fills the air when hatred seeps in among the well-fed sheep. He looked like all the others and that is why the sheep didn’t fear him, but the closer he got to them, the lure of his instinctive wiles made him out to be just what he was, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

To protect the sheep, I knew I’d need a staff, to help me guide them to safety. With a rod in my right hand, the Word in my left, clothed in beautiful raiment and sandals that sometimes allowed my toes to feel the grass, I was mature enough to know my place in the valley. I was now at the new heights of… Spiritual Maturity.

Pss. 25:10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

God’s Promise:
Isa. 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

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