Spiritual Maturity – Definition
As co-laborers in the Lord’s vineyard, one important question we must ask ourselves daily as we advance in the Christian race is this: “Are we progressing spiritually as individuals and as the body of Christ or are we comfortable with status quo?”
Spiritual Maturity is that stage in the life of a believer where our lives reflect the true image of Christ; ‘fruit of the Spirit’. It is not attained when we merely confess Jesus as Lord over our lives. This is rather a deliberate process of growth that begins when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and continues as we submit daily to the Holy Spirit. This kind of maturity must be a priority for us and not just an after-thought. In a world where we are hit with ungodliness and profanity everywhere we turn, it is important that we seek earnestly to grow in our spiritual life; otherwise, we risk falling back into sin.
Spiritual Maturity – Importance
Growing spiritually is the most important dimension for growth when it comes to the triune nature of man; spirit, soul, and body. Physical and Intellectual growth is important to the wellbeing of man. This is because your essence is your spirit, which should not be neglected.
Another reason is that we worship God in Spirit. We ought to be willing to truly give up ourselves [offering our desires, possessions… as a living sacrifice] and follow Him. Ignoring this will not only displease God but may also cause others to turn away from God. Apostle Paul understood the need for this kind of maturity. In his letters, he took time explaining its importance and how to grow. His letters showed that spiritual maturity is a continuous process of growth; pressing on against all odds even in times when you do not feel like doing so. We grow to a point where our feelings do not matter more than honoring God.
The Holy Spirit dwells in us, yearning to teach us and direct us everyday. It is the Holy Spirit that helps us walk in the Truth of God’s Word so that we may be true examples of Christ. You on the other hand, have to reach out and lay hold of this treasure by yourself, exhibiting it in your actions even as the He works within you.
Growing into Spiritual Maturity
The evidence of spiritual maturity shows forth in the way we live and relate with people. The fruit of the Spirit, Love is such an easy word to say yet it is rare to find in the life of Believers. We have been given a command to love those who are around us, strangers or not. How can we say we love a God that we do not see when we are unable to love the ones around us? To love is a command. I know it is not an easy thing to do as I have at some point in my life struggled with loving people especially when it came to the area of helping strangers. This is why the Holy Spirit is there to train us and teach us how to love. Love ought to be the foundation of everything we do. Christ set the pace by dying for us as an act of love.
Attaining such height of spiritual maturity requires a lot of discipline. We have to learn to be obedient to the leadings of the Holy Spirit at all times whether the situation feels deserving or not. The tools which will help us grow spiritually are:
Studying the Word:
Paul advised us strongly not to neglect this Word of Truth. We ought to study to show ourselves approved, workmen rightly dividing the Word of Truth. You cannot grow if we do not study.
Meditating on the Word:
For Spiritual maturity, you need to be able to dwell in the presence of the Lord in spite of your busy schedule. In the place of meditation, the Holy Spirit leads you deeper into comforting truths that you were unaware of. Spend time daily doing this. Instead of thinking about all the negatives in our lives, choose to meditate on the Word of God [Phil 4:8].
Prayer is something that we have over-familiarized ourselves with and taken for granted. It can become a whole new experience for you when you let the Holy Spirit brood over your prayer life. Once a day prayer is not going to cut it this time. You have to pray without ceasing; staying in constant communion with God even while going about your daily activities.
Fasting is also another way of disciplining yourself spiritually. It could be a social media fast, Tv fast, the regular food abstinence fast we are used to or any other form of fasting.
Every one of these tools are important and must not be neglected. The process is not an easy one but we must every day yield ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He will lead us to attain greater heights of spiritual maturity beyond imagination.
In conclusion, it is worthy to note that Spiritual Maturity is not in the excellence of our speech nor our knowledge of God’s Word. It is not in the number of hours we spend praying and fasting but in the life we live every day.
More on Women in Ministry here