by Tylos Jackson | March 2, 2018In Hebrews chapter 5 the author encourages the saints by writing that spiritual maturity is a path that only those that truly love God will surrender their lives to endure. 'Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared (Hebrews 5:7-8)
Contrary to popular opinion that maturity, spiritual maturity, doesn't come through church attendance, bible schools, seminars, conferences, and various other biblical educational ventures. Some people within the body of Christ have mistakenly believed that Biblical knowledge equates to maturity. It is true that one cannot be mature without knowledge of God's word, yet without spiritual wisdom to apply the truth of God's word, and the character to continue to practice Godly principle during stressful times we often missed the mark to achieve spiritual maturity.
How many times have we've been through challenging times and aborted our mission because it was hard work to continue pushing forward. Some of us didn't go back to school and finish our four year Bachelor's degree because we weren't mature enough to deny ourselves making money and pursuing our lives goals until we finished college. It wasn't that we weren't capable to attain a degree because some of us went back and finished school while married, with children, and maintaining a full-time job. Yet during our late teens and early twenties we felt that we weren't ready, or more correctly, didn't want to tighten our schedule and complete our college education. Actually it was lack of maturity, in some cases, not wanting delayed gratification, in other cases feeling tired of studying and doing exams, so we went on doing what we wanted to do until realization of truth hit us squarely between the eyes.
Eventually, some of us conceded that education was important and that it would unlock some financial opportunities that would otherwise be outside of our reach. As a result of that decision to apply the knowledge (wisdom) and a determined mind to not give up we earned our four-year degree and in some case continue to earn a Masters Degree. All because we allowed the application of knowledge mixed with pure determination to be our sail and rudder to navigate us through certain academic rough waters.
Likewise, when we are believers in Jesus our course towards maturity takes similar emotional, psychological, spiritual paths. We must buy into the truth that God's Word is a non-negotiable necessity for our lives, so possessing it and making sure that it is learned is crucial. Yet our trek is not complete toward spiritual maturity; while learning biblical principles there must be an unshakable determination to allow the tenets of the faith to change our lives. Change is hard and we can deceive ourselves that change has taken place by incorporating a pseudo-maturity by filling our life up with spiritual activities, but spiritual activities doesn't mean change. It’s the old adage, of just because you go in a garage doesn't mean that you're a car, likewise just because you engage yourself with spiritual activities doesn't mean that maturity has taken place in your life.
I find that when maturity is truly measurable it’s when there are other principles other than Jesus commands that we desire to do and nevertheless we obey God's word. When obeying Jesus’ commands cause for us to suffer and endure pain this is a true measurement of spiritual maturity. Jesus epitomize this principle when He said, nevertheless not my will but thy will be done. When we are determine to obey God no matter if doing so will inconvenience our life.