She’s very spiritually mature, but in her life, not so much.
These words, spoken by a dear friend as she shared a recent experience, fell with a thud into my heart. I found myself aching with the Father’s heart.
If spiritual maturity is not expressed in your natural reality, it is not spiritual maturity.
This is hard to hear, but wisdom offers us the kind invitation to bring our tangible into the eternal. Otherwise we are double-minded and unstable, because our words give testimony to something that our reality denies.
It is good for us to take a moment together and examine: the Father I give my words to—does He really have permission to be Himself in my life?
If you really believe what you say you do, it will bear fruit.
False maturity is easy to learn by observing, like all behaviors. Additionally, we can accidentally mislead those coming behind us, because they trust our example as a good one. Our lives either point to the standard of Jesus, or offer excuses for falling short of it.
This is the call of sonship in the kingdom: follow me as I follow Christ. When Jesus said to pick up our cross, it was a very sobering invitation to become very aware that our lives will affect those around us. Everything truly matters. Everything. All of it.
- We cannot value the kingdom and neglect to financially sow into it. If we have money for excursions and cable but not for the Father’s work, it is possible our finances are by flesh, and not by Spirit.
- We cannot truly honor our fathers and mothers and neglect the batons they hand us. If they are still consistently doing for us the things we have been equipped to do for ourselves, we are displaying entitled laziness and are dishonoring their seed in us.
- We cannot believe our identity and neglect work. Those consumed by the Father’s heart are consistently discovered to be in faithful, creative motion. This is not only the work of ministry, but also the industrious labor that produces income, employment and livelihood for ourselves and others.
- We cannot expect abundance and increase if we are not treating the things we already have with value. If we have been given a small portion, and it is in disrepair, immaturity is giving evidence that you cannot handle a little, much less a kingdom. What you do have, take care of it. It is all His already—are you proving your maturity in excellent stewardship of what you have been trusted with already?
- We cannot value unity and family if we are neglecting the one at home. Your spouse—are you giving them your heart as frequently, tenderly and transparently as you offer it to us? Do you extend forgiveness and compassion easily to the ones you do life with? Do you take the time to hear them, or is your family time predominantly centered around the television or a cramped calendar?
Let us be willing to look inside and allow true spirituality to produce lives that are fully interwoven with the Father’s standard. Let’s not stop short, content with a smokescreen spirituality that leaves us a desert reality. Let’s not close off any part of life to real Life—let it be alive and growing and bearing fruit.
…Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me… (Phil 3:12)
So that every part of who we are gives testimony to His grace-filled reality.