“ I have written to you who are God’s children because you know the Father. I have written to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I have written to you who are young in the faith because you are strong. God’s word lives in your hearts, and you have won your battle with the evil one.“– 1 John 2:14.
As Christians, we recognize that maturity is the goal of discipleship. While that is the stated goal, reaching the goal is not all that easy. Working toward the goal inevitably surfaces our shortcomings, in essence, our immaturity. So how do we grow in maturity to become the person we want to be in 5 years?
In the 1 John passage above, John says “you are strong, and the word of God abides in you.” In that line John revealed one of the secrets to spiritual growth: the Word of God abiding in him. There are numerous things that can and do prevent maturity because they divert the attention of the believer from the very thing that will bring it about; knowledge of the word of God. I am not talking only about Bible study. That in and of itself is not enough. In the 1st John passage, John says, ”God’s word lives.” It is deeper than reading the word. Maturity is where the word takes hold of us. It “lives”, it penetrates the heart and controls the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12)
The prophet Jeremiah understood the importance of making God’s Word part of his life by digesting and assimilating every morsel. “When I discovered your words, I devoured them.They are my joy and my heart’s delight…” (Jeremiah 15:16). Peter writes, “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment.” (2 Peter 2:2). The spiritual milk that Peter is talking about is God’s word. And the more we feed on it, the more we will grow.
So how can we get the Word of God more involved in our lives? There are many ways to do this and all of us should be involved in more than one: Quiet time (Just a few minutes each day in the Word and prayer can help us make that personal connection with God), Bible reading, Bible study, and attending a church where you will hear the word preached.
When we became Christians, it wasn’t the end, but the beginning of God’s work in us. As a result, our constant goal should be to grow more into the plans and purposes God has for us. There are always new levels of faith, and growth that can help us mature in our relationship with God. The goal is to reach new levels over the next five years.
- If your goal is to grow spiritually over the next five years, where do you start?
- Where do you want to be spiritually in 5 years?