Spiritual Maturity: Dying to Grow Up
When we are born again we are delivered from the kingdom of darkness and admitted to YHVH’s kingdom through His grace (Col 1:13). We do not gain entry into either the physical world or YHVH’s kingdom through our own efforts. We do not choose to be born physically, but we do choose to be born spiritually (Rom. 10:9-10). Just as we were infants after our physical birth, we are spiritual infants after being born again (1 Cor 3:1-5).
When human babies are born in the flesh, they are aware only of their own needs for food and bodily comfort. Spiritual infants are much the same. As spiritual infants, we can handle only spiritual milk and are mostly concerned with our own needs and wants. At this point, we are taking from our Father in heaven and from our brothers and sisters in Yeshua. We are more concerned with ourselves than with our Father’s will or with others’ needs. This is perhaps a necessary phase for our development, but it should not be a permanent condition. In order to truly live, we must die to self.
At some point we must learn to stand on our own and progressively assume more responsibility in the kingdom (Eph 4:14). As we mature, we think less of satisfying our own needs and more of serving others. We take responsibility for our learning by deliberately choosing to spend time in prayer and Scripture. We learn to rely less on the help and prayers of others for every little thing and spend more time interacting with our Father. As our relationship with Father grows, our trust in Him also grows.
As we mature, we notice the work that needs to be done in the kingdom in order to grow and maintain it. We reach out to those not yet in the kingdom, encouraging them to seek admittance into YHVH’s kingdom (Mark 16:15). Our capacity to love and forgive others increases (Col 3:12-14). With the help of the Holy Spirit, we rid ourselves of all influences from the kingdom of darkness and seek to become more like Yeshua, Who is our perfect example (Eph 4:13).
As our spiritual wisdom increases, we realize that Abba has a master plan for building His kingdom. We no longer take it upon ourselves to volunteer for every project that comes along, but we diligently seek what He has planned for us to do (Ps 143:10). We understand that if we fail to perform our assigned task, but instead choose the tasks assigned for others, then we do more harm than good (1 John 5:3). When we follow His plan for our lives, we have far more abundance of all that we would have sought on our own (2 Cor 9:8).
We are called to develop and mature into spiritual adults in the kingdom just as we are expected to grow to adulthood and accountability in the physical world. It takes time and effort on our part and the process is painful at times just as it is in our physical lives. We will be amply rewarded for our faithfulness.