Many never reach spiritual maturity because they don’t realize there’s something to reach for beyond the salvation experience. Christ is our example of obedience and maturity. He knew His purpose—to do the will of His Father. He knew why He was “sent” to earth, and why He was born of a woman. He also understood that His time on earth would be limited. Since Jesus came with His purpose already set before Him, He understood the importance of time management, setting priorities (what He was called to do, and what He was not), spending time with His Father for strength and encouragement, and how to make disciples.
Jesus never became part of the world, for He knew His real home was with His Father in Heaven. Earth was merely a place He was passing through. He was given a job to do—to redeem mankind back to His Father, and at the end of that job He said, “It is finished.” He did not work in His own strength, on His own accord, by His own methods, or for His own gain.
We could stay on track and not waste so much time wavering in our faith, wondering what we’re to do, or fail to reach our ultimate purpose by being continuously distracted by Satan’s fiery darts, if we would keep our eyes on Jesus and follow His methods. We would experience the joy of a fulfilled, productive life that ends strong and that deeply satisfies. This should not be the exception, but the norm for all Christians. We fall away because we take our eyes off of Jesus. We forget that a Christian is a Christ-follower, that’s the reason we’re called Christian.
We fail to reach maturity because we look to humans for leadership and success principles. They may be able to grow our natural abilities, and maybe our earthly funds, but they can’t grow our inner man, our intimacy with the Father, or give us direction to our real purpose in life. God’s ways are above ours, and His Book is above all our books.
Other methods distract us and get us off track to our real purpose. Is it any wonder we’re prone to lose what we construct on our own? When we let God construct our depth, our strength, our wealth, our relationships, and our ministry to others, it will endure for all time. No one can take from us what the Father gives. When we learn to spurn the world in which we’ve been placed temporarily, we stay focused on our reason for being—for we are not of this world, it is not our eternal destination.
Jesus reached maturity because He listened to no one but the Father. Yes, He listened to people’s pain and sorrow, and with compassion He healed them physically. But He also freed them from their inner demons so they might be made whole and clean. He’s about “rest,” not just healing and salvation.
Jesus gave the people hope, eternal life, and inner healing, but he did not listen to those who tried to change His belief system or the purpose set before Him. He was single minded and purposeful about His days and mission.
- John added, “When he shall appear, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).