June 27, 2017

Making Spiritual Progress

Attaining spiritual maturity is a life-long task. Every disciple of Jesus Christ, no matter how long he has been walking with God, has more to do to grow spiritually. And he must persist in growing and maturing, for his own sake and for the sake of the Gospel.

Consider Paul’s exhortation to Timothy: “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15).

These instructions imply that spiritual progress is to be continual, a life-long endeavor. Nowhere is Timothy told to stop “practicing” and “immersing” once he reaches a certain level of maturity: he is to keep on doing it and doing it, constantly progressing and maturing.

Reflect for moment on these words from Paul: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you” (Philippians 3:14-15).

Notice that, although he claims a certain amount of maturity, he continues to “press on toward the goal.”

He keeps going, keeps fighting, keeps running. Compare this to the physical realm: a child matures into adulthood, but then he continues to mature (hopefully) as his age continues to progress. What he is at sixty should be far from what he was at twenty-five; he should grow wiser and more intelligent with age.

So I ask you today, older Christian, are you still maturing?

Can you pinpoint an area of your spiritual life that you are currently working on, some way you are currently maturing in Christ? Is your life bearing more and more fruit the longer you are a Christian, or has your love and joy and peace and patience stayed at the same caliber since the day you were saved?

Are you maturing in your knowledge of God, your intimacy and communion with Him? Has your Bible study increased in length and depth, or are you still subsisting on the “milk of the Word”?

Have you measured your spiritual progress lately?