Last week, we discussed how our interaction with God progresses and changes because God wants us to grow and mature and not stay at just one level of commitment and experiences. Here are a few ways for us to step out of a child like existence with God and begin to experience a deeper and advanced spiritual life.
- Find Examples of Mature Christians– Our default in most areas, is to find a minimal effective dose when it comes to change we are trying to make. We want just enough nutrition, just enough exercise, just enough commitment, and just enough better choices. Anything more means that we may have to face up to our limitations and weaknesses and that is not pretty. We do the same with who we model our lives after. We gravitate towards people that have managed to find a way to do just enough in their Christian life but still not really sacrifice their status quo or extend themselves for the good of their own life and those around them. Christians that are truly Growing Up are out there but they may be harder to find because their growth may be more subtle and less sensational then some of the example that get applause at our churches. Find one and let them mentor you in Growing Up.
- Serve – For those of us that like to keep our lives smooth, easy, and free of challenges being asked to serve others in any capacity is often not welcomed. Yet, serving is a great way to let God show us something about ourselves that we need to work on. Yes, we might have to sacrifice our time and humility and then face the reality that we have a lot of growing up to do. That is the point.
- Study Jesus – In most western churches, Paul often gets brought up more than Jesus. Sometimes pastors get so enamored by the studious and deep theology of the later New Testament that the life of Jesus found in the Gospels barely gets studied. This is a real shame. If Jesus is our divine exemplar wrapped in human flesh then we need to learn how he talked with people, how he prayed, what upset him, what he taught, and so much more. We can’t be more Christlike if we are not seeing what Christ was like. Then, when we get to passages that tell us that Christ is in us and we are indwelt by him we will know that he not only gives us an example but also helps us be more like himself.
Doing these things takes work but most real growth requires commitment and intention. If that commitment and intention doesn’t exist then we will remain in our less mature and small faith.