Spiritual maturity is measured by how much of the fullness of Christ is developed in us (See Eph 4:13). How much we have conformed into His image — in purpose, in thought, in word, in deed and fruit (Romans 8:29). And this spiritual maturity into the fullness of Christ begins by knowing Him, intimately. (See (Matt 7:21-23, Philp 3:7-16).
As wonderful and necessary as Salvation is — it is but the door to a never ending journey into the fullness of knowing God and being transformed into His image (Romans 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18). It’s a glorious journey of the Bride that is making herself ready (Rev 19:7, Matt 25:1-13). Will we settle then for staying at the door, the entryway, or will we press onward and upward into the incredible heavenly journey into all that God has waiting for us?
“One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philp. 3:13–14
Contrary to popular teaching today, this requires our cooperation and sacrifice — denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Him (Jesus said it – Matt 16:24-27). Jesus made the way, now we just need to walk it out (James 2:18).
Ancient Biblical accounts show clear examples of how God thinks and operate. And just as the Lord told Joshua He had already given His people the “promised land” it still required their cooperation and effort to go in and get it, in alignment with God’s will, purpose and guidance. Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (representing Salvation) was only the beginning of their journey to ultimately entering the promised land and coming to Mt Zion where eventually the Kingdom would be established (Heb. 12:22). The same is true for us today.
In light of this sacrifice required for the journey, our friend, Pastor Joe Sweet said: Our unwillingness to sacrifice for the Lord will keep us in a state of immaturity and greatly limit our experience of Him thus diminishing our effectiveness in His kingdom.
The Lord has done His part and positioned us for all He has for us to walk in. This includes being empowered by His marvelous grace and giving us everything that pertains to life and godliness — His divine nature — through knowing Him (2 Peter 1:2-4). So let us draw near to God, partake of His glorious divine nature and walk in it, in increasing fullness. This includes being transformed and matured by renewing our minds to His Word, who is Christ, and beholding Him (Romans 12:1-2; John 1:1; 2 Cor. 3:18). Spiritual maturity is a process involving our choice.
The Lord also spoke to Cindy and I years ago regarding this and said: You may think “what I have to give up” to walk on this path (High Way of Holiness) — Oh — but the rewards are beyond anything you have imagined!
We have much more to say about this, and it will be part of the “Rise of the Glorious Church” book we are working on!