Friday, September 29, 2006

God's Way to Maturity

This morning I read a statement which immediately caused me to question its validity. It concerned how we should structure our spiritual communities so that we can reach the desired goal of spiritual maturity.
As soon as I read that statement, a red flag went up. Once again I saw in this seemingly righteous concern for maturity, the self-centeredness that the western church has so immersed itself in. As is so often the case, the focus is on self - "How do I become mature," "How do we become mature." This will never lead me or anyone else to maturity simply because one can't mature while focusing on him/her self.
There is far too much scriptural evidence that indicates the way to spiritual maturity is to focus on others - God and our fellowmen. As we lovingly serve them, we will mature. Isaiah 58 is so clear on this, one has to be blind not to see it. God's people were fasting and seeking him, but it was all motivated out of self-centeredness. Then God speaks, saying that the fast he chooses is to liberate people from bondage and oppression, feeding the hungry, giving shelter to the homeless, clothing the naked, not hiding ourselves from those in need. But we expect the secular government to do what God has told his people to do, so that we can concentrate on becoming spiritually mature.
God goes on to say that if we minister to those in need, then our light and righteousness will break forth, the glory of the Lord will protect us and continually guide us, satisfying our desire (for spiritual maturity). We'll be like a watered garden, rebuilding old ruins and raising up old foundations, and we'll be called repairers and restorers.

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