23 January 2018
In the beauty of having new year’s resolutions and goals – I wonder how many of us said, “Abba please, I want to grow in spiritual maturity this year?”
Maturity is a process and I am so thankful for it. According to the apostle Paul, it is an ongoing process that will never end in this life. So many times, we just want to see the breakthrough, not realizing that this a process of maturing in Christ.
In Phil 3:12-14 Paul speaks about the full knowledge of Christ. He tells us that he himself has not already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect – ‘but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of for me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But, one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize of which God has called me heavenward in Jesus Christ.’
Reading this passage, I realize that just like Paul, we have to continually press towards deeper knowledge of Christ. We have to overcome! In Him and through Him, always.
On our journey, I can see how we grow in faith as we have to exercise our faith in Christ day by day. Even growing in revelation and receiving breakthrough is a process, and not just a lap around the block. It is like an onion that you peel, guaranteed with tears, as you take off layer by layer as the strongholds lose their strength.
Christian maturity requires a radical reordering of your priorities, changing over from pleasing yourself to pleasing God and learning to obey His voice and follow His guidance and promptings.
The key to maturity is consistency and perseverance. Not giving up and embracing discouragement, but to know that even if it is very hard, God is helping me to overcome, and to mature as I walk the walk of faith. Eyes fixed on Him.
We can only grow in maturity with the help of Holy Spirit.
Galatians 6:16 tells us to ‘walk by the spirit’. Taking things step by step, one step at a time. With this discipline, we walk under the control of Holy Spirit, eyes locked on our King’s directions. And as we submit more and more under Holy Spirit’s control – we will start seeing an increase in the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Gal 5:22-23).
Peter tells us that God’s divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3).
God alone is our resource and all growth comes by grace through Him alone. But, every day we have to make choices to press on and to endure!
Listen to what Peter says, for this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love (2 Peter 1:3).
Our Abba Father wants us to be effective and fruitful in the knowledge of Christ. That my friend, is the essence of spiritual maturity!
It is going much better with Aldo. He is so much more alert and in ‘now’ than ever! I believe that as disheartening and difficult as the past two months were, that this process was essential for his trauma wound to completely open up. God chose to do it this way so that we could face the dirt and stink of his Lazarus and learn so much in the process. Thank You Abba! It took Aldo two months to come out of the delirium state linked with his trauma wound. I praise God for the process, for I truly understand so many things so much better having walked this out with Holy Spirit as guide.
For 14 years he never talked about his pain. He was just surviving. It is now only a couple of days that he is ‘back in now’, being able to focus and live in the present – no longer being stuck in the pain and trauma of the accident. And since he is back, he keeps asking all these painful questions about his past – prepared to face and resolve it. I am very grateful for the progress we have made. And in truth I can now answer each question. This is not always easy, because he doesn’t understand all the intricacies. There is a lot of emotions involved as he learns to face the past. He gets angry and frustrated when I say, “Holy Spirit please show him”, or, “Sorry Aldo, but we have to deal with the present, the ‘now’. We can't keep on looking back.”
More and more Holy Spirit is equipping him to face the truth of every situation and wound.
So, this morning as I sat with him, doing my work on the laptop, and he busy doing his readings, he stopped and looked at me .... he made a noise of crying (bear in mind he can't cry, he can only make these noises). I stopped my work, moved over and held him and asked, “Aldo, what is wrong?”
He cried and cried and tried to explain something to me. After a while he said, “I haven't been to that party where they all dress up like they are getting married in school.”
“What? What party is that?”
“Mom, the party where they dance and wear wedding dresses the last year at school.”
“Ooooh, the Matric Farewell?”
I could not help but smile – “Aldo, don't worry, you had a beautiful wedding where Chansi had a real wedding dress.” I held him and just prayed – ‘Please, Holy Spirit, show him and help him to deal with this pain.’
I have much compassion for the loss he felt through missing out on this high school event. But, I could not help but smile through all his explanations of how he viewed and interpreted the Matric Farewell from the outside – that the children dress up in dresses that looks like wedding dresses.😉
He was just okay and has calmed down when the next cry came. “What now, Aldo?” “What about the hat on my head? Now I cannot have a hat on my head!”
“What hat, Aldo??”
“That big black hat with the black gown!”
Again, I could just hold him and smile.
“Ooooh, when you study at university?”
”Yes Aldo, I know. But you know my dear child, all I can ask is that Abba Father will show you the truth. And the truth is that none of these things will matter in the end.
There is more to life than meets the eye. The things that Abba Father has shown you is much more valuable than all of these worldly things put together.”
So, this our journey – layer upon layer of dealing with pain and sorrow.
Thank you Lord that we are mature enough to laugh, to cry, to love and to keep on running the race of faith.
Tinus and I went for coffee and he said, “I am going to give Aldo a jacket of mine that is too small. Then you dress him up. Let Chantel dress up too. You buy them a cake and we put some music on and let him have his Matric Farewell with Chansi.”
Life is a journey. Let’s walk it out – or dance it out!
Bless you my dear friend with a walk of faith – growing in maturity. For two months, we sat in a room with a child that did not know who he was. Now we are having a Matric Farewell! 😊
Love to you and your family.
Retah and family.