Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Maturity


We must be convinced that both God and life will maturity. But they do more than passively will our maturity; they conspire in every possible way, short of breaking down our wills to make us mature. Life makes us discontented and unhappy in our immaturities. Suppose we could settle down happy and contented in being a half-person, then that would be a tragic situation. But we cannot. Divine discontent is a goal that impels us into higher, fuller life. Life won’t let us settle down-to nothingness.

And what kind of Father would God be if He did not disturb us toward maturity? No earthly parent could be content to have a child who refused to grow up. The parents’ joy is in development, in growth, in going on toward maturity. God cannot be otherwise and still be God, our Father. So the disturbances we feel in our immaturities are not signs of His anger, but a manifestation of His love. He loves us too much to let us settle down in half-wayness.

But if God should stop at that point of making us discontent, then He would this side of being God, our Father. To be our Father, He must provide literally everything for our maturity. And He has! He has put at our disposal all the resources for our being what we ought to be-everything except coercion. There He draws the line, for if he coerced us into maturity-then of course we wouldn’t be mature. The will to be mature must be at the center of our maturity.

If God and life and we ourselves will maturity, then there is nothing in heaven or earth that can stop us from being the mature persons we ought to be. We are destined to be mature, and that destiny is written in every cell of our bodies. We can slow down or block that destiny. The choice is ours.
Hope begins to spring up within my heart, for if I am destined to be mature then I can and do accept that destiny and make it my own.

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity (perfection).
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (mature) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:

Rich

6 comments:

Amy said...

Rich,
Excellent! This post reminds me of much of what I shared in my post yesterday. Father desires us to continue growing in wisdom and maturity, in all areas of Life. Just like a human parent, in love, ought to with their children.

Blessings,
~Amy :)

Rich said...

Amy,

Always so good to see you.
What is the title of that piece you wrote, I want to read it, thanks.

I love this quote, "We are destined to be mature, and that destiny is written in every cell of our bodies. We can slow down or block that destiny. The choice is ours."

Happy New Year to you dear sister :) Yahooooo

Mike said...

Hey Rich,
No pun intended, but these are rich thoughts... however, they are not Rich thoughts! :)

Is this now whay Paul said, "I proclaim to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified..."

WOW! NOTHING Except Christ! Amen for that. As I know Him I expect less and less of self, less and less of others. Christ and Him crucified! Somehow I picture Paul was interpted when he wrote this... I can see paul sitting down to write as so often happens to me, intending to write one thing, and then not getting it finished. Can you relate?

So, at the risk of arrogance, I WILL finish it, nontheless, not I but Christ... nothing but Christ and Him crusicified, dead, buried, and RESURECTED! As the rest of scripture bears witness to...

Only in death is there life. Only in death is there maturity, not that anyone has attained it. But we keep our eyes on the goal run the race (rat race???) fight the fight. And discover the riches of all we have in Christ. The greatest treasure that lied within - Christ in us, the HOPE of glory.

It is amazing to think that maturity is not something we attain, but something we ALL have in Christ. Life is the journey of DISCOVERING maturity - not ours, but Christs in us. He is our life, we have everything we need in Him. But alas, non of us really know all we have in Him. We are mining the riches of that greatest treasure that lies within.

It is an amazing discovery when we realize that we ARE mature in Him. It is actually a revelation. Even though we do not always act mature, it is none the less true. We are complete in Him. We are a finshed work. Thank God that even though I may go about acting like a dog, my actions do not make me one, in fact just the opposite. As a human, my actions prove what I am not. So it is with us in Christ. Our un-Christ-like, immature actions do not make us immature, or prove our immaturity. In fact, they prove our maturity.

Life is the jourhy of discovery rather than attainment! That makes me want to dance! (and that would not be a pretty sight, trust me! :)

Shalom Rich, love your thoughts here! Hope DOES spring in our heart because that maturity IS written into the very fabric or our lives! We can fight it, but we cannot stop it. We can delay it's revelation and make the journey all the more miserable, or we can learn to manange it, like my wife had to do with childbirth. The birth is inevitable, the pain is inescapable, the outcome is inevitiable.

I admit that sometimes I DO want to fight the process. Don't we all??? But none-the-less, would we have it any other way?

Rich said...

Mike,

There was so much to feast on in what you shared here, thanks!
I especially loved this quote, “Shalom Rich, love your thoughts here! Hope DOES spring in our heart because that maturity IS written into the very fabric or our lives! We can fight it, but we cannot stop it. We can delay it's revelation and make the journey all the more miserable, or we can learn to manange it, like my wife had to do with childbirth. The birth is inevitable, the pain is inescapable, the outcome is inevitable.”

“It is amazing to think that maturity is not something we attain, but something we ALL have in Christ. Life is the journey of DISCOVERING maturity - not ours, but Christ’s in us. He is our life; we have everything we need in Him. But alas, non of us really know all we have in Him. We are mining the riches of that greatest treasure that lies within.
It is an amazing discovery when we realize that we ARE mature in Him. It is actually a revelation.”

Amen and Amen

I love how our brother John puts it in his letter to us, regarding the stages of growth, young children, young men, and “Fathers.”
What he says to this group I have pondered on for years and I love what He is making real to me about being a “father.”
And you Father’s “have know Him from the beginning-WOW”!

John Mark said...

I found this quote in "The Master Design in the Universe" by DeVern Fromke. Can you tell me who he is quoting? Thanks so much. John Mark, bookministry dot org.

Rich said...

Hi John,

I'm sorry, I don't know who he is quoting.