Spiritual maturity is not something you accomplish by your work, although it does require your desire and willingness. It is about allowing God to do the work in you. Jesus promised He will never leave you, He is the source and perfecter of your faith, (Heb 12:2). As mentioned in Romans 8, it is like giving birth, it is not easy, but it does require that you cooperate with the natural process. Jesus, working through the Holy Spirit, will make your maturity happen. If you resist Him, it may be more painful than necessary. Cooperating with Him and resting in Him are major keys to all success with God.
Romans 8 has a lot to say about the Sons of God and growing into maturity. This is one of the key verses that defines Sons of God. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are Sons of God, (Romans 8:14). Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth as Jesus directs Him. The Holy Spirit will glorify Christ in us, (John 16:12-15).
Your communion with the Holy Spirit is critical for life as a Son of God. The Holy Spirit is the voice of God, He is the presence of God in us and He clothes us. When we are sensitive and obedient to Him, we function in the love of God. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the love of God.
The love of God is what is being perfected in us, we are becoming love, as our Father is. There are many ways God is working on this in our lives, daily. Many of the challenges we face, especially with relationships, are to help us to learn to be love; because our Father is love.
Being led by the Spirit is experiencing the love of God and sharing His love with others. This may not be easy because the people that God puts around you are not always easy to love. Learning to submit to God’s love involves martyrdom, dying to yourself. The reason is because we judge people to be unworthy of our love and even God’s love. Then we withhold it and stifle the Holy Spirit. Withholding God’s love from someone puts us in a degree of darkness and we are unable to see the way God sees, so we judge falsely. This is a trap to steal your joy and keep you from glorifying your Father in Heaven.
This can even happen while watching the news, which is always reported by someone’s own perspective. Only Jesus has the perspective of Truth, we must see through His eyes. Also, consider that the news behind the news is ALWAYS spiritual, this will help you see more clearly beyond what you are hearing. When someone shares about something someone did, and you become angry and bitter toward the person you heard about. Your heart then becomes darkened. You have fallen into the trap and become unconscious of the love of God in your heart.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self-control, (Galatians 5:22-23)
There is only one fruit of the Spirit, love. The results of love are joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. Some people say, thatlove is the fruit and the other characteristics are seeds that we unpack from love. During this intense time on Earth, it will be difficult to survive emotionally without the communion of the Holy Spirit. Our joy and peace are directly connected to being led by the Holy Spirit. The joy of the Lord is your strength, (Neh 8:10) This is important because it is His joy and His peace that we experience through the Holy Spirit.
Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] (John 14:27 AMP)
Jesus told His disciples that people would know they were His disciples by their love for each other. A disciple is a student. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) Jesus is your teacher, if you are at this level of love it means that you are serious about what Jesus is teaching you.
However, Jesus also teaches about an even higher form of love, that is loving your enemies. The world will know that we are Jesus disciples by our love for each other, but they will know we are Sons of God by our love for our enemies. The love of God is how the glory of God will be manifest in believers, in increasing radiance. We become like our Father in Heaven when we love the way He does.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) Christ died for us while we were sinners this is the highest form of love; martyrdom even for those who do not love you. When Jesus was dying on the cross, He was doing it for all, even for the people who were killing Him. The highest form of love in this life, is giving up your life. However, this is the path to the highest form of life, Love.
You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? … Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48) The word, perfect, means to be completed, to come into the full maturity of who you are created to be.
There are two kinds of suffering that help you mature as a Son of God. The kind that comes from life-circumstances, which cause you to re-focus on the things that are important to the Lord, Jesus. The other kind is what you choose to walk into so that you can be like Jesus. Loving your enemy is giving up your life to allow more of the glory of God, Christ in you, to shine through you. Loving your enemy is a path to spiritual maturity. When you love your enemy, you no longer consider them your enemy you begin praying for them. This is how the glory of God will transform you, and the world.
Jesus in you is the glory of God in you. As you allow Him to reign in you, the Kingdom of God is established in you, and through you. People come out of darkness by seeing a light, out of hate and fear by being touched by love, out of stress by being drawn into the peace of God, out of despair by realizing there is hope. You have the answers that you are longing for; the answers the world is longing for.
Jesus the Christ lives in your heart. It is extremely critical during this time of information overload and media distractions, that you guard your heart. You must be very careful about what you receive through your five senses because you are also receiving spiritual influence through those same senses. Be sensitive to what increases or decreases, the flow of love, joy, and the peace of God in you.
Your heart is a well from which your life flows out of. Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. (Proverbs 4:23 HCSB) What flows out of your heart affects you, your environment, and the world around you. The heart is the command center of your life. This is where decisions are made that impact you and the world. The people you care most about are directly affected by what is happening in your heart, because they are included in your heart.
“What bliss you experience when your heart is pure! For then your eyes will open to see more and more of God. (Mat 5:8 TPT)
Your heart is vital to walking in sonship with God, your Father. All of creation is waiting