Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Maturity Is Instantaneous At The Moment of Abiding
By Frank Friedmann
We must not think that because someone has been a Christian for a long time, that they are spiritually mature. Maturity in spiritual things is not determined by age, but by dependence.
"Not every senior saint is a mature man or woman"
Maturity in Christianity is not defined by duration, but by dependence. A person could be a Christian for 40 years and still be a baby Christian if they have not learned to abide in Christ. Col. 2:6 says, “As you have received Him, so walk in Him.”
As an unbeliever, we spent many years depending on the flesh. We learned to manipulate and control our environment, capitalizing on our strengths and minimizing our weaknesses, in order to manufacture life independent of God, from the outside in. It was a counterfeit life of course. A life that lacked real substance and did not provide the resources of God to our lives. Once we have received Christ, we must say no the flesh and learn to live by faith, in order to be mature. A believer who continues to life out of their fleshly resources will grow older, but not necessarily more mature.
When we walk by faith, in humble dependence on the Holy Spirit, maturity is instantaneous, being found at the moment of abiding. At the moment of abiding, the fullness of Christ is being experienced and expressed in the person of faith, and expressed out through the individual who abides.
That is why new believers are so exciting to be around. They are full of joy, peace and exuberance. All they know is Jesus. Jesus is their everything, and they are experiencing and expressing Him alone. LIVING IN AND FROM HIM, THEY ARE LIVING MATURE IN HIM.
In contrast, those who have been in church for a long time, are often taught to depend on the many “other things” that can easily distract us from Jesus and keep us from depending on Him alone. Things like Bible study, ministry, good works, knowledge, and sharing our faith. Those are all good things, but they must be kept in their proper place. Those things are the fruit of life and not the source of life.
New believers have not yet learned the so many "other things" they can depend on and distract them. I find it very sad, but I have even heard the zeal of a new believer being explained away as simply that they are new believers. But over time, their zeal will wear off and they will be dull and bored like the rest of us.
NO! A THOUSAND TIMES NO! The only reason people get bored in Christianity is because they are seeking other than Jesus. The life of Jesus is never boring. It is strong and powerful, full of joy, peace, and excitement. The truth is NOT that the zeal of the new believer will wear off, but that their zeal for Jesus is being forfeited, as they pursue other than Jesus and get distracted from His life that is in them.
Like Paul said in Philippians, we must count all things as dung compared to Jesus. Even the good things are dung, if we seek them instead of Jesus. Jesus is to be our “ONE THING” --- and when He is our “one thing”, we will be instantly mature as the fulness of His life is experienced by us and expressed through us.
BRING ON MATURITY! BRING ON THOSE WHO KNOW CHRIST AS LIFE! BRING ON THOSE WHO KNOW HIM, AND THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION LIFE IN AND THROUGH THEM! LET THE WORLD STAND AT ATTENTION AS THEY OBSERVE SUCH PEOPLE AND QUESTION HOW IT IS THEY ARE ABLE TO THE LIFE THAT THEY LIVE! THEN, WE CAN TELL THEM, OUR “ONE THING” IS JESUS!
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