God desires us to grow into maturity. How does that work? Does it happen automatically. There are some areas of our lives where we have grown, and then other areas can be left neglected. But God wants us to grow in all areas. You may be new in the Lord or you may have been walking with God for years – there are areas in our lives that may have never changed that might should have by now. It is never too late to change. God’s transforming power is only limited by our choices.
We can grow in wisdom, revelation, communication both with God and others, in the action of love, in grace and forgiveness. There are many areas that we can excel.
Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.”Daniel 5:12
God spoke of Daniel having an “excellent spirit” as he was in constant communion and pursuit, even in a place of not having the most ideal circumstances – as he was living without compromise in the middle of Babylon, a godless nation. He was endued with a spirit of revelation and wisdom because of his uncompromising and consistent devotion to the Lord. The Hebrew word (yâqâr) for excellent is defined as valuable, brightness, clear, costly, fat, precious and reputation.
We can all grow in excellence before the Lord. Jesus grew in favor with God and man. If Jesus had to “grow” how much more do we? It also says that He grew strong in the spirit.
So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.Luke 1:80
Transformation comes through a yielded life to God. We see this transformation take place in Jesus as He is in the “deserts” till the day of His manifestation. What we can take from this is that there is a willingness to surrender our heart and will to the Lord – we should never lose that. You can always count on there being plenty of options, especially in this day, to help you “opt out” of a more extreme devotion to God. Jesus modeled for us a devotion that was extraordinary so that we would have a template to work from. In the measure that we sow is also the measure that we will reap. The measure that Jesus sowed was the highest. He paid the highest price for us. Isn’t that the heart of maturity? The one who is willing to pay the highest price. Jesus is the example of the perfect Son.
Jesus told us that there is no greater love than for someone to lay down their lives for another. Laying aside the aspect of physical death, we know that Paul speaks of the cost saying things like, “I die daily” or “I’ve been crucified with Christ”. This speaks of the cost of following Jesus. For our lives it is no different.
How does this happen in our lives is the greatest obstacle. We can all know where we are supposed to go but the key is “how” we get there. There are many man-made methods that won’t work. Man’s method won’t get us there. Apart from the Spirit there is no life. Just as Daniel had a divine relationship and communion with God so we also must realize that apart from abiding in the Vine (Jesus) we will not truly live or realize that we are already crucified with Christ. It is by the revelation of “when He died, I died” that we live it out. The spirit of revelation makes the truth of God’s Word living and active in our lives. This revelation comes out of the relationship that we care for through our devotion. In other words, we don’t live as strangers to God – popping into His living room once a year. We must learn to abide in the Vine and find our ultimate joy in that place.
We have to be intentional about our choices to make room – seeking the Lord. Through this we break into new places of blessing and overflow in His Presence.