(If you missed part 1, you can see it here: http://www.mckennon.com/Ruths/2018/02/25/spiritual-maturity-part-1/ )
Two of the scriptures that I missed the last few days were Isaiah 40:30-31 and Jude 1:20.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (ESV)
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, (ESV)
For me, these scriptures both talk about ways to increase your spiritual maturity. The Jude scripture directly says that this is the way to build your spiritual maturity. I think this is interesting, because it says we should take an active part in strengthening our faith. It indicates that that active part is to pray, relying on the Holy Spirit.
This isn’t “I want” type of prayers. This isn’t prayers that are about “me, my family, my friends. “. This is the type of prayer that says “God, let me step out of the way. What do you want?” As Christians, we each have the Holy Spirit within us. Therefore, we can call upon the Spirit to help us to pray God’s will on a situation and not just our own will. We can call upon the Spirit to pray for our enemies, not just our friends. We can call upon the Spirit to pray, when we don’t know what to pray.
There are many times in the Christian life, where we we feel faint, and weary, and exhausted. Let’s face it, life in this world is not easy. The verse in Isaiah promises renewed strength for those that wait upon the Lord. Though this verse uses the pictures of walking, running, and an eagle flying, I believe it is using those word pictures to talk about spiritual strength. For those that have spiritual strength, emotional and physical strength may follow. But spiritual strength does not need our bodies to be strong. I can see evidence of this in many older Christians, whose body is failing, but are still spiritual warriors.
What is waiting on the Lord? I believe it goes back to the Jude verse. We praying in the Holy Spirit, waiting to know God’s will, praying for our enemies, asking the Spirit how to pray. I think it also often means to wait until we hear from God. Rather than jumping into a situation, wasting our energy on our ideas of what to do, wait for God to speak. We do what he tells us to do, when he tells us to do it.
If we are wanting to strengthen our faith, these two scriptures give us a good place to start.
(Part 3 to come tomorrow)