Spiritual maturity happens when we stop fighting against the Spirit and instead get in step with him. I will warn you up front that I have to spread this blog over two days because the impact of it is too great to cover all at once. There has been a great bleeding of the world's philosophy into the teaching of the Church. Worse than that, many of our young people have begun to mix the wisdom of this world with the wisdom of God and no longer understand the difference. The Spirit is calling us back to the Father's heart. Listen:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Jesus people are stupid, ignorant, superstitious, short-sighted morons to people who have never met Jesus. The whole idea of God, Jesus, the cross, the empty grave, the heavenly realms are all foolishness to the world. They would rather quote the sayings and philosophies of dead men who accomplished nothing than to trust the wisdom of the one and only living God. The thing is, Jesus knew they would.
My concern is that too many of our spiritual trainers and disciples of Jesus want to find acceptance in this world. There are not enough people to stand with our young people to show them it is okay to be considered odd and foolish by the world as we choose the wisdom and power of the cross. Jesus told us that the world would do more than consider the message of the cross foolish, it would also hate us because of it. This is the natural way because the world does not want to admit to its sins and submit to the love of our holy God. But Jesus told us that we must still love this world even if it considers itself to be our enemy.
To young and old alike I remind you that we are different from this world. We do not think or act like it. We do not find our pleasure in the same places it finds its pleasure. We do not love as it loves or hate as it hates. We do not follow its philosophies or rest on its wisdom:
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)
The world does not know as it aught to know. It is not us, who have placed our trust and hope in Jesus, who are foolish, but it is the world, who has failed to understand God's wisdom, that is lost. There is nothing that this world can offer us that can stand up against the glory and power of God's wisdom. The cross on its own flies in the face of the philosophies of this world:
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)
Be wise my friends. The immature run after fine sounding arguments and pretty philosophies of this world. They will blog about such things and add quotes from these dead men because it sounds so fine. The immature ask what is wrong with this and the Holy Spirit weeps. We cannot put even a moments trust in the wisdom of this world. Why waste such a precious moment when we have the rich wisdom of God at hand? Our life is based on the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Everything else is just foolishness. The immature in Christ need to leave their foolish pursuit and get back in step with the Spirit before they are lost in the darkness of this world again.
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:22-24)
Maturity comes in as we make God's wisdom, Christ crucified, the center of our thinking and world perspective. Maturity begins to take root as we accept that Jesus is the power and wisdom of God, which far surpasses any philosophies and wisdom man has to offer. There is no love greater than God's.
There are two streams of thought in the world. There are those chasing after spirituality but would rather worship creation over the creator and those who worship the accomplishments and wisdom of humanity. Both lead to destruction so the mature in Jesus avoid them both and walk in the wisdom of God's light. When we take this decision maturity begins to shape everything else in us as well.
There is no getting around this, it should be as clear as day: God is greater thus wiser than his creation.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)
So I encourage you to consider what you are leaning against for strength. What are you considering to be wise as you sit in your classes, as you enter your work, as you partake in your entertainment? What ideas, thoughts, wisdom are you allowing to take root? Are you weighing these things against the Word of God? Are you listening to the guidance of the Spirit? Spiritual maturity cannot take root if you are not basing your life on the Word of God and guidance of the Spirit of God.