Our spiritual life is like our physical life. When I was in seminary, I focused my electives on spiritual development. One of my classes was all about how people grow morally as they age, and how that corresponds into our spiritual development. I'm not going to go into any theories here with you, so don't worry.
One thing I found really interesting is how young children start off with a concrete understanding or black and white stage. They can't have rules apply sometimes and not others. As they get older though, they start to understand more how there are grey areas in life. There are times where the correct path isn't as clear as we would like it to be.
This is the same with our spiritual lives. When we first meet Christ, we are baby Christians. In this stage, we are taking in the entire world. We can't get enough of God, the Bible, small groups, worship, etc. We are dependent upon other Christians to help guide us and teach us about the faith.
Then our faith grows to that of a child. We see the world through the lens of love, but when bad things come our way, we're not yet prepared to handle them. We don't understand why God doesn't always give us the things we pray for, and we still need others to help guide us as we continue our Christian walk.
Then we get into the dreaded teenage years. In our Christian lives, this is when we think we've got this life of Christianity figured out, we don't need God like we did when we were new in our faith, we may not need the Christian community either. We can handle whatever life throws at us. Often, we turn God into our sidekick and take control back over our lives.
Then we come into adulthood. We realize we need others in our lives and we don't have to do things on our own. You want to have a life lived with God not just in it, but with God leading it. You know the only way to do that, is by letting God lead your life instead of you. You need people around you who support you, not people who pull you down, so you surround yourself with the church.
And eventually, you realize that you've transitioned from an adult into a seasoned adult. You and God have been walking together for so long, that you don't even remember why you put him in the sidecar during your teenage years to begin with. Now you have the opportunity to help support those new in the faith and help them continue on strong.
We all have times in our lives when we get stuck and are unable to see what God intends for our lives.
Read John 12:12-19.
- What about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem wasn't understood by the disciples?
- What was understood by the crowd?
- What did the Pharisees understand about Jesus in this passage?
- Why do you think those closest to him did not understand?
Read John 3:1-3.
- Nicodemus was seeking Jesus, but he was unable to understand what Jesus was teaching him. Why do you think that is?
- What did Nicodemus see in Jesus that caused him to seek him?
- How are you like Nicodemus?
Prayer for the Week
Lord, help me this week to understand in a new way what it means to be born again, and how I can see your Kingdom on earth. Help me be the one that helps bring your Kingdom to my neighborhood. Help me to have faith when I don't understand and to be strong when you guide me into new places. Amen.