Spiritual maturity should be our goal as a Christian. We are called to sow seeds of faith and labor for the harvest of souls in our personal lives and in our business and careers.
Too many believers are simply not growing, as God would desire in their Christian life. It is easy to get distracted on “other things” that we push all thoughts of God to the side. It is the same in our careers and for business owners to get so involved in building their career and businesses that it takes control over their lives. When this happens, what was once a very good thing, becomes an idol; not a good thing. Idols are anything or anyone we put ahead of God.
Our personal Christian life is vital to our services to the Lord. Our service increases as our spiritual maturity grow. Our lives should be our ministry of service to the Lord.
Time in the workplace consumes more time than our interactive time with our families. Since we spend so much time at the workplace, we do not want to overlook the importance of our kingdom impact during the time we are doing our jobs.
The challenge in the workplace is to realize that our business is our ministry, and our ministry is our business. Our careers and our businesses are an important means to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. We will discuss this further in Part 2.
Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).
We influence God’s kingdom each day: for good or for bad. Kingdom impact is that influence we have on the people we associate with every single day.
Positive impact for the kingdom of God results when each of us as individuals looks to Christ for direction in our lives. Our plan should line up with God’s plan and purpose.
What is God plan and purpose? God created man in His image and desired to fellowship with man. He made us with a free will and allowed us to make decisions independent of God, or we could elect to involve God in our decisions. He gave us that choice. The right choice leads to spiritual maturity and results in a positive kingdom impact.
Adam made the decision to go against God’s instructions. Man fell in the very beginning. This caused all of man to suffer and struggle and to toil in life.
God in His love and grace and mercy sent Jesus to redeem us and to provide a way for salvation and a way out of this sinful world. Jesus willingly died upon the cross for you and me. His death, by hanging upon the cross, was excruciating and slow. Yes, Jesus did this for each of us.
Jesus is our pathway to “real riches.” “Real riches” will be the riches we receive in eternity with Christ.
To have kingdom impact, we must know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. I compare this to turning on a lamp. Now, we have the option of turning the light on dim or selecting higher setting and shine brightly for Christ. Just as Adam was allowed to make his decision to obey God or not to obey God, we are allowed to make our decision about how we want to serve God; we select the setting of the brightness of the lamp . . . Dim, medium, or bright.
This is like a three-way switch of a lamp in our home. We can turn the switch one notch and get a dim light. Alternatively, we can turn the switch to a medium brightness and produce a brighter light. Alternatively, we can turn the switch to “full power” and light the whole room.
God is not very big on half strength. He likes bright or “full power.” These five steps create “full power” for the believer. They result in spiritual maturity.
First, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all of your mind and with all your strength. We will talk about how to develop this kind of love for God as we go along.
Second, “love your neighbor as yourself.” We are not an island; we have people all around us. Jesus says we are to love them. We show our love for God by the way we treat the people around us.
Third, ask for forgiveness for our sins and the wrongs we have done in our lives to God, our neighbors and even to ourselves. Forgiveness removes the barriers between God and us. It is difficult to talk to someone with a great big, thick wall between us. Forgiveness breaks down this wall, and open communication.
Fourth, seek the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that he would ask the Father to send His Spirit as a comforter to His believers. The Holy Spirit lives in every Christian. We are given the option to have a little of the Holy Spirit or be filled with the Holy Spirit.
To experience the full benefit and help of the Holy Spirit, we must ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comforts us, teaches us, guides us, counsels us and strengthens us if we will accept what Jesus promised in His word.
Being all that God wants us to be, is not an overnight transformation. Our rebirth occurs at the moment, we accept Christ into our lives. The rebuilding of our lives into the likeness of Jesus Christ takes much longer.
The baggage we accumulate during our lives is ugly. When we go it alone, garbage inhabits our thoughts, mind, and creates habits we are ashamed to discuss. Some of this garbage takes years to get rid of. This brings us to the fifth step to develop “full power” and spiritual maturity.
Fifth, read, study and meditate on the Word of God. Let the words of Jesus fill your mind. These words will transform the way you think, talk and the way you act. When your neighbor sees the change in you, your kingdom impact pleases God.
Joshua issued instructions to the Israelites before they entered the promised land. He told them:
“Do not let the Book Of The Law depart out of your mouth, but meditate on it day and night so that you will be careful to do all that is written therein; then you will make your way prosperous and have good success” (Joshua 1:8)
If you desire to have a successful life, read and study God’s word, keep it in your heart; live by it, make decisions based on what God says in His word and listen to the Holy Spirit.
Some very good advice I received years ago was; if you want joy, study joy; if you want happiness, study happiness; if you want love study love; if you want God’s plan, study God’s plan. His plan is found in His word.
Join up today, this is the year to get on board, accept the call of God to grow and mature in your Christian life by loving God with all your heart, loving your neighbor as yourself, seeking forgiveness of sins, seeking the Holy Spirit and by reading, studying and meditating on the Word of God.
In Part 2, we will talk about applying spiritual maturity to our careers and businesses.