God wants us to grow in our faith and become mature followers of Christ. Maturity happens as we press deeper into Christ Jesus and then live out His will in our lives. As we are faithful to Him, God matures us. God is writing a greater story in all of us. No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, don’t stop growing. Don’t become distracted by “earthly things,” but live your life fully for Christ. Keep moving forward! In the process, you will grow to be all He desires.
Looking Forward in Faith
When runners are training for a race, they are constantly looking ahead at the track, ready for the next turn or the other runners ahead of them. From a young age, they’re taught to always look forward and never, under any circumstance, look back. They press on, knowing that the finish line is ahead of them, where they’ll reach their goal and their prize.
In Philippians 3, Paul parallels our walk with Christ to runners running a race. “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14) Our relationship with Christ truly begins to grow when we make the choice to stop looking behind us and, instead, look forward to the purpose and plan that God has for our lives.
But our journey must begin with a choice to actively put our faith in Christ. It can be easy to find your faith in things outside of Jesus, like your family, your religion, or your morality. We can choose to make these things the object of our attention and faith, rather than allowing Jesus to be the only source of our true faith and hope.
It’s when our faith is in Jesus alone that our spiritual growth and maturity take place on a new level.
What the Bible Says about Faith
In Philippians 3, Paul starts the chapter sharing with the church of Philippi all of his many wordly achievements and accolades; he was “a Hebrew of Hebrews” and “faultless” by the standards of his culture. He writes, “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more.” (Philippians 3:4) If anyone had a reason to put his faith in himself or the things of the world, it was Paul. Then, Jesus comes in and changes his life completely. It’s Paul’s faith that led him to write the words that come later in that chapter, saying that he considered everything in his life garbage once he came to know Christ.
The Bible outlines faith as the bedrock of all we believe. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Though we cannot see what we believe in and hope for, it’s faith that gives us the peace and assurance that Jesus is who He says He is and that we are His children.
It’s then through our own stories of faith that we begin to grow and mature in Christ and into the person that He has created us to be because maturity is the result of the spiritual growth that takes place in your life. When we are grounded in Scripture and are growing in our faith, we mature as believers.
How Faith Transforms Us
What is your God-story? What did your life look like before Christ and what has happened since committing your life to Christ? It may be easy to slip back into dependency on the things that we used to put our faith in, especially when we’ve walked with Christ for some time. But the truth we know is that those things will always fail us. Jesus cannot and will not ever let us down, and that is why our faith needs to rest alone in Him.
God wants us to grow deeper in our faith and become mature followers of Him. When we begin to turn away from the past and press forward into Christ, then we begin to live out His perfect will in our lives. The fears, worries, and doubts from putting our faith in ourselves or in things that fail us fade because our faith is in the One that will never fail.
When we are faithful to Him, God matures us. He is writing a greater story in all of us, no matter where we are in our spiritual journey. As we keep moving forward, walking in faith in Jesus, living fully for Christ, we are transformed into the people that He created us to be. We press on, not looking at what was behind us, and move toward the goal of Jesus Christ.