Alas, I am spiritually immature. I am a baby in the eyes of the Lord. I know just enough to realize the signs and symptoms of immaturity in my own life and practices.
1) I fear situations where I am called to instruct others and lack the confidence to do so when they arise. I am concerned I will make a grave error in my understanding of Christian doctrine. I feel I am not able to win souls, for I have had too much 'milk' and not enough 'meat.'
2) At times I am still drawn to old habits and associations that promote feelings of pleasure and result in unfruitful works.
3) Typically, I am a child, a changeling, unsteady and weak.
4) I sometimes lose my vision and can't seem to find my proper place in His Plan.
5) I recognize within myself a carnal appetite.
6) I am still curious about the world, and it's workings. I have a desire to find out what makes the world tick and seek to find solutions for the problems of the world.
7) I sometimes lack discernment and am quickly and easily carried away by the passion of the moment. It is difficult to make decisions, because I am not sure what the Lord would have for me or want me to do.
8) As a result, I am easy prey for the great deceiver, vulnerable and quick to turn in inappropriate directions.
I continue to pray for maturity. I have faith that it will come along in time. I recognize my weaknesses and pray the Holy Spirit protects me all the day, each day and each night. I seek His counsel, and hope to be led to those verses that help me to gain maturity. I pray the Lord will lead me into experiences where I find opportunities to practice what I have learned, to practice discernment, to practice gentleness and kindness in the way of our Lord Jesus. I seek also forgiveness, though I know in my heart I am loved and I have already received it. I ask for help in order to maintain a path of righteousness for His name's sake. In the name of Jesus I pray, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This morning I was led to the following verses, along with the 23rd Psalm. They are a great help to me, admittedly, a spiritual babe.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 ~ And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
1 Corinthians 14:20 ~ Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.
Proverbs 9:6 ~ Forsake your folly and live, And proceed in the way of understanding.
Ephesians 4:14 ~ As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 ~ No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
Hebrews 5:12-14 ~ For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
So then, I must continue to strive for patience, nurturing strength in faith, and a knowing that the Lord will provide for me. It's not that the Lord would keep me from joy. There is such a thing as spiritual ecstasy, and I am grateful to have had experiences in that, though spiritually immature. I must learn to put on the 'spiritual armor of God' and lean on that protection. I must also become like a warrior, find fortitude and consistency in the practice of my spiritual studies; for I need to understand that I should let nothing take me away from those. The saving grace is to continue to read the Word of God. With time, maturity will be found, and peace will come in the present. Is it not peace to know I have such a wondrous and divine teacher there, and ever at my fingertips? Yes. Yes, it surely is. Peace, peace is always and ever at hand.
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.