“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”
1 Corinthians 3 vv. 6-7
On this day, I have chosen to reflect more on spiritual maturity, my emotions are profound. Honestly, I do not believe I have it in me to complete an entire blog this week. But I’ll keep writing.
I awoke at around 2 am on this day to watch the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. I had so many moments of significant symbolism accompanied by profound grief. This grief continues. I reflected on my time meeting the Queen during her visits to Belize. And then thought of my years spent in England. These visits were magical. In fact, upon my return from extended and short stays in the United Kingdom, I often shared with friends that my dream was to retire in the countryside of England. Belize, as part of the Commonwealth, still offers this possibility for me. I hold on to this sweet thought.
My desire for knowledge, dignity, and order has always paved this path of Christianity. As I remain steadfast in God’s Word. His words are designed to mold us into good. Casual visits to the Bible can never do this. I’ve always felt wasting time on things that are not His Word is just wasting time! This life given is shorter than many believe. So, my advice to you is to spend it truly understanding His meanings and what He intends for us during our earthly stay.
Secondly, pray (1 Thess. 5 v. 17). Pray as often as you can. Pray how Jesus taught His disciples (Luke 11 vv. 1-4). Prayer helps us through tough times. It helps to reinforce faith. Consider James’ teaching to ‘just ask’ (James 1 v. 5). To pray to God is to be in His company. In prayer, we thank Him, and He listens to us.
Thirdly, partake in communal rites as often as you are able. Consider baptism and accept the Lord’s supper—one ordinance designed as acceptance of Christ into our lives and the other an element to fortify our devotion to Him. Once Christ is accepted into our lives as our Lord and Savior, He gives us His Spirit too! (See John 7 v. 39). We know that His Spirit was present in the Old Testament (OT), but it was only at Pentecost His Spirit became more closely aligned to us (John 14 v. 17 and 1 Cor. 6 v. 19).
And fourthly, find a good Biblically grounded church in which these recommendations of Ephesians 4 vv.11-12 are honored and respected. A church where leaders are devoted to Christ by delivering the integrity of God’s Word. A well-intended church providing a community of deep care to its congregants. A church body whose primary focus is to know Christ deeper. These things can only be possible through complete adherence to God’s Word.
Reader, there have been periods in my life when I have ‘wasted’ precious time, but I learned so much from those experiences. I learned to listen to my intuition. To remain steadfast in discovery and to cling to only God’s teachings and not those created by men. Now, I am aware that within some church settings beautiful friendships flourish. This may cause some of you to reject discovery and remain in place for friendships. I’ve been there too.
But I tell you this, knowing what God ask of us should take precedence over anything or anyone. My heart was broken when I walked away to continue discovering His truth. Even as someone who enjoys alone time, I felt somewhat, lonely. Then God brought beautiful friends into my life. You know—people who were eager to be led only by His beautiful words. My careful intuition brought me great blessings! And the same can be had by you! Trust in Him!
Life is indeed shorter than many imagine. For this reason, the four elements of practice mentioned above have assisted me on this march toward spiritual maturity. Occasionally, to not stumble and fall, this march must be slow and steady. Then the parade is hurried to sooner instill newer knowledge of Him. Either way, I don’t believe I am wasting time on any sort of step. I contend, this is quite the opposite!
Jeremiah 4 v. 3 shares:
“Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.”
And Hosea 10 v. 12 tells us:
“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.”
As I watched the Queen’s funeral embedded in Christianity—steeped in only God’s Word, I reached out to my aunt in Belize. I said, “Auntie, in the Queen’s finality, may her departure from this world bring more people to Christ.” Her response to me “I am praying for this too.”
NIYR נִיר—a masculine noun and Hebrew for fallow ground, is land that has some possibility of producing a fine harvest, but due to neglect, it is dry and has many cracks. It is a challenging land to plant on. Our hearts can also become fallow, for it is difficult to grow in God, when based on our own desires, we are biblically neglected, neglected by teachers, or neglected from intensely ingrained apostasy.
Let’s allow God to reap a plentiful harvest grown on our hearts. Let’s allow His only Word to be the seeds we plant and allow His mercies and grace to water them.
All Bible verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV). Crossway Publishers