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Growing in Spiritual Maturity

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way.

Philippians 3:14–15
Growing in Spiritual Maturity Book Cover

Even though we consider Paul to have been spiritually mature, he never gave the impression that he was finished growing. In Philippians 3, today’s Scripture, he wrote that he had not yet reached perfection, signaling that spiritual maturity is not about a moment of arrival. It is, instead, a continuous progression that lasts our whole lives. What we can also appreciate about Paul is his honesty about his struggles and the areas of his life where he still needed growth (Romans 7:21; 2 Corinthians 12:8–9). But Paul never gave up, relying more and more on God’s grace and strength the further along the journey he gets.

It’s a lesson we can learn. The more we grow and mature, the more we realize just how weak we are on our own. As we grow in God, we realize our deep need for him. Pleasing him becomes our passion. Just as we relied on the gospel for our salvation, we continue to rely on Jesus’ saving work throughout our journey of faith. At no time in our walk do we rely on our own merits or efforts. Paul even says that he refuses to trust in the things that could lead to a successful life—his pedigree, his religious affiliation. Before Christ, he boasted in those things. But after accepting Christ, he considers it all rubbish (Philippians 3:8). He rejects all trust in his former identity and embraces a personal relationship with Jesus.

Keep Going

“I press on toward the goal . . .” (Philippians 3:14). Through Paul’s writing, we are encouraged to continue on our journey of faith. It is not the easiest, and there are times when we want to throw in the towel. But he promises that it’s worth it to keep going.

Why is growing in God so important? We want to know Jesus deeply. And the more we get to know him, the more we are determined to let his character shine in every aspect of our lives. Our spiritual growth is not characterized by checklists and rigorous rules. With thankful hearts, we live out our salvation with obedience and service to the one who has rescued us from a terrible life. We desire to serve God out of love and that he would say of us as he said of Jesus, “These are my beloved daughters with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

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Daily Question

How do you feel about your spiritual journey? Does it seem to be filled with more setbacks than progressions? Or do you feel like you’re stuck in place and spinning your wheels? How do you think the presence of other believers can encourage you to keep going?

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Comments (15)

I think we all go through seasons of ups and downs in our walk. I think the importance of fellowship with other believers is being raw and honest…let them give you encouragement (exhort you) as the Bible says. God knows our struggles. Focusing on it God not me…His grace is sufficient…His power is made perfect in my weakness. Will I allow him to change me to let go of self…to be open to His leading.

I feel disengaged. Part of it is not attending church (or even watching online), and part of it is that we’re not in a community group. To remedy the situation, we’re signing up for the next group.

As I read the question, I imagined a line of Roman soldiers advancing with their shields up. The progression seems slow because it’s being met with a lot of opposition; but it’s seminal, steady, and unstoppable. That’s what my walk has been like. At the very least that’s what it’s like now. As far as connection with other believers goes, wow it’s so important. My housemates and I just had a time of sharing that was so encouraging, I know only the Lord could have put it together. I know if I walked on my own, my view of my walk would be quite different. I’d be down trodden and feeling helpless. With this I picture how a lion hunts down it’s prey isolating and cornering it.

Re this Bible study: I’m just starting to participate. I signed up shortly after If:Lead and was really jazzed about this proposed format. I wasn’t sure how or whether I’d really participate because of well my struggle with the disciplines (ironically) and I was totally sure which direction the Lord was leading. I was just trying to follow, ya know? Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you. I’m in awe of Him yet again. As I mentioned, I hadn’t been keeping up with the study (I tend to be horrible with email), but I felt impressed to open this one. And wouldn’t you know it? The EXACT topic the Lord has been talking to me about!! Specifically maturity and spiritual discipline. I was even talking to another sister about time with the Lord; she was sharing how it looks different for everyone!! I needed to read and hear this topic on this day. I’m in awe (not shocked, but)… loving how our good God knows exactly what we need and when. Even if my enlisting in the study was just for this one moment, I know He had His hand in it. I’m grateful. Thank you for your obedience.

My spiritual journey has been on track at times and full of twists, turns and spinning my wheels. Right know I feel like I was on a detour and finally figured out the way back on this road – thanks to this study. Much distraction and busyness stole my joy. The Holy Spirit is beckoning me to come home. Because if day 3’s questions I shutoff notifications on my phone and unsubscribed to several emails that came daily or weekly. More needs to be pared down. I also need to meet with other believers and plan to join a Bible study at church next month. Looking forward to it.

I’ve been a believer for 43 year. Over the years there have been ups an downs, tines of growth, times of feeling like a failure, and times of feeling stuck. Right now I’m in a time of growth. Other believers can encourage me by being honest about where they are and reminding me that we are on this journey together.

I have been leaning into the Lord soooo much more this year and have had so many amazing moments of healing and revelation. This has also come with a fair share of attack- specifically around my finances, business and confidence. I have been rebuking these setbacks a I see so clearly that they are the enemy’s lame attempt to create fear and hopelessness. NOT HERE, SATAN! I will trust in my God that these setbacks will be used for His glory…I have been so encouraged by my sisters in Christ during all of this, seeing the blessings that are happening out of nowhere their lives.

I just started the journey and I am soooo eager to learn more…..I cant wait to see what God has in store for me;) I feel former believers can help huge bc they know gods word already…and I’m the type of person that is eager to know the truth so I can pass it on…..God is love …love is God

Wow! Congrats my dear. God’s love is the best love around and you have entered into a family whose roots and love go deeper than blood. I look forward to hear more as you grow and share. Praying for you along the way 🙂

I think the enemy wants me to feel stuck but I have a couple of very dear friends who are so encouraging to me! I need their Spiritual encouragment desperately! Through the trials I’m going through! Along with God’s Word! I am so thankful for the weapons I have that only come from my Heavenly Father! I used to think I had need of nothing but as I walk this walk I see how desperately needy I truly am! I need HIM my Heavenly Father every second of the day!

I feel that my spiritual journey is intentionally being pursued. I know I have set backs and I know I spin my wheels and I know I fall down many times throughout the day. But when I have my quiet time with God my posture towards God is “let’s do this!” Despite whatever struggles I am going through. Right now I’m hungry for his word and his lessons. Speak to me, Lord, help me hear and/or know what to do next. I think being around other believers is so important because we are a community marching towards the same goal. Seeing others pursue and grow in faith is inspiring and it’s comforting that you aren’t alone in your struggles.

I’ve never just felt stuck in place. It’s always been more of a 3 steps forward 2 steps back kinda thing. I’m making progress but it’s slow progress. The more I learn about God the more I realize it’s not how much knowledge I acquire it’s about what I’m willing to let go. My Christian friends around me are the people who see me struggle and remind me to look up. They remind me where I’ve come from and the things God has accomplished in my life when I do let go and let him lead.

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