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All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things.
When can someone claim to be mature? Is it at age 16 when he gets a driver’s license? Or at 18 when she can vote? Maybe it’s when he gets married or when she has children. Or maybe it’s when they sign on the line for a mortgage; perhaps maturity officially arrives with the first AARP card or retirement or the first grandchild. As life progresses, we realize that maturity usually isn’t a fixed point. It’s an ongoing process, with markers along the way that indicate our growth.
In today’s passage, the apostle Paul said if we are mature spiritually, we will reach forward and press to the prize. Spiritual maturity in part means that we acknowledge the ways that our lives are transformed by Christ and the prospect of a heavenly future. Spiritual maturity will affect the way we live.
Maturity is an ongoing process. When we stumble and falter in our Christian walk, God reveals this to us. Paul spoke of two ways God keeps us on track. One is that He reveals His will to us (v. 5). Believers have been given the Holy Spirit to dwell within them. This correction may take place through the promptings of the Spirit or through the instruction in His Word. As we read and pray, God reveals the ways we need to change. He reminds us of our heavenly calling. He prompts changes in our lives.
The second way we keep our eye on the prize is by examining the lives of others. Paul pointed to his own example for the people of Philippi. He kept in contact through friends and letters. He showed faithfulness despite suffering. He said by watching the godly and faithful actions of fellow believers, we mature in our own walk with Christ.
Apply the Word
Ask God to reveal to you whether you are keeping your eye on the prize. He shows this to you through the nudging of the Spirit, the study of His Word, or through the example of other believers. Is there a behavior God might be asking you to change? Is there a task He wants you to do? We can grow in spiritual maturity, no matter how old we are!
Pray with Us
Dr. John Jelinek, VP and dean of Moody Theological Seminary in Chicago, and Randall Dattoli, associate dean, request the prayers of the Moody community for the seminary’s new degrees and venues to reach more students, both online and in classrooms.