How Old Are You?
And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou? ~Genesis 47:8
Today marks the birthday of one of my daughter’s and several good friends in church. It is amazing that all of them share the milestone of another year of life and blessings from the Lord. I am very happy that today is their special day. It was a special moment when Jacob came to Egypt and saw Joseph after a very long absence. He presumed Joseph was killed and eaten up by a wild beast many years before. As Joseph brings Jacob into Pharaoh’s presence , Pharaoh’s opening question to the patriarch was “how old art thou?” He looked at this venerable man of faith and asked him a question that begged an answer. It is a question we need to ask ourselves from a spiritual perspective. “How old art thou?” How old are you in spiritual maturity?
There is the growth in maturity.
When we speak of spiritual maturity we refer to the goal of spiritual growth. We are exhorted to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. True growth is advancing not just in years but in soul depth and relationship. It is having moved from a diet of the milk of the Word to a diet of the meat of the Word. It is being able to discern good and false doctrine. It is being able to spend long hours in prayer and learning to draw closer to the Lord. It is being established on the faith and having achieved stability. It is being strong in faith, not doubting the promises.
There is the gridlock in maturity.
If we are not careful we can hit barriers, ceilings, and interferences in our growth. Gridlock is the result of prolonged absences in prayer and in the Word of God. It is having sin or weights in our life that hold us down. It is being used to the status quo. It is doing less than our best for the Lord. It is becoming indifferent to souls dying and going to Hell, or losing a passion for the Lord and His work. When we hit a gridlock, it is high time to deal with the reasons for it and move out of this status.
There is the groaning in maturity.
Growth does not come without aches and pain. We cannot attain growth without trials in our life. Trials work and develop patience in us. God will stretch our faith through delays, setbacks, and sufferings. Heaviness in our hearts drives us to long seasons in prayer. Difficult circumstances make us wait on the Lord. We will groan in our spirit, but we will attain growth.
There is the grace in maturity.
True growth will develop us in the grace of God. God’s grace is His strength being made perfect in weakness. God’s grace is the invisible component that develops our spirit. It is realizing God’s grace is sufficient for us in the midst of our trial. It is attaining that point where we are not annoyed or bothered by people or situations that would normally wear us out. It is Paul having faith while on the stormy sea. It is Peter being able to sleep without worry while in prison. It is Paul and Silas praying and singing in a jailhouse in Philippi after having been beaten to shreds.
“How old art thou?” Where are you at in your Christian life experience? Are you a Christian who has been the same for twenty years, or a Christian who has twenty years of real growth? “How old art thou?”
Have a growth-filled God morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 34-36