Philippians 3:13 New International Version (NIV) 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.
This week in bible study Elder Sam lead us through the Homework assignment that Bishop Lester Woods gave to us last week in bible study. Bible study opened up with an open discussion on the 5 characteristics of spiritual maturity that we found in Philippians 3: 13 from the assignment.
Five characteristics of being spiritually mature:
- A mature Christian knows his own heart. There is still room to grow. We have to work and be willing to work on those things that we have not figured out yet. Everybody is working on something. (Lord, purge me of anything unlike you and watch and let God work).
- Our current condition/circumstance should not define our character. Speak positively into the atmosphere. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. He wants to expose things out of love so things can be dealt with. He knows our heart; do you know who you are?
- The mature Christian concentrates on the present. We have to walk, talk and believe with a spirit of Excellence. We should be good stewards of what is given to us before God will give us the next assignment. God can only bless you with what he can trust you with. Have to be faithful with the things that God has provided us. Acts 7:53
- The mature Christian strives for what lies ahead. (vs. 13) Quit looking in the past. Think about the positive things and stop thinking about the negative. Anytime those issues come up you plead the blood of Jesus over it/them. We have to stop looking back into our past. If I am constantly looking back, I am a hindrance. I am distracted. I cannot be used because I am steadily looking back when I need to be pressing toward the mark and what is ahead of us. VISION!
- The mature Christian fixes his eye on the goal. (vs. 14). Everything we do must be wholeheartedly given up unto the Lord. I’m a God pleaser – not a man pleaser; not a job pleaser; not a friend pleaser. People will mix up your anointing for arrogance. Love those who spite and abuse you. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord of hosts. God will move people out of your way. Romans 12:1-2 Not my will Lord, but Your will be done.
- We need to strive to meet our goals. We need to grow up and be mature in the Lord. We cannot do the same things we have done five and ten years ago. It is dependent on our capacity – not God’s.
- Unity is key. God has given us what we need to take authority in our lives/on our jobs/in our community/etc. He empowers us to do exceedingly and above all that we can think of.
See you at Sunday Services 10:30am and 1:30 pm at Urban Empowerment Ministries!