My husband and I stayed in a motel in Nashville two nights before a tornado ripped through the area. We watched the destruction on television and wondered at the fact that we were just there, in its path. We marveled at our last minute decision to come home two days earlier than planned.
A few years ago, a tornado destroyed some homes near ours. Debris fell up to 50 miles away, picked up and hurled like missiles inside its vortex, then spread over fields and yards far from the storm’s route.
God’s hand in nature both terrifies and comforts. It comforts because it shows His magnificence and beauty. It terrifies because we have no control over it.
In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul looks at the church in Ephesus. He compares their spiritual growth to winds and waves. First though, he sets a contrast, a measure to strive for.
“…until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13; NASB)
Unity of faith and knowledge of Jesus is gained by understanding Scripture and is characteristic of a spiritually “mature” individual.
One thing I know in this process of my physical maturing, older does not necessarily mean wiser or better.
But spiritual maturity is an altogether different thing.
Take a look at a child captured in the arms of a parent when he doesn’t want to be. Like a hand held tornado he pushes away. His little body wiggles and twirls. His attention is on the next thing. His focus is ready to embrace something new.
This is Paul’s picture of us.
One thing I know in this process of my physical maturing, older does not necessarily mean wiser or better
But we aren’t to remain that way.
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,…” (Eph. 4:14; NASB)
Unity, built on faith in Christ, solid, firm and unshakable. Some say doctrine divides. Scripture informs us that’s just not true. People divide.
In today’s so-called Christian world we are easily caught up in a cyclone of Christian winds, ideas and faddish waves that drive the church.
“That book changed my life,” my friend said.
“That this and that that…”
You may have said it. I just may have too.
But here is the deal. We need to grow up.
Ultimately, in the winds and waves of Christian influences and followings, it is really Jesus that changes us and transforms our lives hearts, minds and souls.
God’s Word has the power to turn our path from destructive, storm-tossed flailing followers into strong, stable disciples, firm in truth
True transformation, the kind that rips us apart down to our very foundations and builds strong solid faith in Christ alone, comes from the Word of God. Layer upon layer, read and re-read, built over time, speaks into the deep needs of our hearts. The rest, helpful but soon forgotten, falls off somewhere along the way like debris.
God’s Word has the power to turn our path from destructive, storm-tossed flailing followers into strong, stable disciples, firm in truth.
It’s birthday time.
Time to grow up “in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ…” (verse 14).