When GOD first let me know that HE wanted me to change what I write about in my blog, I was pretty happy. NO more stories about me! Then I was stunned. The subject will be, The Road To Maturity. Better still was the fact that it was "MY" road to maturity. My thought was...Well, okay. Then my thoughts were...That could be a little bit intimidating. How do you write about The Road To Maturity? The answer was...Write about things that happen on a day to day basis and how you handle them...With ME or without ME. And then I thought...Do I really want to? Everyone that reads this knows how much I messed up the first "many" years of my life and now I have to let everyone in on...how I mess up everyday, "these years of my life"? That all seemed a little unnerving to me. But...I have learned in the past to go with it and see what happens. So I'm thinking that this will all be good and I will learn from it. I still wasn't sure how I was going to start but before I knew it things were starting to fall into place. I just happened to read some devotionals and they were about growing and maturing in your walk with the LORD. Then as I was leaving the bookstore I saw a book on the "new books" shelf, from an author I like and found it was about the same thing. So, I bought it. However, I was still questioning how I was going to do this and what I was going to write. Well...it didn't take long for my first lesson in maturing to start.
I hate to admit it but it seems that I don't learn well the first time I go through something, or even the second, third or fourth time. From the first of my blog you know that I have had some problems with a few addictions in my life. One of them was drinking. Years ago I gave it up, but on occasion when problems would arise in my life I would go back to it. Then after becoming a Christian it was odd to me but I really wanted to drink more that I had in a long time. I found out that it was satan tempting me to try to get me back. Through many struggles with that it finally got to where I didn't want it anymore. I was ecstatic about that! Well, as it turned out satan still liked to tempt me from time to time but I never went back and I thought, for months now, that I was free and clear. GOD had finally taken away all desire for it, and no matter what, I could not be tempted with that. That was a mistake. You can always be tempted, it's how you handle it that matters. That's where the first entry in my "Road To Maturity" blog comes from.
Life was rough for a few days. I couldn't believe that all the same feelings were back. It seems that this one temptation caused some of the other issues to come back that I have struggled with. I was not happy and I was not handling it in a "mature" Christian way. I was reading my Bible less and less, until for a couple of days I didn't read it at all. How does that help any situation? It doesn't. I just went further down. All I could think of was that all of this wasn't fair, and how could GOD be telling me He wanted me to write about my journey of growing closer to HIM,and maturing, when I couldn't even get over this. It seemed to me that I was failing and going backwards faster than ever before. Well, then I turned on the tv and there was a message about..."You used to have it but you have lost it." And...that's how I was feeling. I thought...Maybe I wasn't really a Christian after all. I had been getting closer to GOD but now it just seemed as if I was headed right back to where I started. Then it was pointed out to me that this was the devil because he didn't want me to do, what GOD wanted me to do. Really I already knew this but sometimes I don't look at the big picture. I just go on what is happening to me at the moment. Not really very mature thinking. It never hurts to be reminded about all of this. I think that's one reason why I have to write these things.
GOD is showing me that if I want to "really" grow, and become more mature, I have a lot more changing to do. After listening, and reading, both of these things I started feeling better about it all and read my bible and said a short prayer. I know that GOD doesn't tempt you but I think HE may have let me struggle with this so I could remember where HE brought me from, and where it is I want to go with HIM. Maybe, HE waits for us to calm down and talk to HIM before doing something to help us out. I'm not sure. We are the ones in charge of how we handle temptations. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be tempted again. If not with this, something else. I'm also thinking that it's a good bet I will get off course again and flounder a bit. Until I get to Heaven I will never be "fully mature" but I will grow more and become closer to the way GOD wants me to be. For me, this journey seems to be pretty rocky at times. I don't always do the right thing or think the right things. But, there is one thing I'm sure of. From time to time I will have setbacks, I may fall, but I will never go back to the person I used to be. I will do my best to continue to grow and mature and pursue the life that GOD has for me.
One thing I know I have to figure out how to do is...To always be anchored to the power of the cross. Always stay anchored to JESUS, keep my eyes on HIM. Things are going to happen in life and I need to always remember to turn to HIM first and not to the things of this world. I can't rely on myself to stand firm because there are times I'm not really very good at that. I tend to drift. I have to always turn to the LORD and serve HIM with my whole heart. HE is all that matters in this life.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (New Living Translation)
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
James 1:14 (New Living Translation)
14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.
Hebrews 4:16 (New Living Translation)
16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
James 1:2-3 (New Living Translation) 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
Psalm 43:4 (New Living Translation)
4 There I will go to the altar of God,
to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp,
O God, my God!
Psalm 63:1 (New Living Translation)1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
Joshua 24:14 (New Living Translation)
14 “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone.