I’ve been re-reading (which with books that one has read before is more like visiting or revisiting an old friend,) “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” by Eugene Peterson. I love the familiarity of the Songs of Ascent, & Peterson’s thoughts on discipleship, faithfulness, & perseverance in the face of the times of life that are seemingly mundane, humdrum, boring, uneventful, & lonely.
And it gives me great joy to learn & keep learning from those that have gone before me, walking a similar path to the one I’m on… & those that are a few steps ahead of me in life.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been pondering a blog post I read from a guy I look up to… in it he mentions some identifiers, “measuring sticks” really, of spiritual maturity…
1. Our spiritual maturity is measured by the degree which we communicate the love of God to & with others.
2. Our spiritual maturity is also measured by how we encourage others in their spiritual growth & development.
Both of these indicators aren’t fantastic, spectacular, or even… spiritual, in the way that many see spirituality. One thing that stands out to me is that they aren’t focused on the individual, but rather look to others, their lives, & how they can be encouraged, helped, & blessed.
Currently in a series at church called, “GOD – the Holy Spirit”… which came out of an increasing awareness that the Holy Spirit, the 3rd part of the Trinity, seems to be largely misunderstood, ignored, or feared by large segments of the Church at large… & that many (myself included) weren’t really aware of the work, let alone the person of the Spirit. My studies & prep have taken me from the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan to perusing Scripture, with eyes especially looking for where the Spirit is at work & is revealed…
Something I read the other day still rings in my head… it was in Ezekiel 3:24 where Ezekiel has fallen on his face due to the glory of the LORD being revealed. Here it says that the ‘Spirit entered me & made me stand on my feet…”
The Spirit gave Ezekiel strength to stand, & then gave him direction at what to do next. Wow.
Its very encouraging to me to see the Spirit, God’s indwelling representative in me today, actively participating in the “what to do” & the “how to get there.”