I read this in a devotion by Neil Anderson recently and it prompted some thoughts:
1 John 2:14
I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
First John 2:12-14 describes three levels of Christian growth in relation to sin. The first level is compared to “little children” (verse 12). Little children in the faith are characterized by having their sins forgiven and possessing a knowledge of God. In other words, they are in the family of God and have overcome the penalty of sin, but they haven’t grown to full maturity.
The second level is “young men” (verses 13, 14), those who have overcome the evil one. These are aggressively growing believers who are strong because the Word of God abides in them. They know the truth and how to use it to resist Satan in the battle for their minds. They are no longer in bondage to uncontrollable habits, and they have resolved the personal and spiritual conflicts which keep many Christians from experiencing freedom in Christ. They are free, and they know how to stay free.
The third level is “fathers” (verses 13, 14), those who have developed a deep personal knowledge of God. Their faith is securely founded on a close, intimate, loving relationship with God which is the goal of our spiritual growth. What about your faith? Are you a “child,” a “young man” or a “father”? Is it your daily goal to grow to maturity in your faith? Have you overcome the evil one?
I ask as he did, “Where are you in your walk with the Lord?” Are you satisfied to be a ‘little child’? Are you going to stay a young man (or woman), or push on to the maturity of a father? These are important questions! Don’t ‘settle’ for less than His best for you which is ‘Christlikeness’.
We can get so caught up in the issues of life that our walk is nothing more than a routine of church on Sunday and that’s it for the week. But I know that is not walking in the ‘abundant life’ He has promised us. I believe He has so much more for us than we can even begin to imagine. It reminds me of the “Price is Right” show where the contestants are asked, “Do you want what is behind door #1, #2 or #3?” If they knew where the ‘grand prize’ was that would be the door they would pick. Well, if we knew what He had for us I believe we’d all pick that door.
While we may not know exactly what He has for us in the future, we can know FOR SURE that it is good. I know that because His nature is good….and if His nature is good, then His plan for us can only be good. Of course, we know the Scripture tells us this in many verses. Probably the most famous is Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) which says,
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
If we really believed that, I doubt we’d let anything stand in our way of walking in it. However, we often allow the cares of this world to steal what we are promised.
So how do we change the path we are on? I believe there is one way and that is time. Spend time with Him every day and begin developing a real relationship with Him….even if you just start with 5 minutes. Be consistent with that time daily and you will begin to see changes in your life (and soon will find ways to lengthen your time with Him!!). His promise to us continues in the next 2 verses in Jeremiah:
Vs 12 – Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
Vs 13 – You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
We can mature in the faith and we will find Him when we seek Him with all our heart. Is that your heart’s desire?
Ephesians 4:13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.