Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Defining Moments

Tonight I was talking to a dear friend about the exciting development of maturity in our spiritual lives. I was just telling this friend how excited I am to have seen a spiritual growth in them over the past couple of years. Three years ago when I started asking them how I could pray for them, prayer requests were consistently very surface level and were things like school, ill relatives, and other important, but impersonal requests. Over the years, I have seen spiritual growth in many areas, but one area that has definitely stuck out is that this friend now gives me more personal, deep requests such as pride, self-control, patience, etc. Now, I'm not saying that impersonal prayer requests are any less important, but I think that there is definitely a time in the life of a believer when the Lord starts to show them the depravity of their sin & the intricate details of their depravation, allowing them to see the "respectable sins" (as Jerry Bridges calls them) that are clouding their spiritual glasses.
I've also considered that another factor into going from surface level to deep spiritual content could be the intimacy of the relationship and the length of time the relationship has had to develop (I'm learning that most people don't spill their guts upon the first introduction as I tend to do), but in the case of this relationship and looking back, I didn't see much spiritual growth at the time the friendship began, whereas over the past few years I have seen significant growth.

These defining moments in our spiritual lives are so exciting to me! I love to see the development of personal relationships with God, and to learn from those who are more wise, and also from "baby believers." I have recently found that the passion that young believers have and the burning desire they have to preach the gospel has been kindled with time & I long to become more sensitized towards the urgency of proclaiming the Good News and remembering that any moment could be our last.

Oh, how I love to fellowship with believers! It's such a sweet time and I look forward to being extremely active during my Christmas break. It will be so nice not to have to stay home to study for tests and write papers and to be able to go out and enjoy the company of fellow Christians!

"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17, ESV).

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin" (I John 1:7, ESV).

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, ESV).