Tonight as we were in our prayer meeting, it hit me. As I was praying, an element of spiritual maturity dawned on me, and I had never thought about it in this way before.
It wasn't Bible knowledge. It wasn't church attendance. It wasn't evangelism. It wasn't giving. It wasn't serving.
ONE OF THE GREATEST INDICATORS OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY IS CHILDLIKE FAITH.
This hit me while I was praying because I realized that I do not pray as audaciously as I should because, over the years, in some ways, I have lost my childlike faith in God.
Why do I believe in Him for salvation, but I do not call out to Him for healing? Why do I trust in Him for forgiveness, but I do not petition Him for revival? Why am I sure that I am justified, yet I am unsure of whether or not He can still perform miracles? Why am I confident that He will return, yet I am hesitant to ask Him to do the supernatural in my midst.
It almost seems as if, over the years, as I've grown in my ability to explain God, I've lost my ability to believe God. What a tragedy!
Here are three ways that I know my faith has shrunk that I hope to reverse and I pray you'll avoid!
MY PRAYERS WOULD BE BEST DESCRIBED AS ACCURATE RATHER THAN AUDACIOUS.
One indicator of this might be if you always feel the need to say in your prayers, "If it's your will..." Only you know whether or not that is a necessary statement in your prayers or if you are using it as a way to guard your ego if the prayer is not answered. Audacious prayers requires childlike faith.
MY PREACHING WOULD BE BEST DESCRIBED AS PRACTICAL RATHER THAN PROPHETIC.
Did God call me to preach just so that people would have a few "to-do's" to try during the week? I don't think so. God called me to preach so that His truth would be proclaimed. He called me to preach so that darkness would be exchanged for light; so that death would be exchanged for life! Prophetic preaching requires childlike faith.
MY LEADERSHIP WOULD BE BEST DESCRIBED AS CALCULATED RATHER THAN COURAGEOUS.
The local church doesn't need another calculated leader. That might be what a business looking to turn a profit needs. But, the body of Christ needs a courageous leader who will boldly follow the leading of the Holy Spirit regardless of the cost. Courageous leadership requires childlike faith.
Now don't get me wrong. There is nothing inherently wrong with accurate prayers, practical preaching, and calculated leadership. It is when these things come at the expense of childlike faith where I believe one's spiritual maturity must come into question. Enough is enough.
Would you join me in maturing our ability to believe God like a child?
"For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom." Matthew 18:2-4 (MSG)