I had concluded a while back I had come to a place in life where I would no longer have issues with doing wrong. However, I find today that God has a way of turning up the heat in the cauldron on my life to bring even more dross to the surface.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. – Romans 7:17-18
God has His way of taking haughtiness out of my life by showing me I still need to deal with sin in my life. I’m good with that. The conclusion of the fresh heating process has made my heart softer and less encumbered with pride that may have grown if left unchecked.
No one is above the need for a continued life of discipleship. We must learn to deal with our shortcomings in order to mature. As some of you that read this blog may have come across my explanation of the word “mature”. To some that trip over the word “perfect”, let me refresh you.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:48
The English translation from the Greek has tripped up many believers into thinking perfection in the terms of doing absolutely no wrong. The correct translation can be derived from the following definition from the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
Complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with 3588) completeness:–of full age, man, perfect.
The definitions deal primarily with maturity or “of full age” Maturity or maturing is a progressive work from day to day. Perfection is the ultimate end, but it requires the process of success and failure as well. I could say that perfection includes falling, yet getting up and continuing the journey. In the getting up I find that a degree of maturity (perfection) is working in that we do not accept failure as an end to reaching the goal of becoming Christ-like.
So as we look at Matthew 5:48 we are directed to strive for maturity as we draw closer to our Father which is perfect. It doesn’t actually say we will suddenly become mature when we are born again. We can no more do that than a baby becoming an adult in a day. Again I stress perfection or maturity is the end result of a process that we work through.
So today even at my age I find myself still saved by the blood of Jesus, yet by the way of God’s testing I find there is still sin that has to be dealt with. Doing so will bring me closer to Him and that maturity or perfection that all of us are working towards that follow Him will be achieved.
If you feel you’ve fallen short, as we all do, getting up and forging ahead will clear a path towards perfection. I keep bouncing around between these two words, because the are synonymous. Maturity is the goal.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the highcalling of God in Christ Jesus. – Phil 3:14
Therein lies the realization of our full salvation in Him