Home Relationships PRACTICAL STEPS TO TAKE TO GUARANTEE SPIRITUAL MATURITY, BEFORE DATING

PRACTICAL STEPS TO TAKE TO GUARANTEE SPIRITUAL MATURITY, BEFORE DATING

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1) Develop a secret relationship with the Lord.*
The Lord warned His disciples not to be like the Pharisees who did their works to be noticed by men,but to do their works in secret before the Father. In this way we begin to put our hope and trust in our relationship to Him, not men. There is no greater security than to know that we are known by God. As the Lord warned, “How can you believe when you receive glory one from another, but do not seek the glory that is from the one and only true God” (John 5:44). Seeking glory, or recognition,from men is probably the most destructive thing that we can do to true faith.

2) Pray that the same love with which the Father loved the Son would be in us.* The Lord Jesus Himself prayed for the same love with which the Father loved Him to be in us (John 17:). We know that this prayer of the Son of God, who was in perfect harmony with the Father will be answered, but we have not because we ask not. When this love replaces religious duty, our good works will greatly exceed what they would be otherwise.

3) “Study to show yourselves approved unto to God [not men]” (II Timothy 2:15).* When we study the word of God in order to show demonstrate our knowledge before men, or to prove our position before men, we have departed from the Spirit of Truth that leads to truth. The Spirit of Truth came to reveal Jesus, not us. We must study His word in order to seek Him, and to do what is approved of Him, not men. As the Lord warned the Pharisees, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men,but God knows your hearts, for that which is highly esteemed with men is detestable in the sight
of God”. If we are motivated to do the things that are highly esteemed with men, or to justify ourselves before men, we will be doing that which is detestable
in God’s sight.

4) Spend quality time alone with the Lord each day.* Endeavor, as much as it is possible, to increase this to the place where you spend more time alone with the Lord than with any other individual. When we are spending time with Him continually we will not be so prone to the guilt that drives us to start measuring our spiritual lives by our works.

5) Seek to hear the voice of the Lord every day.*
The Lord’s sheep know His voice (see John 10:27).They know His voice because they spend time with Him. If a good earthly parent seeks to spend some quality time with their children each day, how much more does the Lord seek to spend quality time with us. That quality of the time can be measured by the quality of the communication. The Lord really does want to speak to all of us each day. If we would refuse to go to bed until we have heard from Him in some meaningful way, our lives would be quickly changed. The most important thing that we can do each day is to spend time with Him, and hear from Him. But do not just seek to hear the words of the Lord, but the Word Himself.

6) Ask the Lord to give us the love for our neighbors that He has for them. Only then will our witness and our ministry to them be pure. But we must always endeavor to love the Lord first, and most. If we love the Lord more than we do our children, or our neighbors, we will love them more than we would otherwise.

7) Seek to turn your criticisms into intercession.*
Let your first response to seeing something wrong with someone else be to pray for them, asking for grace on their behalf. If someone especially irritates you, endeavor to pray for them even more. If you make an investment in them in prayer, “where you treasure is there will your heart be also,” and you will start to genuinely love them. True spiritual authority is founded on love, so if you love them enough the Lord may be able to trust you with the ministry of truth that will set them free. Some of the
greatest spiritual victories that are counted in heaven
are the ones that turn enemies into friends, which turn those who dwell in darkness into children of the light.
This must always be our goal.

8) Continually ask the Lord to see His glory*.
It is by seeing His glory with an unveiled face that we are changed into His same image (II Corinthians3:17). Understanding doctrine is important, but until we see His glory it only remains doctrine. When we behold Him the doctrine will become our nature. It is not by believing in our minds, but in our hearts, that it results in righteousness.

9) Keep as one of your highest goals to manifest the sweet aroma of the knowledge of God in every place.* Like Moses, ask the Lord not to send you anywhere that His manifest presence is not going to go with you. We should only want to be where He is. And we should always behave as is befitting being in the presence of the King.

10) When you have failed to do any of these properly, ask forgiveness and “forgetting what lies behind, press on toward the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”* (Philippians 3:14 KJV).

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