When we see adults acting like kids, we call them immature and urge them to grow up. In the same way, when we see adults who are immature in their faith, we must urge them to grow in their faith as well.
We need faith to make us mature.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
1 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)
God expects us to grow up! So we should ask ourselves: how do we really feel about growing up spiritually? Sometimes we don’t want to grow up. Growing up spiritually means making adult, spiritual decisions, and taking responsibility for the effects of your sin on God and others.
The Battle to See God
Faith makes us see God. Humanism makes us see people.
9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery.
Acts 8:9-11 (NIV)
Simon was a man who many of us can relate to. He loved the idea of being great. He loved attention from people. He loved having people follow him. He loved to amaze people.
How can you relate to Simon’s infatuation with people’s attention?
- Using good looks or body to draw people to yourself
- Using athletics to draw people to yourself
- Using your intellect to draw people to yourself
- Using social skills to draw people to yourself
When we are consumed with drawing people to ourselves, we miss out on seeing God.
Dealing With the Inside Life
12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
Acts 8:12-13 (NIV)
Even when Simon got baptized, he still wasn’t thinking about God. It was all a show for people.
And here is why…
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
Acts 8:20-23 (NIV)
Why was Simon so in love with the idea of being great and attracting attention from people? He was “full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
What sins have held you captive?
Bitterness has the power to kill our ability to see God. When we are constantly trying to please people, we can never be satisfied and we end up frustrated.
Who are you so busy trying to please that you have now become full of bitterness?
- Your parents?
- Your kids?
- Your spouse?
- Your boss?
- Your church friends?
What does bitterness lead to? Peter told Simon: “You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.” The bitterness in his heart disconnected him from his friends and corrupted him.
Purpose Trumps the Pain
12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Acts 8:12 (NIV)
Everyone wants to be great! Everyone wants to matter! That’s why the people followed Simon: he claimed to be great! However, when they found about the Kingdom of God and Jesus, they received a vision greater than what they heard from Simon. The message they heard from Philip allowed them to understand that there is more to life. They started to live and see life through the lens of faith!
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
Did you know that God has a very specific, unique purpose for your life? Did you know that your pain, suffering, sins, and choices are all part of you finding God and discovering your purpose? When we see God, he helps us discover our purpose.
9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:9-10 (NIV)
God has great feelings for us! Just like great artists cherish their art work, God loves and admires us.
Choose to study the Bible and discover God’s purpose for your life.