Ephesians 4:15 (ESV)
 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
It is God's desire that as believers we should all become mature in our faith and in our walk with God. A parent will often mark their child's growth with pictures or a mark on the door post or wall to indicate how much they have grown. As believers measuring maturity is a bit harder. There is no tape measure against which we can easily check our growth. The tape measure is the fruit of the Spirit and the character of Christ, but sometimes measuring how far we have grown by that measure is difficult. It is hard to save if I am more loving than last year or whether I have been more joyful. How many times I have gone to church and how much money I have given is much easier to measure, but it is far less accurate in terms of measuring actual spiritual maturity.
That being said, New Years is a time of traditional meditation on our lives. What have we accomplished? Where are we going? What needs to change? In looking back over the past year it seems that God has been teaching me three lessons. He has been reminding me again of the power and necessity of prayer. He has been reminding me that prayer is more than just "saying our prayers." Prayer is an act of faith. Prayer is an expression of dependence. Prayer is listening as much as talking. Prayer is vital in spiritual battle. Prayer is an essential blessing in times of spiritual rest. My prayer as the calendar ticks from 2013 to 2014 is, "Lord, teach me to prayer."
God has also been teaching me that we walk by faith, not by sight. Following Jesus is not about seeing and knowing where we are going and how things will turn out. It is not about having plans B and C in place in case plan A doesn't work out. It is not about walking familiar paths and staying comfortable. Sometimes when we follow God we discover that all of our plans with their contingencies fall apart. Sometimes God calls us to walk unfamiliar paths. Sometimes God stretches us far outside our comfort zones. We cannot know what tomorrow will hold. We can, and should, make plans, but we mist always remembef thwt our plans are contingent upon God's plans. We walk by faith, not by sight,
Finally, God has been reminding me again of the power of his Word. Our strength as believers is not in us, it is in him and his Word. The scriptures are the word of God himself. God's Word has the power to bring down spiritual strongholds when all our arguments fail. GDP's Word has the ability to bring peace when all of our explanations fall on deaf ears. God's Word has the ability to expose lies, reveal truth, change hearts and transform lives when all of our plans and programs fall apart. There is power in the Word of God.
This is what God has been impressing on me recently. The result is that I pray God will teach me to pray, remind me to trust him, and not let me get away with filling my mind and thoughts will a constant flow of nonsense when it is his Word that is truly powerful.
What has God been teaching you?
By His grace,