Recent history reveals our world’s constant disarray. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Vietnam War decimated a land and its people. In 1989 the Soviet Union (USSR) fell apart, and chaos reigned for years. In 2012, nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran became a part of the world landscape. Today terrorism is a major topic of conversation, and headlines warn of natural disasters that will disrupt life as we know it and of attacks on our infrastructure that could bring us all back to the dark ages. Threats constantly loom over the human race and have become the norm. Even a major segment of our entertainment is focused on zombies and end-of-the world scenarios.
The world equates maturity to that time in our lives when we have the ability to live on our own and are free from parental control or the need of assistance. Our young people can’t wait for independence and a driver’s license. But spiritual maturity is just the opposite. True faith is recognition of our total dependence on the Holy Spirit. It’s freedom from having to make things happen on our own, but instead stepping into the flow of God’s river of life.
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.Deuteronomy 30:19, NLT
The Promised Land was a step above the wilderness for the Hebrews, but these ex-slaves had to fight for it. They had to choose to obediently follow God into it and in it. They had to believe that what God has promised, God delivers. We must also activate and live in this true faith. As God reminded them, He reminds us, “It’s a participatory relationship.”
In this hopeless modern-day wilderness, faith is a thirst-quenching, life-strengthening river of life that continually flows through us. It not only satisfies us, it splashes out of us onto others. And as our faith matures, it enables the growth of the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
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