One of the reasons I started writing this blog was to combat those names we call ourselves. Names we never were supposed to call ourselves, but somehow picked up along the way of life. Names that hold us back from what God has called us to do. The one that has been weighing on my heart lately is Immature.
Wait! Don’t go away. I know what you’re all thinking… “I am NOT immature.” Well, let’s just take a look at that definition. Immature: not developed, ripe, or perfected. Not fully grown, lacking wisdom or insight. Hmmm…do any of those connect? I can pick a few for me:) And how about this - are any of them excuses you use when God taps your shoulder and asks you to do something? “But Lord, I’m not wise enough”, “Lord, I haven’t been a Christian long enough” or “God, I still have too many rough edges.” Ohhh....what about "But God, I'm not perfect"...
Here's the truth - we are immature. We are children of God and we're still growing. Maybe we're all at different stages, but we don' t reach maturity until we're in heaven. To be mature means to be fully ripened, complete in growth, perfected. Now, I may have some characteristics that are more mature than others, but as a whole I am not mature. I am immature. So are you.
But that isn't a negative.
And it doesn't mean He can't use us.
See, we all start out as babies when we come to Christ. We’ve literally been “born again” into His family and we begin our journey as just a babe. And even here, He uses us.
Do you know what it’s like to see a newborn Christian? New birth brings joy, and as Christians, we explode with it! When a person first comes to Christ, we get to see again in a profound way His grace at work – and boy do we celebrate! Not only for what He’s done in your life, but for what He’s done in ours. It refreshes those of us who have been saved for years. Just simply by accepting God into your heart, God’s used you. It’s your first step.
So you grow a little. You start reading your Bible. You see God at work in your life. You have the faith of a child. Jesus welcomed children into His arms and onto His lap. He told all the grown-ups to become like them. I see that in our faith too. With each step you take in faith you remind those who are struggling that God is still at work. They see your zeal, and it is contagious. Just by your walk you encourage others to keep up with theirs. And you take a few more steps.
Time passes. You grow into an adult. You know your Bible, you attend church regularly, maybe even a small group. Some of those rough edges are smoothed out. And God calls your name. Why not head up one of those small groups? Teach Sunday School? Go to Bible School? Become a missionary? Reach outside yourself.
And you stop. Me?
But wait God, I’m not ready! I’m not fully developed. I’m still messing up in areas. I don’t have every scripture memorized.
The excuses mount up so quickly, you can’t see over them to the fact that He’s been using you all along. This is just another step in your journey - maybe one that feels like an insurmountable leap - but your growth comes from taking it. It looks bigger than any step you've taken before, but that's because you've grown. You see, we’d never expect a newborn to just up and run. That’s not how God created it. We scooch, we crawl, take a few unbalanced steps, walk, then finally run. Maybe even leap...and sometimes we fall. But our Father picks us up, gives us a hug, wipes our tears and sends us on our way. To keep moving. To keep growing. To keep becoming.
You’re more ready than you know. And what you think you cannot accomplish is simply another step of your growth. Let God accomplish it through you. Let Him amaze you with His plan for your life. But you have to take the step first. So take it, and remember, "He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6). Until then, let God use you, immaturity and all.