If you’re looking for God to appear in some scientific equation, you’re wasting your time. God is revealed through the heart, not the mind. Of course you comprehend what proceeds from the heart with your mind and for that reason, like in science, careful step-by-step instruction is key to an in-depth understanding. We begin to learn science in elementary school and build on that knowledge through high school, college, and graduate school. Our travel closer to God should follow much the same pattern. We learn the basics from one source then seek another source to expand that knowledge, followed by still another source in an attempt to achieve full maturity. Indeed, we may go through any number of gifted instructors in our effort to move ever closer to God.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)
You probably remember the first person who introduced you to God in a meaningful way. It may have been a parent, Sunday school teacher, friend at work, or a stranger on the street. Once you began thinking about God it’s likely someone else came along and advanced your understanding. Perhaps someone touched you in a way that moved God from your mind into your heart. Do you remember the moment you trusted Jesus as your Savior? Who guided you to your salvation? Once you became a believer, who were the people who mentored you to maturity as a Christian? Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are all needed to build the body of Christ. Over time we all become teachers as we instruct those coming along behind us. Even if you never preach a sermon in church you may become a pastor of a small group, or Sunday school class, or possibly your family. Following Jesus should be a continuing process of moving closer and closer to God by seeking out more mature believers to guide you.
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” Ephesians 4:14 (NIV)
Our goal is to love like Jesus. That is the definition of full maturity. It’s not something we can achieve in this lifetime, but we should work as hard as we can to move ever closer to that ideal. Working together we can overcome any obstacles placed in our way. We have to work together to mentor and nurture each other along the way. Working together as one body is the key to success in our walk with the Lord.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:15-16 (NIV)