“. . . Paul purposed in the Spirit . . .” Acts 19:21
In the Christian life, grace enables us both to will and to make choices that are called by circumstances, or by God’s command. Whatever the case, it is grace that lifts up the whole person into their Sonship. As our identity in Christ becomes clearer, stronger, and more refined, the image of Christ in us becomes our hope.
Life transformation extends to every dimension of our life, our body, mind, and soul. The resurrected life of Christ conforms the senses to the rule and reason of righteousness, instills a holy zeal into our desires and drives, so that our whole being responds to the supernatural leading of the Holy Spirit.
Paul here in Acts 19 is plunged into a sea of change, conflict, and controversy. Yet Paul remains strong and stable. He constantly reaffirmed the call, the work of God in his life. Each time he surrendered to the call of God, he became stronger, more assured in his heart, of all God was doing in and through his life.
Maturity in the Christian life is not one in which the will and intellect submit to God while emotions wildly go their own way. There is struggle after all, the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. The outstretching of God’s redemption reaches for the whole person. It’s to that end we keep moving right along in the Spirit.
Continuing to apply our identity in Christ brings about more and more healing of our brokenness, so that the affections, rather than diverting and distracting from the will of God, begin to support and strengthen the life of God within. With that we are able to bear witness to God’s love ardently, patiently, courageously, and joyfully.
What are the marks of spiritual maturity? Do you see them in your own life?