Jonathan Edwards and Resolutions (30): Grow in Spiritual Maturity Weekly
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
We have reached resolution 30. Now, maybe you aren't having the same experience, but this is blowing by for me and I'm having lots of fun. Hope you're hanging tight. As all the resolutions seem to be, this is a convicting one. This resolution is convicting because it confronts the besetting sin of laziness. Our culture is lazy. And as a pastor, I see laziness everywhere in the church. As a sinner, I see it evident all over my life. Can I honestly say that I make a weekly effort to be brought higher in my relationship with the Lord? Sadly not. But let's press into this a bit. Edwards must have had accountability around his resolutions. I see no reason for these resolutions to exist outside the context of the local church. I see no reason for these resolutions to exist outside of the community that could ask how well Edwards stayed his resolutions.
So, how can we, like Edwards, strive to be brought closer to Christ? I want to make this practical for me. I want to make this practical (but brief) for you. Please get into the Scripture on a regular and increasing routine. Notice I utilized the word increasing. I did this because you should be growing in this discipline of Bible reading. If you've been a Christian for 20 years and you're still attending to your soul for around 5 minutes a day, there is an issue and the only way out is repentance and fasting. Your spiritual disciplines should be on an uptick.
My opinion is that mature Christians should be reading through the entire Bible every year. Now, I know there are seasons where we savor certain books, but we should have a steady and comprehensive daily diet of the Word. Also, our prayer life should also be growing. Journal your prayers. Keep a prayer list. Have a daily and focused discipline of ever-increasing prayer. Ever-increasing prayer acknowledges an ever-increasing dependency upon the Lord. Additionally, I think mature Christians should read outside of the Scripture. It is quite silly for mature believers to neglect good books. I hate when Christians say 'I'm not a reader. That's not how I process information". Hogwash. God wrote you a book. He used words. God knows better than you. God says you're a reader, so read. I have provided a list of good books for you on this website. Turn the T.V. off and invest in them.
The point is this: next week should look more spiritually mature than last week. Surround yourself with people that can help you achieve this. Hold yourself to this standard, by God's grace. You will be eternally grateful you did so.