"I wanna grow up and big, just like my Dad!"
A child often says this when he is young. Sometimes, hewill put on their father's shoes, pick up (or rather drag) his suitcase and where his hat, then walk out the door.
After that, though, where does the child go?
In a similar way, Christians try to grow up in the Lord through their efforts, doing things that will please God or give the impression that they know what will please Him. They try to act in a mature fashion, wearing the right clothes, or saying the right words.
Yet just like the little child who stumbles along in his father's shoes, and cannot carry the briefcase, and the hat blinds his way, and he arrives at the threshold of his home with nowhere to go, so too everyone of us who tries to mature in Christ in our own efforts will find that our immaturity becomes more manifest.
So, how do we grow up?
We grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3: 18)
"t by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Corinthians 15: 10)
Everything that we have, everything that we do, everything that we are is based on God's grace, which we receive through Christ:
"17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 17)
"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1: 6)
"Accepted" also means "graced" or favored.
"31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4: 31-32)
We do not mature by becoming more independent of God, but rather by seeing that everything that we have, that we are, that we do depends on Jesus Christ:
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:" (Colossians 1: 15-16)
The more that we know Jesus, the more that we draw from Him, the more that we mature.
For this reason, John would write:
"13I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning." (1 John 2: 13)
Fatherhood or maturity in Christ has everything to do with Jesus as everything in our lives.
If you find yourself struggling in some area of your life, if you find that you wish you were doing, having, or being more, the answer is not to put on the shoes, wear the hat, and carry the burden on your own.
The answer is to see Christ, for you and I are in Him:
"1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3: 1-4)
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)
Look to Jesus, the author and finisher of faith (Hebrews 12: 2) and you will be transformed to be more like him, from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3: 18)