The journey toward spiritual maturity encompasses many different topics. Perhaps the most fundamental reality is that this journey is all about knowing experientially God's love for us. Spiritual maturity - demonstrated by our willingness to surrender control of our lives to God, to surrender our plans in exchange for his plans for us - seems to leap forward with each new realization of the truth of God's love.
Recently I came across a reflection I wrote in 2009 about this topic. It seems to speak of a safe place that enables me to relinquish control over my life, and surrender fully to God.
So we have come to know and have believed the love that God has for us. (1 John 4:16, NRSV)
Key words in this verse are knowing and believing. Do I know the love God has for me? If I don’t know the truth, the essence, the purity, the endlessness, the unconditional acceptance – always – of God’s love for me, then how can I believe it?
Even if I don't know experientially the depth of God's love for me, I can believe it because I accept by faith that God’s word is true: God loves me, unconditionally. Nothing can separate me from the love of God (Rom 8:39). As I continue to accept this truth by faith, eventually I begin to know the reality of this love. As it seeps into my heart and soul over time, gradually I find that I believe it. And when I believe it, I realize anew that nothing can separate me from the love of God. Nothing.
When I can accept and embrace the truth of God's love for me, I am better able to surrender more of my control over my life, surrender to God's plans and purposes for my life, so that he is free to work in me and through me, in whatever way he chooses, to accomplish his purposes through me in his world.
And in this process, I discover that God is God, so I don't have to be.