Avalon Chronicles #49: "Levels of Spiritual Maturity"
by Allen B. Clark firstname.lastname@example.org
As I have reflected on my own levels of spiritual maturation, I have compared it to the secular levels of education in civilian and military career progressions.
In the military my original course as an officer was my basic combat engineer course at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Enlisted military undergo their respective basic training courses. In all our lives we begin and complete kindergarten through elementary and junior high school. Many of you will recall something or other written years ago about "All you ever need to know you learn in kindergarten." I recall it was put things up, close cabinets, etc. etc. In the spiritual world these beginnings of our education relate to the beginning stages and steps of our faith walk, our building blocks, and that relates to my immediately prior blog, "Jesus as Savior."
In the military our next level is Officer Career Course (which I never even began due to my early career derailment because of Vietnam War wounds). For our Army people in the enlisted ranks it is Advanced Individual Training. It is high school for all of us. One of my next messages will relate our maturation and advancement on the birthday of the Christian faith (Pentecost) when we grasp the significance of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, bequeathed to us by Jesus when He ascended to be with His Father, our Father in Heaven.
Our next level relates to our further maturation and path of faith, perhaps college, and in the military our advanced specialty courses for all. My own level of faith development became my understanding of the power of prayer when I joined a couples Bible study almost four decades ago. It was when the Word of God became implanted in me that I began quantum leaps in my faith. It will be my plan to discuss the power of prayer and God's Word in future messages.
Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, recognize the importance and power of the Holy Spirit within us, and begin to appropriate the incredible dimension and power of prayer, it is time really to begin to live as Jesus taught us in the New Testament. The scriptures tell us in I Corinthians 13:11 (KJV) "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." This is when it is time to begin to really grow in our faith.
In the Army our next level of education is the Command&General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. This is where officers begin to broaden their overall understanding of strategy for their careers. Perhaps in the civilian world it may be likened to advanced education after an undergraduate degree. This spiritual level of our maturation is when we apply practically to ourselves and our relationships to family, work, others, and the world what Jesus and original authors of our Christian Bible wrote. Powerful indeed are these teachings to which most of us give much too little attention. If we did, our lives would be much smoother. When I worked at a Veterans medical center, I would go to the cafeteria and sit with random veterans for conversation. One day I met a Korean War veteran, who returned after the war to his old neighborhood and church. He said he worshiped every Sunday at that church and because he did that, his week always went better.
The military education system at its highest levels is encompassed in the "War Colleges." In civilian life perhaps it is reflected in the doctoral programs. Many decades ago I became aware of spiritual warfare and it will be my plan to relate in future messages what I have learned in the arenas of tactical (personal) and strategic (rest of world) warfare in the spirit realm, that one in which the eternal struggle since the Fall occurs between our God and the antagonist Lucifer, who commands his own army of demonic spirits to work us over.
Obviously I have related about the higher levels of secular education and advancement with degrees, but be reminded that some of the strongest examples of Christians are those of limited advanced educations who have schooled themselves spiritually to an astounding degree. Never would I presume to attempt to impart any high and mighty expressions of doctrinal or theological truths. As for me I am just a simple layman who is attempting to impart to others through my chronicles my path of spiritual growth over several decades, a "working faith."