“How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.” -Isaiah 14:12-15 NLT
Paul cautions Timothy not to put people into church leadership saying, “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.” (1 Timothy 3:6) Conceited, if you were to look up some synonyms of that word you find other ones like: proud, egotistic, arrogant, and narcissistic. In other words they become full of themselves. This is the very reason God banished Satan from heaven. In Lucifer’s pride, he said “I will be like the Most High”. How long then must we wait before someone is considered a recent convert? I believe this depends greatly based on each individual person. There are many believers who have only been following Jesus for a few years who are more mature than some people who have been following Him for 50 years. In other words, it’s not about a certain time period to pass, it’s simply about the spiritual maturity of the follower of Christ. If their heart is hard after the Father then we simply listen to His promptings about the right timing.
Putting it into Practice
How are you doing in your spiritual maturity? The writers of Hebrews calls us to examine our spiritual walk and our spiritual maturity writing, “There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.c You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” (Hebrews 5:11-14 NLT)
Father, today we come before you and ask that you will continue to draw us closer to you. We ask God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give us spiritual wisdom and insight so that we might grow in your knowledge. We pray that our hearts will be flooded with light so that we can understand the confident hope you have given to those you have called—your holy people who are your rich and glorious inheritance. In the beautiful name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen. (Adapted from Ephesians 1:16-18)