In my study this morning, I studied one of the most encouraging passages in Scripture.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
He endured this so I would not give up! Wow! Certainly nothing I have ever gone through comes close to this sacrifice God gave.
My study went on to discuss how we can sometimes be chasing meaningless "maturity practices" or goals that can take our focus completely off of Jesus himself. This was freeing to me, described my continuous discouragement at failed trys! Looking to Jesus, abide in Him is all He asks, no lists, no trying to live up to others expectations!
Spiritual disciplines are good things, striving to mature spiritually is a good thing, but then the author of my study went on to say this; "perhaps spiritual growth is actually as simple and natural as breathing, when our focus is on Jesus and not on the breathing itself..." profound!
He calls me to just be focused on Him, when my eyes focus elsewhere I become easily discouraged. I love Him, I live for Him, I trust Him and I pledge my focus and life purpose to Him!! Chasing maturity simply leads me into His arms.