On a scale of one to ten, how would you measure your spiritual maturity? As far as I know, there are no scales for measuring spiritual maturity, but there are biblical mile-markers that can tell us if we are growing up in Christ as we should be.

In Philippians 3:12, Paul talks about his own growing-up process, saying, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Becoming mature in Christ is a process, and we must be intentional about pressing on. The Apostle then says, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me. . .” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Notice that he keeps talking about pressing on, never giving up, and always striving to be all that God has created him to be in Christ Jesus. I believe one of the sure signs of our spiritual maturity is whether or not we truly press on, put our past behind us, and go for the goal—the good works God created us to do.

The enemy of our souls would love to keep us mired down in our past. If he can saddle us with regrets, with bad memories, with bitterness, with anger—any or all of those—as we dwell on our past, then he knows we’ll never grow up. Whether our past is filled with our own wrong choices and their consequences, or with unfair treatment or abuse of some kind, living in the past will cripple us and our spiritual growth will be stunted.

In Isaiah 43:18-19, the Lord says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Dwelling in the past causes us to miss the new things God has for us. We are then stuck in our deserts and wastelands, never growing into the fullness of what Jesus died to give us.

If your past has you mired down, I pray that you will press on and, with God’s help, put that past behind you, so that you can perceive the way that God is making for you.