Some of the most exciting moments of my childhood occurred watching the wildly popular cartoon anime, Dragon Ball Z. If you’ve ever seen the show, then you too belong to the community of children that felt bamboozled and swindled by the ominous voice at the end of an episode’s cliffhanger that boomed, “Next week on Dragon Ball Z.” Would you believe me if I told you that Dragon Ball Z taught me all about spiritual maturity?
Dragon Ball Z revolves around various characters that are continually opposed by new villains who wish to challenge their livelihood in some way. Whenever these characters engaged in battle with those villains, they would change their external appearance to reflect the power within them. These external appearances included change in hair and eye color, and even clothing changes. No matter the external appearance, the fact was evident that this character had come to a new realization of the power within themselves to face their adversity. Simply put, each character needed to level up and rise to the occasion to triumph. The writers of the show were so effective at continually convincing us that this character had become the most powerful form of themself(as we can often convince ourselves). Still, somehow they always summoned up some more power in later episodes to hit a new level that absolutely blew our minds. However, one of my buddies once told me something that dramatically changed the way I viewed these characters when he said, “Jeremy, the only reason new villains are introduced is so that the main characters can show off new forms.” Therefore, I would too ask in regards to spiritual maturity: What if trials and tribulations force themselves into our lives so that we may become more mature in our faith?
What if spiritual maturity is the audacity to say that God can take us further in His mystery? What if God is saying that there is a new form awaiting us if we simply took a step of faith? What if spiritual maturity is not a singular event but a journey? This is not to say that you can’t grow in maturity from one particular event or that our faith is purely circumstantial. Still, the fact remains that we will undoubtedly experience trials that will force us to “level up.” What if more events are on the way to demonstrate just how much you can grow? 2nd Corinthians 3:18(KJV) even says that we are taken from “glory to glory” as we move towards God. The MSG translation would take that to mean, “our lives gradually become brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives, and we become like Him.” So what if today you simply said, “God, show me just how much I can level up”? I would warn you that this is a dangerous prayer because He will show you just how much you can. Are you ready?