Tuesday November 9, 2016
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Let’s keep growin’, Friend.
One of the big shocks of ministry for me was that so many of the folks in my church were just babies, though they had been saved a long time. One family always sat in the front row on the aisle. So eager for the Word! The husband was used in prophecy, and his wife was given to “deep” intercession. Their son was headed to Bible school in the Fall. What a holy troupe they were!
One Sunday morning, a 50-ish lady visitor arrived quite early. She came in to the sanctuary to enjoy the worship practice, sitting in Mr. Holy’s self-assigned front row aisle seat. The Holy family came in at their usual time. When they saw they had been displaced by 18 inches, they appeared a bit unnerved, but they took seats next to the visitor. When worship started, everyone eventually got into that Charismatic, closed-eyed, lifted-hands stupor. I watched Mr. Holy slowly moving toward the aisle, little by little shoving Miss Visitor to the side. When the worship ended, she turned to find herself standing in the aisle, while the Holy’s were back in their preferred spots. She graciously found a seat further back.
Just attending church and being used in the gifts don’t make you spiritual. Growth comes through specific activities given us by God, and is reflected in our love and kindness, not our gifts. If you genuinely want to grow up in the Lord, try these things:
1. Commit to the process of growth. Put a plan in place on purpose. The moment you think you are perfect you stop growing. You will never fulfill the plan of God for your life. Philippians 3:12-16.
2. Make a structured plan to study the Word of God. We must learn how to think all over again. We need to find out what God thinks and adopt His opinion. This is called “renewing the mind.” It includes doing what you learn, not just reading it. 1 Peter 2:2 / Romans 12:2 / James 1:18-25.
3. Commit to a local church and a pastor. Spiritual growth requires face-to-face ministry from the gifts set in the Body by the Lord. Don’t just go to church. Be part of a church. Ephesians 4:11-16. / Acts 20:28 / Romans 1:11-12
4. Build relationship with other believers who are committed to growth. You need the fellowship and encouragement of other Christians. Hebrews 10:24-25 / Proverbs 13:20 / 27:17
5. Develop the prayer habit. Prayer is an integral part of the Christian life. Find a place, make a schedule, and pray! It is spiritual exercise. Mathew 26:41 / Luke 18:1 / Luke 22:40 / Romans 12:12 / 1 Corinthians 14:14‑15 / Colossians 4:2 / James 5:16
Somebody Said: “We ought to grow enough spiritually so that instead of someone’s having to come and visit us, and pump us up, and prop us up, and pray with us, and feed us, we are able to be out helping others ourselves. When weaning time comes we ought to thank God for it.” Kenneth E. Hagin
Scripture Reading: Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church. (Ephesians 4:14-15 NLT)
The importance of spiritual feeding and exercise cannot be over emphasized. It will not happen automatically. It requires intentional effort on our part. It is well worth the trouble. A life lived selfishly is a life wasted. Don’t waste yours.
Pastor Virgil Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
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