Maturity

This is a re-post of an article which I posted over a year ago, when I perused the stats I noticed that not many people had actually seen this one.

I hope you will enjoy it.

Have you been frustrated by the song and dance many ministers perform when you ask them about what happened to all of the miracles, which are plainly and routinely spoken of in the Bible? Are you shocked (even just a little bit) when they tell you that miracles are not for today? I have often been amazed at some of the people around me who identify themselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and call themselves “Christians”. They are reading the same Bible or Bibles (various translations) that I am, yet it seems that we are not getting the same message. In the Bible I see a long line of people all the way back to Abel, who despite the fall, walked and talked with God. The true depth of some of the relationships is not spelled out, but there can be no doubt that Enoch, Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph had unusually close relationships with the Lord, And this is just in the book of Genesis.

I am struck by the fact that God is sketching out for us, throughout Scripture, the life that we can have in Him. These Biblical fellows were not identified primarily by their professions, no, they were the people who knew God and knew Him well. There was no wavering on Abraham’s part at the command of God to sacrifice Isaac. We see Jacob the rascal transformed into a great man of faith by His relationship with God. There is the picture of the immature Joseph becoming wise as he suffers in prison with no one but God Himself to rely on.

Where are our modern examples of this kind of faith, this intimacy with God. I am disappointed to find that many men and women who call themselves “Christians” identify themselves primarily with their professions, or with their families, their relationship with Christ is lower on their list of priorities. We do not see very many, if any, who “walk by faith and not by sight”.

It is alarming to me that so many people in the various Institutional Churches believe that gaining head knowledge of scripture and following the advice (sometimes the commands) of their denominations constitutes a walk of faith.

Ever since the finished work of Christ on the cross and pentecost, we who believe in Him, have had immediate access to God through the Holy Spirit. If the Biblical accounts are to be taken as the gold standard this means that each of us who seek Him have the ability to speak to Him and hear Him answer. And the ability to daily seek Him and know His presence. The presence of the Holy Spirit in your life means that He has set up a place in your heart where He can be met and communed with similar to the Holy of Holies in the ancient temple in Jerusalem. A place where we can get to know Him, if we are willing.

If we are the people of God with this special constant contact with God, then it should be more obvious. We should be seeing people who are continually conscious of the presence of the Lord, humbly walking with Him, taking everything to Him everyday. And the presence of God should be apparent in our lives, in our demeanor, in our faces, the reflection of the glory of God in our hearts. Oh and yes there should be miracles, wonderful things follow the people who are His vessels, just look at the amazing life of Moses. A group of people who know Christ intimately should be the people you can rely on to lead you into a similar, deeper relationship, a Peter or John type relationship, a Moses type relationship, or a King David type of relationship.

Instead a “Church” group is a place where you are likely to be manipulated into giving money to a building project or where you may find yourself getting into fruitless arguments about the interpretation of some Scripture or theological matter. Or worse yet a place where you are indoctrinated into their denominational teachings which have become, for many, more important than the Bible itself.

Paul made it very clear in his pastoral letters that a believer grows into the fullness of Christ, that is, it is a maturation process. Are we seeing people, growing into giants of faith, like Samuel, Peter, John, or Paul, or are we seeing people trudge in and out of some “Church” building, as hungry for the Bread of Life and as thirsty for the Living Water as they were before they even heard of the Lord?

It seems that in our cultural expressions of “Christianity” we are stuck in first gear, a sort of self perpetuating immaturity that keeps us dependent on our trained “clergy” many of whom no longer believe in the integrity of scripture having been “enlightened” by the scholarship of the seminary. I recall an Assembly of God minister who advised his congregation that the woman caught in adultery passage in John 8 can be dismissed because it was not in the earliest manuscripts, I was shocked. Is there no room for the sovereignty of God in the Assembly of God seminary? Are we therefore trusting in the Lord, or are we leaning on our own understanding, or in this case modern scholarship, and are we making an idol of our “wisdom”?

Everybody who is in a “Church” knows how to lead you to join their “Church” and become members in good standing of their “Christian” group. Yet how many can lead you deeper into the things of Christ, into intimacy with the Spirit of the Living God.

I cannot claim this full maturity yet, it is the process I am involved in, and maturity will be the fruit  of being closer to, and more like Jesus, but I invite you, dear reader, to seek God with your whole heart and enter into this process of growth in the Spirit. There are numerous scriptures that speak of how willing He is to respond to you, when you humbly and earnestly seek Him.
There is the timeless Revelation 3:20

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.” Amplified Bible

Jeremiah 29:11-13

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” NASB

Jeremiah 33:3

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” NASB

and Proverbs 3:5-6 says

“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” Amplified Bible

In the verse from Proverbs, if we are to trust in the Lord with our whole hearts how shall we do this if we are not in close communion with Him all of the time.  It is obvious that God desires that we not be ignorant of Him and His ways.

So walk with Him and grow in Him, spend time with Him, listen to Him, and you will find the desert in your heart blossoming from the springs of Living Water He brings to your life.

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2 Comments on “Maturity”

  1. Mike Says:

    I have found this ‘Living Water’. As you say, it is there for those who will come and drink. Many settle for a sip. But Jesus invites all who are thirsty to come and drink.

  2. Nathan Says:

    Hi Mike and thank you for the comment.
    When I think of the Living Water Jesus spoke of I think of the times when I was a teenager. I had a summer job in the hot north Texas sun and how completely dry I got and how I would drink great volumes of water to quench that thirst. Haha, may we all thirst for Him like that.


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