One of the truths we established in the last post is that as we spare no expense in time and resources to advance in our career, academics, business, etc, so we are required to pay attention to our spiritual development by God. This truth seems to have eluded most of us because of the infiltration of religious spirit that the enemy uses to ensure man does not ascend to the glorious state of appropriating the nature and character of our Father.
We also said that this manifests when our growth becomes stunted as a result of feeding on spiritual junks of repackaged stale food. We also established that the symptom of this spiritual kwashiorkor is when our spiritual life remains in a circle instead of linear progression. This is where the messages are simply the same thing but packaged differently each time and fed to the people.
It is not the nature, neither is it the plan of God for believers to remain in the same state for too long. His desire is for us to ultimately become like Him. This is what the devil doesn’t want. The Church is the completion of the plan of God for humanity as set in motion by the death of Jesus Christ. That is why the enemy is directing his very subtle attacks at the Church, trying to slow us down on the journey of becoming like acquiring the nature of God (1 John 3:2, 2 Corinthians 3:18). It is unfortunate that so many have not realized that one of the essences of our being left here after giving our lives to Christ is to be transformed to be like Him, through constant interaction with His word. Unfortunately, most local assemblies that are supposed to be training grounds for this to happen have become mere religious centres where the saints are bugged down with so many religious activities that do not give them personalized experience in God. Some of these assemblies have simply become entertainment centres with no measurable spiritual advancement in the life of the individuals. And this spiritual advancement is only measured in how much the individual saint conforms to the image and likeness of Christ.
One of the greatest significance of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is the opportunity to become like our Father. There is nothing as glorious and magnificent as becoming everything God has designed us to be. He wants to look into the earth and see His replicas walking the earth and doing His bidding, at the end of which He would short down time and a new age would emerge. All this cannot happen in an instance; it takes a process. This process ultimately involves tracking His proceeding words by using the written word as a compass and appropriating them in our lives. That is the process Paul described in 2 Corinthians 3:18. If that is not your experience then something is wrong somewhere, and you have to fix it by taking personal responsibility for that.
Why do you think God describes us as buildings/temples/tabernacle? It’s because He wants to reside in us, and for that to happen we have to be built up. That is why Jesus Christ said “…I will build my Church…” (Matthew 16:18). For this purpose when He was leaving the earth He gave the church certain primary gifts to facilitate this building process. These gifts are “the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13). In most of the Church today, these offices have become mere titles that some use to assert themselves and perpetuate their relevance and domination over the people of God, not realizing that God is much more interested in the people than the empire they are building for themselves (Ezekiel 34).
It is important to know that when God calls a man, He is interested in a people. When God gives a man a gift in whatever form, He expects equipped saints in return. Just like the parable of the talent, everyone of us will give account of how we have expended the varying degree of resources He has given us for specific purposes. Some people will look back at their time on earth and it would dawn on them that they were the ones Jesus Christ spoke of in those parables. The one I ponder on a lot is about those who will flash their credentials containing numerous miracles (healings, financial breakthroughs, deliverances etc) they were able to perform, and Jesus Christ will tell them that those were not the end results He expected (Matthew 7:21-23). In the words of my brother, Ben Atuluku “In this day, you don’t use men to build your “mighty ministry”. You use your ministry to build mighty men (saints)!”
There is a sense of urgency in the realm of the Spirit. There is no time to remain flippant or frivolous. God expects this temple built fast and it is now the responsibility of the individual saints to ensure they locate the right training centre where this can be achieved. Since we have enough sense to know that when we enrol in a school we cannot afford to remain in one class more than it is necessary, we should be smart to know that we have to make progress in our spiritual development. I now have zero tolerance for religious structures that keep young people in particular in bondage. I believe some of our fathers have reached their pinnacle (comfort zones), and they are not just up for the next challenge. It is now our responsibility to identify the next level in our journey and move forward. This is part of the nature of the God we serve. You just have to know Him to able to walk with Him effectively. The journey of Israelites from Goshen in Egypt to the Promised Land is a pattern for us. Don’t be unwise.
Mr. Adetiba, a graduate student at the University of Stellenbouch, in South Africa, is a staff of Premium Times. He writes a bi-weekly Sunday column on christian life. Please give him feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter: @fredor4c