Time to Grow Up
I receive partner letters from several ministries each month – today, I received one from Bill Winston Ministries. As I skimmed through the pages on my way out the door, something stopped me in my tracks. I want to share part of his letter with you.
He was talking about those who were called to do mighty things for God in this season – those who would do the extraordinary. He said;
Now, this is not an assignment for a baby or carnal Christian. A carnal Christian is one who has been truly born-again, but never developed. This person is still controlled by their feelings and circumstances. To go out into the world today and make a significant impact is a task for the mature offspring. Ones that have overcome, and have become morally, sexually and fiscally bulletproof. If a person is still dealing with cheating on income taxes or having issues with paying their tithes, or having a secret life of Internet pornography, they cannot engage in the level of battles that are necessary to bring about meaningful transformation of our cities or the nations. They must first grow up. Many times we put it on the devil as to why society is so corrupt and hopeless. But the problem is not the devil. The problem is that most of the Church has not grown up.
This is so packed with truth – how can we set people free if we are still walking as carnal men? If we are still living as carnal men and women, led by our own flesh and not by the spirit of God?
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 says; However Brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!] I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough [to be ready for it]; but even yet you are not strong enough [to be ready for it], for you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?
My friends, we can’t possibly change the world if we continue to be led by the flesh – if we continually have strife in our lives – if we are continually dominated by our own impulses instead of being led by the spirit of God.
I used to have a saying – before I was born again – I said ‘if it comes in my mind, it comes out my mouth.’ Unfortunately that was how I was – whatever my impulse was – that was what came out of my mouth. That is not pleasing to God.
It has taken me a great deal of time and discipline but I have taught myself to think before I speak and never react – but wait and respond according to the word of God. I can tell you this – it has brought so much peace to my life and I don’t spend as much time regretting my reactions.
If we are still dealing with cheating on income taxes – how can we ask God to bless us? If we are still struggling with tithing and financing the Kingdom of God – how can we ask God to get us out of debt and bless our money? If we are still being led by the lusts of our flesh – how can we ask God to bless our relationships?
If we are still allowing ‘what we feel’ to dominate our life – we have not become mature Christians. If one little thing going wrong can ruin your whole day – you have not become a mature Christian. If you become easily offended – you still need work.
I agree with Bill Winston, the Church needs to grow up and we need to begin to behave and respond like mature Christians – we need to be a people set apart. People should see that you are different, that you don’t react in anger when things don’t go your way. People should see that you stay in peace no matter what comes your way. People should see that you always believe the best in others. People should see that you keep no record of wrongs done to you, that you don’t hold grudges or become easily offended – you should be different, I should be different and it should be a notable difference, don’t you agree?
Now, I am not saying we must be perfect all the time for God to use us to make an impact – we will never be perfect but we can be mature. When we miss the mark, we can repent and God will get us back on track – but we should be striving to miss the mark less and less often.
I don’t know about you but I am ready to be one of those who make an impact. If that means I have to go through purging and allow God to remove ALL that would hinder me – ALL that would cause me to stumble – whatever it takes, God, change me and cause me to walk – at all times – like a mature Christian. That’s the cry of my heart – how about you?