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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Maturity’

OVERCOMING and REVELATION

“To him that overcomes
will I give to eat of the hidden manna…”
Revelation 2:7

It is not the process of overcoming that entitles us to eat of this “hidden mana” for there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. However, it is in overcoming that we grow in our capacity to eat and walk within the provisions of this manna. Doctrine and teaching require simply a certain intellect; but living truth is ministered to us according to our development not our intellect. Jesus said to His disciples…

“I have yet many things to say unto you,
but ye cannot bear (support) them now”
John 16:12

The disciples’ lack of character and spiritual maturity hindered Jesus from sharing the deeper things. With the promise of the coming Holy Spirit the very nature and outlook of these same men would be radically transformed into new vessels. It is grievous to see and hear men and women speak of deep and wondrous truths with the flippancy of just another teaching. They neither understand nor are able to carry truth in a spirit of humility and the fear of God. They speak of Judgements, Sonship and other precious truths without the depth of character which should humble rather than exalt them. Martin Luther, whom God used to restore the truth of justification by faith, declared that the most dangerous doctrine in the church was “any truth carnally received”. Knowledge attained by carnal means “puffs up” without the ability to love and edify others. The real and living truth of God is the revelation of Christ Himself to the individual with the express purpose ministering to others by the development of the love of God. Any time there is a true seeing of Him men and women are immediately humbled and broken; for no flesh shall glory in His presence. Those who speak of high and lofty things without the corresponding humility and fear of the Lord have seen nothing but carnal concepts.

The true knowledge of God is revealed to those who have been weaned from the milk of the word to eat the meat of the word. The difference between these two stages of the Christian life is easily discerned. The milk of the word is for those who taste of its wonder and provision as an infant in Christ. This is a stage of great growth and delight to the Father’s heart.

“As newborn babes,
desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby”
1 Peter 2:2

The issue is there is a failure to go on into the maturity of Him. The stage of the “strong meat” is where His people began to obey, walk and live God’s word. Jesus said to His disciples at the well of Samaria:

“…he said unto them,
I have meat to eat that ye know not of…
My meat is to DO the will of him that sent me,
and to finish his work”
John 4:32-34

While many in God’s house linger in the infancy stage the strong meat of God’s Word is withheld from them. It is not a question of “earning” it but of having a life that is able to bear the revelation of His character and heart. Men and women may be Christians for 50 years with all kinds of “deep” teachings and doctrines yet never able to become like Him in heart and character. There is no growth through the intellectual apprehension of a truth in God. Change only comes by virtue of SEEING HIM; where the life and soul of the beholder is humbled and captivated by a Holiness beyond description. The “strong meat” of the word is withheld from the carnal, the unstable, the proud and self-seeking ones for it must be borne in broken and contrite hearts. Purity of heart is necessary to see God in a way that affects the entire being. Truth is not a teaching; it is a portion of the life of Jesus and its apprehension is proportional to the purity of our hearts.

“Blessed are the pure in heart
For they shall see God”
Matthew 5:6

The milk of the Word, as good and precious as it is, must give way to the “strong meat”. The Epistle to the Hebrews was a strong admonishment to people who were failing to leave the milk:

“Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe” Hebrews 5:11-13

The Apostle goes on to say…

“But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” Hebrews 5:14

The condition of our hearts determines the depth of our understanding in the things of God.

“Whom shall he teach knowledge?
and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?
them that are weaned from the milk,
and drawn from the breasts”
Isaiah 28:9

The Way into the Holy things of God will be discovered by those whose hearts desire purity (freedom from agendas and recognition) and obedience. This is the very “meat” and sustenance of the true seeker of God.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child,
I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man,
I put away childish things”
1 Corinthians 13:11

Many hold to deep teachings and concepts which can only result in a life…

“having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof:
from such (we are to) turn away…”
2 Timothy 3:5

Paul continues by declaring these same people are those who are…

“Ever learning, and never able to come
to the knowledge of the truth…”
2 Timothy 3:7

It is a day to be sober and honest within the very core of our being for an intellectual relationship with God will not sustain us in this hour. It is time to turn to Him with honest, open and contrite hearts and seek Him for Himself alone. May we cast off the things we count as “gain” in our standing with Him and come with purity of purpose and faith unfeigned. It is here we will see Him in truth which will bring a full transformation from all that we are (2 Corinthians 3:18).

“Knowledge without repentance
will be but a torch to light men to hell.”
Thomas Watson

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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THE WELLS OF ISAAC

PART ONE

ESEK

WELL OF CONTENTION

“And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley,
and found there a well of springing water.
And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen,
saying, The water is ours:
and he called the name of the well Esek;
because they strove with him”
GENESIS 26:19-20

Within the life and the journey of God’s people come trials of various magnitudes. Isaac had now moved from his father’s tent into his own land and experiences. Just prior to this Isaac had set his sights on the former wells that his father had dug. This is the natural thing to do but in the journey of every believer there must come a time for NEW WELLS to be dug; new experiences and new enemies must be faced. The new things in God are found in leaving the former. As Isaac dug new wells he found not only a well of water but a spring that flowed on its own accord. How good are God’s ways and provisions!

It would be all well (no pun intended) and good if the story had ended there. The wells in those days were extremely laborious to dig and the ability to find water was rather hit and miss. Even though he found such a wonderful resource of water we see the enemies of God coming to steal this precious thing from Isaac and his company. Isaac is now confronted with the truth that there is an ever present enemy who would seek to cause us to contend and strive for these gracious provisions. As it was with Isaac so it is with all who walk in the faith and the way of Abraham.

The name of the city where this first episode took place is Gerar which comes from the root word in the original language meaning to “turn back, to tarry or fear” (such is their intended purpose upon our lives). Gerar was an ancient city built and inhabited by the exiled Philistines* of that day. Throughout most of the history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel) they were consistent in their opposition to God’s purposes. At times our enemies seek to bring weariness and discouragement into our lives through the medium of strife and conflict. Our enemies in this day are not natural but spiritual and so we need the spiritual weapons and armor (2 Corinthians 10:4 and Ephesians 6:13-16) to battle and gain the victory. Isaac called the name of the well “Esek”, meaning strife and contention. Sadly, in our own lives, we have times when it is much too easy to get involved with the contention and the heat of the situation. The outcome of such a choice usually results in long-lasting and bitter feelings that can take many years to work through. Timothy was entreated of Paul to not be found striving with the people of God.

“…the servant of the Lord must not strive”
2 Timothy 2:24

Isaac’s response to the men of Gerar was to simply remove himself from the point of contention and go and dig another well. This may sound simple but, speaking from experience, the heart is easily drawn into the fray and the consequences are sure to follow…the lessons and the discipline of His Ways. These are all combined with the teaching of the scriptures to bring us to the place of maturity and wisdom.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect,
thoroughly furnished unto all good works”
2 TIMOTHY 3:17

Truth is not truth until it becomes our own. Contention is a good school master and teacher for in it we discover our own lack of graces and His provisions and patience. There is no way to avoid the strife and contentions of this world and, sadly, in God’s House. Paul spoke of these things in his day; not as a surprising thing but as a thing of necessity for our learning and progress.

“For there must be also heresies* among you,
that they which are approved may be made manifest among you”
1 CORINTHIANS 11:19

Ω

The spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something
but to make us something”
Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)

* NOTE:
Philistine in the original language means to “roll or wallow in self-pity”. It speaks of the ministration of the enemy to wear down, discourage and dishearten the people of God. As in the days of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Israel they were ever present and seeking to oppose God’s people and their progress; so also in ours.

* NOTE: (as used in this scripture) G139. αἵρεσις hairesis; gen. haireseōs, fem. noun from haireō (G138), to choose, select. Heresy, a form of religious worship, discipline, or opinion (Acts 5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5; 28:22; 1 Cor. 11:19; Gal. 5:20; 2 Pet. 2:1). In contrast to schisma (G4978), schism which is an actual tearing apart, hairesis may represent a divergent opinion but still be part of a whole. One can hold different views than the majority and remain in the same body, but he is a heretic (hairetikos [G141]). However, when he tears himself away (schizō [G4977]), then he is schismatic. Heresy may lead to schism which is when actual tearing off and separation occur. (THE COMPLETE WORD STUDY DICTIONARY: NEW TESTAMENT)

Brian Troxel

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