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Building #10 The Measure of Spiritual Maturity. What does it mean to be “Grown Up” In Christ? And how do we know if we are (and if others are?)

GROWING TREE ROOTS I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have a grown-up for my leader. Many people aspire to be leaders, coaches, teachers, and the like; but they are not always qualified. 

I said, they are not always qualified. 

How do we know if they’re qualified? What do you think would be “God’s measure” of maturity? have you ever thought about that one? (I have). 

We’ve all heard the stories of how someone wasn’t “picked” for the team. I was one that nobody wanted on their baseball, football, or even volley ball team! I was not good at it. I didn’t want to be good at it (bad enough) to practice.

I let go of even trying long ago, because guess what? I didn’t care! (about sports) enough to put my heart into learning, practicing, and becoming great at it. 

I did, at some point, need to stop whining and admit to myselfI don’t want this bad enough to do the hard work.” Step #1 to Growing and Maturity: Admitting the truth about ourselves in the light of God’s Truth! 

I’m sure out there “somewhere” there are ministries that choose their leaders by their maturity level in-Christ, but I don’t think there is many. Sad to say, the mainstream church world often makes their selections based on willingness, an outward appearance of maturity, faithfulness to church services, and attending bible school and colleges. The main goal is often raking in more bodies (to fill the pews) and not growth and maturity for the ones who are in those pews. 

They have board members who look at the resume’, pray about it, and make their choice as to what they think is the best candidate for the (open slot) or job.

So, if you were picking a leader, or a pastor (of a church) what would be your measure for maturity? 

I make that decision every day of my life, when I decide who I will listen to and who I will not (listen to). Ephesians 4 says God gave us Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets and Teachers to help us come to maturity (in Christ). 

I learned a long time ago, a person who is blind will lead me into the ditch. A person who is not mature will not help me get mature. I want a leader who is stronger, wiser and more mature than I am. 

Therefore, if I do not listen to someone’s advice, it doesn’t mean I am rejecting them, personally. I simply learned (a long time ago) That listening to Jesus comes first. To put anyone’s council above His, is a form of idolatry. 

Am I perfect? No! Have I made mistakes? Yes, I have. But my heart and mind are set on the words “Take my yoke upon you” (Words of Jesus) “and be yoked to me.” (Matthew 11:28). 

The Lord is my Shepherd (primarily) and everything else is subject to him. 

Years ago I sat under a minister for a time (online) and hardly anyone understood why. It was because of his Testimony.  A testimony (for me) is the true measure of maturity. Not what school they went to, not how many days they warmed a pew in the church. 

I”ve met many who attended church for 30 years, and like a submarine, nothing seemed to really get INTO their hearts. They are no different today than they were 30 years ago, other than knowing how to speak christianese. 

Like a tree, a testimony is a measure of how much work God has actually done in a person’s life. Are they born again? Filled with God’s spirit? Have they walked in the fruits of the spirit and learned to walk by the spirit of God? Have they cried out for, and received wisdom (from above) and not relied on the wisdom of man (and his ways?). Are they tried and true? 

It’s out of balance to say we don’t need anyone but God and it’s out of whack to say we only need church, and just follow along with whatever supposed “leader” comes our way. It’s unhealthy to gather around someone who just “says what we want to hear” and it’s foolish to assume every person in a leadership position was put there by God. If that were the case, Paul and Jesus would not have wept over flocks being deceived by wolves in sheeps’ clothing and they would not have interceded with tears over those being “led astray.”

Did you know Jesus cried (and wept) for those that would not listen to him? That was more serious to him than starving children or the physical suffering of humanity. Why? 

Because: He knew if he could successfully save the human soul (and we would listen to him) all the rest would be taken care of. God’s wisdom leads to us being “alright” in the Spirit first, and then in the natural. He wants us healthy (Spirit, Mind, and Body!). He wants us mature, which means we have grown up INTO his Headship.

I would dare say this means “We’ve God the mind of Christ” in all things. 

To get the mind of Christ, we have to continually give up our own ways of thinking. We have to push out the voices of the immature, the unsteady, and the godless and faithless, and INCLINE Our ear to the word of God via His Spirit. 

So here’s my standard on whether I will listen to you (or not). What is your Testimony? If you don’t have one to overcome with, how can I follow you? 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11 NKJV). 

In conclusion, if you have found a church that truly has a loving, parental heart to see you Grow (UP) IN Christ, stick to them like glue! If you can see they love you, and want you to grow, stay put! If they have other agenda’s, face it and pray, and ask God for a church that helps you get where you need to be. This is my advice, and I believe it is sound. LOVE yourself enough to get good spiritual food. 

Put your Spirit and Soul First, and the rest of you (body) as secondary. This is what it means to love not (your physical life) Unto Death. You put it under, and put it second to your growth and development in Christ. Enough said! -Laura Grace 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When Giants Have to Fall…..

giants Good Morning! 

Facing any giants today? Monsterous Fears Maybe? 

You know, this may suprise you but …people don’t just wake up one day and realize “Hey I’m a giant slayer!”

Even those of us who DO stand up to those supposed “powers of darkness” had our days of fear and trembling, shaking and quaking, and wondering what to do next. Maybe King David was blessed in that, he did not have to listen to the news on TV every day, and hear about how many stood up to a giant and got killed in the process. See: We have it easier than David in someways (we live in New Testament times) but in other ways, we have it harder. Life was simpler in the days of King David, but the choice has always been the same. Trust God, or not Trust God. 

I do not mean idly sitting by, watching to see what God will do next…….

I’ve been writing messages for months now, as I face my own giants. I have faced many, in my time. 

This time, it was cancer. Oh yes, the big C. The name of the giant is different, the victory over it is the same. One day we will all face that last giant (death) And when God decides it’s our time, we’ll see that one defeated too, as we enter heaven forever, rejoicing. 

after King David slayed the giant, he faced a bigger one. Saul’s Jealousy and Rage.

Before he became King, He was chased around by Saul, who was so upset at David’s Victories, his own realization his time was short (as King) that he wanted to literally murder David. David’s men begged him to kill Saul, but he would not do it.  

I could talk for hours about how I came to the conclusions I have (about Faith) but you wouldn’t likely read it all (unless I write another book) and I don’t have time. What I will say is this: “The Holy Spirit” Has a lot he wants to teach you……

Will you take the time? The other thing is: Becoming a Giant Slayer takes time. David was out in the fields tending the sheep, meditating on God’s truths and principles. He was prepared for his day in the sun (and the days in the dark as well.) I don’t care what the giant’s name is, the answers is the Same. GOD! 

If you looked out the window and saw a stray dog molesting your child, you would grab whatever you could, run out there, and beat the thing half to death. GET OFF MY CHILD! 

When we face ANYTHING that threatens to destroy us the answer is the same……..

SATAN, GET OFF MY CHILD!!! In Jesus’ name! What weapon you use hardly matters. David used the one he was most comfortable with (A sling and a stone). Maybe your weapon is prayer, declarations …..speaking VICTORY SINGING …….What matters is to have a heart like David and realize “WHO ARE YOU DEVIL” TO torment the people of God? WHO ARE YOU (sickness, cancer, premature death, lack, poverty, etc) WHO ARE YOU OH MOUNTAIN? (to stand in the way of God?). 

As giant slayers…..we may have different styles. The important thing is: do we understand this concept? GOOD GOD (Very Good Father) vs BAD DEVIL (who hates us)

WHO wants to kill, steal and destroy? Not God! 

Jesus said: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”
John 10:10 
 
Father make them giant slayers today (all of your People Lord God) Let it get in them once and for all YOU have given us all we need in you to defeat every giant! in Jesus’ name! Amen   Laura Grace Author, Grace to the Rescue series 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are you the Storm? Causing some structural damage? A word on this….

LIGHTHOUSE AND STORM.jpg Storms. We Just had one last night. 

Thankfully there was no damage, but I was thinking this morning about the damage that gets done sometimes by emotional storms. 

The weather report said, “This storm has been known to rip down trees, damage siding, and cause structural damage.” Wouldn’t it be great if we understood the damage we can cause just because we had to have this “fit of rage” that seemed important at the time? 

I remember well this time I was so emotionally distraught and upset over my ex, who had lied to me, lied again and lied again. This was after promises not to do that ever again and great expressions of how much he loved me.

Anyway, I had a fit of rage, threw a coffee cup at the wall, and scared my daughter half to death. She was crying and her whole world was being shaken and ripped apart, just because I let my emotions and temper get out of hand. 

I”m not proud of that moment, or a few others I’ve had. I do remember that day, I decided I was going to work on myself, and stop obsessing about changing someone else’s behavior. I realized right then, “dear God, this child is looking at me for guidance, and look what I have done!” I was convicted! Be a better example, and practice what you say,” is what I heard from deep within myself. I think it was God as he has all the good ideas, I usually don’t have any, all by myself. 

That was a lot of years ago. Sometimes if I am not careful, and get to looking at what others are doing rather than going to the mirror every day to look at myself (with God’s great assistance) I am still prone to getting all upset at others………

Someone is always watching. OH FATHER we pray: “Let our actions speak good things! Let our actions speak well of us and Glorify you Father! Keep us close to your heart! Remind us daily not to allow pockets of anger to get out of control to the point where we hurt a person with our wicked tongue! deliver us from THIS evil …

the evil of just saying whatever pops in to our pea brains! IN Jesus’ name! Amen”

Storms. They can do a lot of damage. Amen? “Father where we’ve done that forgive us, and help us to be bringers of peace (and light) and not a storm, causing damage and harm to others, and what they are trying to build. Amen”   

Colossians 3:8
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.