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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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Relationships 5 “No More Drama not even for your mama” the dark underbelly of “Control” (Part 1)

Control vs influence conTROL VS INFLUENCE Jesus.jpg

 Have you ever had anyone come on your FB wall and argue, and argue, and argue (Until you finally have to delete them?) Because if you don’t, the message you are trying to get across is lost in a sea of debate? It reminds me of when we were kids, and played “king of the hill.” Whoever could push you off your stance on the mount “became King!” …..

Control: To direct a person or animal to behave a certain way. To have power over something. Authority: the power to or right to make decisions, or direct (It is given) 

See the difference? One is given. One is assumed. Stephen had authority given by God to speak. A mob of controllers silenced him because they were cut to the heart (conviction). Acts 7:54-59

What is it? If you’ve spent any time on the internet, You’ve probably experienced control. It’s the counterfeit of Authority. Jesus spoke as “one who had authority” He did not argue with people, or try to talk over top of them.

He didn’t whine about how intolerant people are. He found those who wanted to listen.

If you notice, Jesus didn’t talk about “his rights’  His Authority came from the Father in Heaven. He walked in it by simply “going about his Father’s business.”  (Luke 2:49).

His Authority was questioned in Matthew 21. (by the Pharisees). He wisely refused to answer them. He knew their tricks.

Control starts with fear. Not fear like Fear of snakes or bugs, but fear of conviction or being exposed. Sometimes fear of not beng “in power or in control (of that which they wish to control!) Fear of hearing the truth..(and having to make adjustments). 

It was control (in a mob mentality) that made them stone Stephen to death Acts 7:54-59.

Controlling people will often accuse you of being controlling. Here is the difference. You have authority over your house, your face book, your car, your “twitter account” and before all that, your mind, your will and your emotions. God gave you freedom (from the evil one) when he sent Jesus to the cross.

He spoiled all those powers and triumphed over them, “making a show of them” openly. (Col 2:15).

People may have different things they want control of (and to put a lid on things) but the motive is always the same. “I am in control.” Ever heard that expression,” I”ve got it all under control?” Yes, you have! You may have even said it! Controlling people will talk over the top of you, not let you get a word in edgewise, and will use all sorts of tactics to “shut you up.” Why? Because they don’t wish to hear you. If you put them in their place, they will often call you: “conrolling!” 

I pray Father in Jesus’ name as I consider and reveal about control (and where it comes from) you will help us all learn YOUR ways and not man’s ways about how to deal with this. I pray this Father “LET THERE BE LIGHT” In all areas of our souls, hearts, and minds that comes only from you Dear Father!”

In Jesus’ name “deliver us” from the evil one, cause us to escape his lies, which have been growing like weeds since that day he entered this earth. In Jesus’ name. (amen)

-stay tuned for part 2. Laura Grace control vs influence.png   Author, speaker, minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ