church life, Leadership, purpose

The Importance of Spiritual Maturity

Our current church generation is saturated with many who claim a call to ministry. While many whose claim to the call is genuinely authentic, there are a great many more whose claims are invalid. Today’s minister face more in the line of temptations than any other preacher generation before us. Many are in competition with one another, spying on other ministries’ social media sites, and even attend conferences as peeping toms just to duplicate what they deem ‘successful’ ministry. With the ever increasing number of ministers with a claim to the call, there is hardly sufficient evidence of proof. Is there is an ever increasing number of souls translated into the Kingdom of God or turned to hell? Answer honestly. Churches are emptier than ever before.  Churches are under attack of gun violence like never before. Sin is prevalent in our churches like never before and compromise has not only raped our pulpits, it has swept across the entire congregation. If as many ministers are truly called as they have claimed, why aren’t our nation’s laws affected by Godly influence? Where is the thermostat of our ministers’ prayers for this nation set? We are cold.
We have more prophets than any other time on the face of the earth but we don’t see the Malachis turning the people back to the Father like we should. We don’t see the Elijahs tearing down pagan altars like they should. We don’t see the John the Baptists calling the people to repentance. We don’t see the Daniels ministering to kings and national leaders. We don’t see the Jeremiahs weeping and travailing for the sin-sick condition of our land. Something is off.
We have more apostles than any other time on the face of the earth but our churches are more out of order than ever. Doctrine has been replaced with sugar and we are spiraling out of control. We are not seeing healings, deliverance, salvation, and signs and wonders that are supposed to follow the apostles. When was the last time you have seen anyone in your church baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost? Demons cast out? Restoration of family, community, nation?
Many of today’s ministers lack spiritual maturity. They are newborn babies who caught a whiff of the glamor? of a title and ran with it. Many of them have never been personally mentored. They may have internet connections but there is no one standing with them who knows them personally. Jesus personally mentored His apostles. They were not internet sons and daughters, they were personal and up close with Him. He needed to see them on their good days in ministry and their not so good days in ministry. He needed to see their reactions to situations that occurred in their lives. He needed to see them lose their temper, make mistakes, fight and argue with one another, and witness their family relationships so He could better show them what it takes to be a true apostle of the Lord Jesus. Where has that gone? Who can take the rebuke that Peter took from Jesus and remain a son? Who can take being called a faithless and perverse generation and still follow Jesus? Where are ‘those’ people who can take a lick and keep on ticking? Instead, we have a generation of hypersensitive, overgrown babies wearing collars (or not) standing on a platform instructing someone how to live a life of faith that they, themselves, have not tested and tasted firsthand.
Saul/Paul was taken down his high place because he was in error. He was zealous for the work of God but didn’t fully and personally know God. He was humbled and blinded until further notice. He was not allowed to return to life as he knew it. God got a hold of him AND made him suffer for the Lord since he was such a nuisance to the Church. God forgave him but he still had a price to pay. Even after being called, and as knowledgeable as Paul was in the Holy Scriptures, he still had to wait fourteen years until he was released into public ministry. Jesus waited thirty years. David waited fifteen years. The apostles waited three and half years (they tutored under Jesus – go figure) but many of today’s preachers won’t wait six months. Do you see why there are so many problems among the people of faith today?

Paul wrote to Timothy, his spiritual son, and gave him instructions on setting leadership in place. 1 Timothy 3:6, “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” Paul made it emphatically clear that a leader must be a person of experience or else he will fall into the trap of the devil. A novice is a new convert, a newly saved person, or someone inexperienced in a thing. I can’t tell you how many times I have personally seen a person claim a call or receive a ‘word’ from some great one telling them they are called, and instead of them submitting to discipleship, they print business cards and run for the hills. Saints, that is not the God-prescribed formula for leading ministry and this type of hastiness in ministry will not only leave that person vulnerable to satanic attack, but the people to whom they are ‘called’ to serve are just as vulnerable. The Lord is not returning for a ‘bastard’ house – a house without the Father. He is returning for a Bride – a woman (church) of submission. We have to set our ego and pride aside, rend our heart before the Lord, and get back in order. It is better to repent now and do your first works over than to continue in sin and face serious consequences later.

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