Monday, June 20, 2016

When I Was A Child...

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." I Corinthians 13:11

Recently, my husband was speaking with my father and said to him, "I want to apologize for not originally asking for your daughter's hand in marriage."   My father was surprised, and this began a deeper conversation between the two.

As my father relayed the conversation to me, I recalled that period in my life.  I even remember my grandmother meeting my then fiance and saying, "I approve.  I give my blessing for this marriage."  I looked at her strangely and said, "Ok." because we were already engaged.  I wondered to myself, "Why did she think I needed her approval or blessing?"  I think upon this perspective now in shame.

This is the sort of ignorant blindness many young adults walk in.  Having perhaps been under the tutelage of a parent for most of your life, you begin to equate maturity (being fully developed) with self-reliance (depending on yourself alone for everything).  To such persons, doing things your way becomes your proof that you are are grown...and nothing could be further from the truth.

Such is the attitude of a child - no matter the age of the person - and it is rampant in the church. People are running around as renegades trying to "prove" that they know the Lord by going rogue. "They don't need anyone but Jesus." they claim, except it is clear by that attitude that they do not yet have Him. While they wear their independence as a badge of honor, all it does is make obvious that they have yet to know the ways of the Lord.

There is nothing worse then watching someone with the mind of a child running around digging a bigger ditch for themselves just because they refuse to be told anything.  It reminds me of my own children. Growing up, they would want their own determinations to be considered as valid and sound as ours, but they often lacked the experience & knowledge (maturity) to make the right decisions.  I would often respond, "This is why God gave you parents."

God is not stupid.  He knows that children need the wisdom and guidance which can only come by experience. Therefore, He places children in a family unit as a protection for them and He does the same with the Church.

"God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land." Psalm 68:6

God is a family, and He desires for us to become a part of His family.  As a reflection of that, He sets up His people in families.  The Body of Christ - to which all believers belong - is singular; there is one Body.  Yet notice that there are multiple families.  The idea of these spiritual families is the same as a physical family: patriarchal leadership, complimentary nurturing to support life, and children in obedience (Genesis 18:19; I Timothy 3:4, 12; Titus 1:6).

Those who remain removed from these families are called "rebellious".  All of the voices you hear in the landscape boldly claiming that it is not important to God that you belong to a church family are merely the rantings of this bound, rebellious seed.

Can God save and raise you apart from such a family unit?  Of course.  God even saved the man on the cross apart from being baptized.  Yet you need to know that such is not His will.  He desires for you to be connected to, and have consistent fellowship with, believers of a like precious faith in a family unit.  This is how He grows us up to maturity and even a way for Him to continue edifying us once we have matured (Ephesians 4:11-12).  God is not a solitary individual and neither are those who belong to Him.

The truth is that those who resist God's ways in this area are simply too proud and immature to be held accuntable for anything.  They want to receive the accolades and worship of the people, which means they need to cull you off from Christ to themselves so that you will see them as some "great one" (Acts 8:9).  This is why God indicates that we should beware of novices, "lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." (I Timothy 3:6).

One of the best revelations I ever received from the Lord is the knowledge that being a part of a spiritual family, with appropriate Godly leadership, is in no way a threat to whom He has uniquely created me to be.  In fact, it is the way for me to become what He has created me to be as He completes the work He has begun.  The true sign of maturity is not trying to do everything by yourself, but being able to diescern and submit to Godly wisdom.

If you are still trying to prove that you are something, then you can rest assured that you are not yet what you claim.  Only when you get to the place of actually becoming what you seek, will you just be able to "be".  Not only will you have no impetus to prove it to anyone, it will be obvious to all because of your fruit.

Other Resources
Put Me In My Place
The Caretaker
Perfect in One
The Three R's or Rebellion

No comments:

Post a Comment

In an effort to reduce the amount of spam received, Anonymous posts will no longer be accepted. Comments are still moderated and will appear once approved.

If you have a personal message to relay, please use the "Contact Us" form at the top of the blog. Thank you!