LIFE GIVERS MINISTRIES
WALKING AND ABIDING
“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 (matured) I put away childish things. For now we (I, you) see in a mirror dimly but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I (we, you) also am known. Now abide faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love” 1 Corinthians 13:11-13
When I was a child—WHEN I WAS a child is a statement of confidence. Not in what I have done but what Holy Spirit has done in me. I am not speaking of my growth in the natural but in the spirit. The natural comes and there is no stopping it but the spiritual growth comes only by the Spirit of God moving in my life. I can slow that down but as in the natural I can’t stop it.
I believe all who read this will attest to what Father is having me explain about my experience and the reason something needs to be said.
As I acknowledged Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior thirty plus years ago, I was a “child.” I understood as a child and spoke as a child and thought as a child. Everyone is there at that time of their lives. It is a wonderful place to be! Everything is so sweet and every prayer gets answered. Life is so full of surprises.
It was as though I really saw for the first time. A veil was lifted off my physical eyes and the whole world took on a third dimension! I was happy and no one understood!
I was so disappointed and realized that I didn’t know what was going on either! I knew the physical part of my life was different and couldn’t explain it to anyone else. Rather frustrating to say the least.
As a child usually does after an experience, I quickly let the joy of the time drift away and my life got back to “normal.” I behaved as a child would be expected to behave and counted it as a great experience. Oh, I did all the things I was told to do if I was to be a Christian. Tried my best to be good but it was so hard to see the reason for it. I knew I had to be good if I wanted God to keep on loving me and I tried my best. I studied the scriptures, went to bible studies and prayer meetings and of course was there every time the church doors were open! I took my children to church and Sunday school every Sunday. My rewards were to be great if I could keep this up for the rest of my life. I would have a lot of crowns to throw at His feet and I surely would get caught up in the rapture at the end! Everyone had a different explanation of the rapture but I was going regardless of what it was!!
You can stop laughing because this was serious stuff for this “child.” I was upset at times because I had three children and a husband and a house to keep up. I didn’t have much time left over at the end of the day to give to God for ministry! What kind of Christian was I to be if I couldn’t pray for an hour each day, read the bible for thirty minutes and go to bible studies AND be a wife and mother? There are a lot of you out there that have or did have the same problem. But I did it! You wouldn’t believe the schedule I set up. It drove my husband crazy and the poor kids! I look back now as I have matured a little and wonder how a grown woman could be so crazy but that is how a child acts! I see that now. I was so happy that I didn’t know I was unhappy! Working to stay saved is a hard thing to do.
I worked on my faith and learned to speak positive. If I caught myself speaking negatively, I quickly repented. I kept God’s word posted on every flat surface in my house and car and no non-christian TV, movies, or pictures could be found. I couldn’t come to the place of throwing out the TV but I knew a lot of people that did! And music? Well, you know how that went. You ask where was my husband? Right there with me! We walked together in this thing and enjoyed every minute of it. People thought highly of us and rightly so. We were good Christians as far as we knew how to be. God is so good and faithful. He kept us and brought us along to a higher place in Him because we were faithful to do all we knew. He knew our hearts wanted to follow Him and He knew what it would take to get us where we should be. We had a lot of good teachers until we found we needed no man to teach us. We still have a lot of good people in our lives that set a great example for us and we are grateful for them and to God for having them for us. It means a lot to hear things and then have it confirmed by our peers. Don’t be afraid of people who share the Truth with you but beware of those who think they need to teach you everything. Use what God has given you and Holy Spirit will teach you all you need to know. For you know all things, because He that knows all things lives in you. He will bring to remembrance things that are hidden to us whenever we need the information.
I still had a big problem; I still wanted to do all those things I knew I shouldn’t do. Like Paul shares in Romans 7:13-25, my spirit wanted to serve God but my soul wanted to serve the law. They just couldn’t agree on anything and a great battle was going on within me. Then I found out that only Christ who lived in me, my inner man, could deliver me from such a state and my outer man, flesh-man, could do nothing but follow the law. How many of us know the law will kill you. It brings death and the Spirit brings Life.
All this evil stuff I wanted to do I thought I was hiding pretty well but Father could see all things. He loved me enough to know what had to be done. He led me along until I could get my feet on firm ground and stand with Him.
As I started standing I was sent by Him to speak and evangelize with Women’s Aglow. A wonderful safe place for women to be able to express themselves, be accepted and be used by God to grow. That was my nurturing ground. I learned so much with them, I will always be grateful for those ladies—A very special group in my life.
That is where I learned to talk the talk and I thought I was walking it also. It took a geographical move to teach me about accepting people whether they accepted me or not. I learned to LOVE, finally!!
This is where you learn to talk the walk and walk the walk. Love is the answer to it all! Just a four letter word we think we know all about. I found out that preach doesn’t always mean to stand in front of someone and expound on the scriptures. It can also mean to exhibit the living Word—the character of God. Anyone can talk and their private lives are in turmoil. But if you just walk the word there will be power in your life. You will start living like He wants! Let God prepare the place for you to talk and He will arrange divine appointments for you in His time. Life is so much more exciting then. You live in expectancy and each day is new.
This is coming into maturity or becoming an adult and leaving child-like behavior behind. We begin putting away childish thoughts, speaking and actions. Just like our Jesus, He came to become the Son of God but He had to learn by obedience and submission to His earthly parents. We have to learn by obedience and submission to our Heavenly Father. For Jesus to live here He had to take on flesh and blood. For us to enter His world we have to take on Spirit! Wow! Is God good or not?
It must have been hard to suppress the power He had over the people when they defied Him and crucified Him. He only had to call a multitude of angels and they would have come to His aid! We say nails held Him on the cross but it was really Love for His father and submission to Him that held Him there. Remember He was a flesh man and I don’t think any one could love out of his flesh enough to hang on a cross. Only the power of His love for Father could have done it. Do we carry that kind of love for our Father? Only by the Spirit and as we submit to Him can we do it.
As maturity comes our hope comes. Not in ourselves or our works but in Jesus Christ Himself. If He could do it then we know we can do it. The longer we walk with Him and for Him the stronger our hope gets until it turns into LOVE. He does it, not we ourselves. It is by His Spirit that it happens.
As we walk in Love we find that it does cover a multitude of sins, just as it did on the cross. It (HE—Love) covered all of every mans sin once and for all. That is so hard for us to wrap our minds around that we think we have to work so hard to be saved. We are already saved we just have to accept that fact and believe it. That was and is Paul’s message for the people, then and now. The repenting part is to turn around and have a change of mind about who we are. Turn away from the worlds way of thinking and “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” (Philippians 2:5-6)
With this faith and hope and love working in us we have finally found the rest He has for us in Hebrews 4. That is a peaceful life. No more works for show or performance for acceptance. We are IN! No longer do we tell Him what we want but we are now asking what He wants. Our will has changed to His will. We are constantly listening for His voice to tell us to turn right or left. Happiness has turned to everlasting Joy. No longer do our circumstances control our happiness. We are ever rejoicing and enjoying life, real life!
As we mature and the childish things are put away, we find we have lost some friends and they seem to have given up on us. They don’t understand where we are going and they don’t feel safe with us anymore. They have become content with the status quo. That’s alright. They will have their day just like we did. Maturity comes to all as they walk—some sooner than others. In the flesh this is a hard thing but when you consider the True Friend you have gained it all fades away into the past. Remember, birds of a feather flock together and when your feathers change so does your flock. Don’t be dismayed, the best is yet to come! A brighter day has come and it will get brighter. That is a promise from Him.
As long as you are talking the walk all is fine but the change comes when you start walking the walk. There is a lot of difference. You lose interest in all the things of the world. The meetings, the church every night syndrome just isn’t for you anymore. You want to spend that time with Him. I know what you are thinking, how about not forsaking assembling your selves together. Well, all my friends are Christians and we are always talking and sharing and gleaning from one another. I believe that verse means not to spend all your time with others that are not of the same mind as you. Wait on the Spirit to bring you to the person or persons He wants you to be with.
God has some new friends on the horizon but these friends are hard to find. They are quiet and laid back waiting on Him. They aren’t out seeking like we were before. Father wants to be that special friend and confidant. He is Faith, Hope and Love. Not the childish emotions we have had all along, trying to get our way and never finding peace.
At this level you have no need for a man to teach you. You have no desire or drive to go out and minister for God. The only desire you have is to be like Him and for Him to direct your paths.
You have learned that His will is always the right way and He never makes mistakes. When He is ready to work through you, you are confident that He will let you know. He arranges all the divine appointments for you and opens the doors no man can close. It is a place of complete trust in Him for all you will ever need or want. You will realize He is in total control and nothing is out of control.
It seems at times that everything is out of control and all the earth is hell bound. Think again; it is all part of His plan and of a bigger picture than we are able to see. As we grow in Him He will show us more and more of what He is all about. Remember, life does not stop with the grave. Actually, life begins there! God has a plan, He will work it and it is all inclusive. No one is left out. He is God, creator of the entire universe and all that is in it.
Maturity brings responsibility and God will use you as you are making this journey to maturity. He has places you need to be and people you need to see. There is something for all of us, but only He knows what it is. As you need to know He will let you know. (Have patience. It is a virtue.) He is directing your footsteps now. You will go when He says go and stay when He says stay! Sound like a servant? YES. No more pulling at the reins. You are yoked up with Him and it is easy.
There is a song, “I’ll meet you at the top of the mountain” and that is where we are headed. To the top of Mount Zion to abide with Him, but we shall return. In fact, we will see each other going and coming in the spirit as He sends us back to help others trying to find their way up the same mountain. There will always be lots to do. It will take all of us to get it done. The trick is for all of us to be willing, as individuals, to go on and not give up when times get difficult.
“And finally, Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Remember our manner of living is in the heavenly realm. I expect to see you all coming and going as we all mature in Him.
We are beginning to walk and when you do you don’t get a lot of opportunities to talk. This is a hard place to be in but as soon as you “lose” your “talking” friends it will be easy. On the other hand, it will be more exciting as more people start talking and asking you questions. Father will start making divine appointments for you and the doors will be opened. That is miracle land. That is the heavenly realm. That is where you don’t have to prove anything by your works, but your lifestyle will prove who you are.
Remember, it is easy to talk but our goal is to walk and abide.
Be seeing you along the way.
As Barbara and I have walked our way thus far in this journey, we have had both happiness and sadness. While I was talking to a good friend on the telephone just recently, I made the comment to him that the deeper we walk into the Kingdom of God, the less we have to say to others. Barbara overhead me talking and that thought stuck in her mind and engendered this particular article. The funny thing is, I had never made that statement before and I feel certain that it was planted by Holy Spirit at that particular time. I feel that I must digress in order to give my input to this subject.
Over thirty years ago, when Barbara and I got saved, which is really the time that we became aware of the presence of Christ within us, we both thought that we had arrived at a wonderful starting point on the journey to heaven. Over the course of the next several years we both became heavily involved in ministry, she with the Women’s Aglow as a chapter president then on the Area Board responsible for starting new chapters in Mississippi. I became a life member of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship and served as a chapter president and area field representative for Mississippi. We were in “hog heaven” busy “doing” for God as we had been taught. The real problem with all that is one becomes so ‘do’ oriented that the real goal grows to dim to see clearly. In reality, we are all meant to “grow up into Christ,” not just have fellowship with Him. It was during this same time frame that we became extremely strict in raising our kids. I was at this time a member of the Air Force, but I had over twelve years as a Marine including a tour in Viet Nam and a stint as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island, so you can just imagine what a “nice, friendly” guy I was. I’m sure that our kids were scared of their dad most of the time because I could fly off the handle at a moment’s notice, as long as no one outside of the family saw me. What a hypocrite!!! I really thought that I was a “good” Christian. My Adam nature would not and could not allow me to live outside of the Law of Moses and there is no way to really come into the things of God while operating under the law. The teachings that we were receiving at that time was a mixed gospel of what Matthew told the Jews and what Paul told the Gentiles. This mixture is still being preached as “The Gospel” in almost every church building around the world by those still in the system. There is a major problem here—as one cannot live under both the Law and Grace at the same time. Scripture states that Christ fulfilled the Law and it is now written on our hearts. The TRUE gospel, the one that Christ preached is—the kingdom of heaven is within you! It just doesn’t get any clearer than that. He was not talking to Christians, but to “unsaved” Jews. Christ also stated—you have not chosen me, I have chosen you! The way the church system teaches salvation is not even scriptural. As individuals, we must put on the mind of Christ. Notice it doesn’t give an option concerning learning to think like Christ. He didn’t have any problem stating that He and His Father were one and neither should we. I’m not taking anything away from Jesus, just doing what He said to do. If anyone is having a problem with this, read John 17, that’s where you will find the ‘real’ Lord’s Prayer.
You can easily discern that both of us were being led away from the reality that Father wanted us to have manifested in our lives. It is so obvious to us now, that we didn’t have any spiritual discernment concerning hearing from God within our spirits at that time. It was only after a geographic move to Georgia, away from our comfort zone, that we began to learn to hear Holy Spirit. At first it was very scary the things He was telling us—come out from among them being one of the first things. We’ve learned that the reason behind it was and is; we have no need for man (Adam) to teach us. This was not too hard for me to do, but Barbara really had a rough time with this instruction. We have Holy Spirit within to guide us into ALL truth. Now we know that as a fact but then it was just a theory, and a rather shaky one at that. As we learned to listen correctly and publish what we were told to publish, we found that many of our “friends” were dropping by the wayside. In fact, over the course of eighteen to twenty-four months, we lost almost all of our financial support. Many would say well, God has dried up your finances so you should stop publishing. We didn’t stop and have since realized some new supporters which are a real blessing to the ministry that Father has led us into.
All this to say that no matter what you’re going through at this time, God really does have a plan for you and it WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED BY HIM IN HIS TIME! As my friend Floyd Watson used to say—every man has an ‘until’ time meaning that we can ‘do our own thing’ until God decides to put His hand on our life at which time our pre-determined destiny is settled.
Rather than just mouth the words, God is in control, really allow Him to be. Once you turn yourself over to Him and let the old man, Adam, die you’ll never be the same. Life will become exciting and you’ll look forward to every step you take knowing that God is within you actually leading you to either take the step or say the words. WALK, TALK, ABIDE!!
Life Givers Ministries
PO Box 251
Lincolnton GA 30817-0251
706 359 6977
706 319 7422
706 319 1651