LIFE GIVERS MINISTRIES
CHILDREN, FATHERS AND YOUNG MEN
Do you have a scripture that never made a lot of sense to you, no matter how many times you read it? I confess that I have and more than one! Some that I would just read over and not even try to understand what is being said. There has been a change since I have realized that Holy Spirit is my Teacher and I donít have to understand until He tells me and then it seems so simple. I have known for a long time that He is my Teacher but there is a difference when you trust Him to be the Teacher. Most of us think we are trusting Him all along but we really are trusting our leaders and we do what they say the Word says. I even believed for awhile that He (Holy Spirit) had taught me all He knew when I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit! All of a sudden about thirty years later I find I was trusting in flesh and not Spirit. I had my "until day" as a friend calls it. I now trust in Him and I find He is teaching me things out of the things I knew already! This is an exciting life!! It might not make much sense to you but if you sat down to analyze your spiritual growth it probably wouldnít make much sense to the natural man either. Isnít He good?
What I am getting to is a revelation of a few verses that I never understood. For you to whom this is "old stuff," just bear with me for a while. You will get excited too.
Letís turn to 1st John 2:12. Little children, fathers and young men, little children, fathers and young men! Since reading by the Spirit has become such a part of my life I can see myself and how I have advanced in my walk and growth with Father. Sort of encouraging and yet gives me encouragement to keep on following Him. There is so much more to attain in Him!
We can actually tell where we are in our Walk if we listen carefully and be honest with ourselves. Our pride might suffer but- whatís new!
Verse 12óI write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His Names Sake.
That is the message we should be taking to the world! THE Gospel, if you will. How much better could the news be than that? I believe that all people are "standing at the cross" and the problems they have is because they wonít "see" it and they keep bumping into it! (ouch, that hurts) This verse also confirms that when we do see the cross, we see that we have been given a wonderful FREE gift and we didnít have to do anything except receive it. No works, or anything we do, can cause it to happen. It has been done for HIS name sake. He wanted to express His character in the world and through the cross is the way He chose to do it! There is nothing greater than a friend laying down His life for a friend and that is what He did! How better a way could He have expressed His character of Love? His works, not mine, brought reconciliation to the world.
If you think you are passed this "children" stage then turn to 1st. Peter 2:1-3. "Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking, as new born babes, desire the pure milk of the Word that you may grow thereby...If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." Ask your self this question, "Have I laid aside......? If the answer is "yes" then Praise God for the work He has done because you have done nothing at all. There goes the "pride." If, like most of us, your answer is "no" then we know He has more work to do and we need to submit our will to Him in these areas. James tells us our tongue is the hardest thing to control and if He doesnít change us we canít do it ourselves. One thing He does tell us to do is "to let (allow) this mind to dwell in you" (Philippians 2:5óthis mind being His mind) "by bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." The more we think on Him the more we will think like Him. SOóit isnít that we donít have some works to do, it just isnít the same works we have been taught we have to do! The works we do are the same works He didóWhatever the Father says we do.
Verse 13aóI write to you, fathers, because you have known Him from the beginning.
This is not for the children, but for those who are maturing or going on with Father. They are moving beyond the Cross, just as Jesus did. He did not stay on the cross. He went on into other things, like being THE King that He said He was. This is a step we have to decide we want; if not we can stay as "Babes" and enjoy an assurance that we will be with Him in Paradise but not the innerócircle like John was. Fathers have decided that there is more than salvation and they draw closer to Father to find it by going beyond the cross and walking in what we would call, "the shadow of the cross."
Staying at the cross means listening to what others tell us and never seeking the Truth of the Word. I have heard it said "We must have a Love for the Truth." When you have a Love for the Truth you keep seeking until you hear His voice and it over rides manís voice. Men can only teach us what they have been taught and they do a good job of that. Staying at the cross means that you know it all and/or you are satisfied.
Did you ever look at the sky and "see" the top of the world? I at one time thought I could see where the world ended, and there was no more. As I grew up I realized that what I saw was actually eternity! There is no "top" or end to the sky! There are ends to the atmosphere as they in N.A.S.A. know but they also know they are discovering new atmospheres all the time. Thatís how God isóthere is no end to Him. When we reach a point that we think we know it all and stop, we are missing out on all things that He has for us. That is staying at the cross. Staying at the cross doesnít mean that we wonít be blessed but we will never know the fullness that He has for us. The milk of the word is good but you canít live on milk! You must move on to meat.
As you pass the "child" stage milk is very hard to digest for the human body. We are weaned and move on to solid food. Every beast of the field will do the same thing. Can you see what God is trying to tell us through nature? Move on beyond the "milk." Add more food to the "diet!"
When I had gotten enough of "milk," I could tell because I got a little tired of the same "food" all the time! I felt there had to be more so I stopped listening and went looking for some "meat," something that would challenge me and make me search the word as I did at the first. I found I was hearing the same thing that the Pastor was saying but it was always a week earlier! I thought, "If I knew as much as he did I needed to find someone who knew more!" What I found was that no one knew more except Holy Spirit, so I started to listen to Him, for a change.
Are you getting tired of hearing the same thing you have heard for thirty years or so? Do you get sleepy and yawn while wishing they would hurry up so you could get on with your day? When asked for a testimony, is it still about salvation or do you have something new each time? If this all sounds too familiar then maybe He is saying "when you search for me with your whole heart then you will find me." Proverbs 25:2 tells us it is the Kings place to search out the matter! We have been made Kings and Priests. Search the Word and not manís opinion!
If "milk" is not satisfying you anymore start searching the scriptures and He will feed you "meat." You will find a more satisfying relationship forming and you will move beyond the cross to a more restful place in Him.
Verse 13bóI write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one.
Young men are bold and usually aggressive, in the natural and Spirit! They donít a fear of public opinion and couldnít care less about a lot of things. They act upon sudden impulses and worry about "fixing" things later! (Some of us could use some of that) The spiritual young man would be one who has had his fill of "milk" and wants to move on to higher things in the Lord. He knows there is more and will overcome every obstacle to get it! This person can be envied by those of us who are a little timid yet, but never fear, I believe that we all will have our "until" day. (Thanks, Floyd) EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW....
Young men will shake heaven and earth to "hear" what He is saying and therefore they will overcome whatever comes against them. Nothing will stop them from getting where they need to be. What ever we happen to believe the wicked to be, we do have an enemy. I just happen to believe it is our soulish mind because for some reason when we keep our minds on things above we donít have the problems as we do when we think on earthly things. Is that a coincidence or what? The mind of Christ makes us an overcomer! (Experience is the best teacher??) When we do put on the mind that was in Christ Jesus we find we become bolder and if we make an effort to live there then we become mature Sons of God, as we are ordained to be. Nothing can separate us from the Love of God but our human, carnal minds and that is exactly where the separation isóin our minds!!
In Godís Kingdom we can be a child, father or a son all at the same time! Isnít that amazing? I find that glorious because there is always room for growth. We can live at the cross while we are moving on beyond the cross and we can be an overcomer as we are moving on. We just canít sit still. Be willing to move whether it is slow or fast, we all have our own speed, but MOVE! He helped me to see a long time ago that if I am to abide under His shadow (Psalm 91:1) I would have to keep moving because He is not going to stop!
Verse 14óI have written to you fathers because you have known Him who is from the beginning, I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you. And you have overcome the wicked one.
He leaves no one out. He remembers us no matter where we are in Him and is a proud Father. In Hebrews 10:8-18 He reminds us of the preparation made to bring us to Himself that we may become the Sons of God. Look at v. 9b. This is interestingó"He takes away the first that He may establish the second." I know He is talking there about the covenant, but could that be the same principle He uses to bring us along from children to fathers to young men?
He, by His Love will woo us to Himself and make manifest to us the work in us and His presence. We become "babes," then He takes us through that stage of growth and brings us to the "father" stage, getting us beyond the cross and then we become bold "young men" and become an overcomer! I like that. The great thing about it all is that HE does it!
Babes, fathers, and young men--We need all these characteristics of God: Babes are submissive, fathers are examples and young men are overcomers or bold; if we are to move on to attain the glory that He has prepared for us.
Life Givers Ministries