My middle son is leaving for the Navy in just a few days. His mom and I are super-proud of him. We were shocked when he told us he wanted to go into the Navy. I remember my mother telling me a story about when he went and stayed with them. She was watching him in the driveway. He must have been just four or five years old. He would ride his big wheel down to the edge of the driveway. Then he would stand up and begin to yell, waving his hands all around. After a few moments, he would get back on his big wheel and ride back up the driveway only to do it again and again. My mom went out and asked him what he was going and he said, “I’m going to work.” She said, “What is your job?” He said, “I’m a preacher.”
At his young age, he had seen me jump in the car and go to the church and then stand up yelling, waving my hands and this was his understanding of what I did. Pretty humbling 😊. What do you do Lee? I stand up in front of people yelling and waving my hands. That’s hilarious. My son was too young to really understand what was going on.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus did not begin his public ministry until he was 30 years old? We remember when he was only 12 years old that he stayed back in Jerusalem even though his family had already left for the journey home. Where was He? He was in the temple. The Bible says that he was listening to the teachers and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at His understanding and His answers. It seems that He already was poised to be a great teacher, but He waited another 18 years before His public ministry was birthed at a wedding in Cana. But why? Well, for one reason, 30 years old was the age at which a man in the Jewish culture could be a Rabbi, but I think there is another significant reason. He was not mature yet.
Too much of our life is messed up because we are not mature yet. Scripture teaches us that if we are not mature, we will be like infants tossed back and forth by the waves and wind of cunning people as they scheme against us. The Body of Christ must be mature. The 12-year-old body of Jesus Christ grew and was built up by his nutrition, love, and natural development from child to man.
Recently, it was in the news of how a couple had kept their children malnutrition and chained in their home. When the police finally came to rescue the children, they found that one child was 29 years old, but she looked 12. The point is that even the natural development of our human body can be stunted without the proper nutrition and love.
In the same way, the Body of Christ must follow the body of Jesus. We must grow strong and become mature ready for ministry and ready for the attacks of the enemy. But what is the nourishment that helps us to grow. In a previous blog, we talked about the food of Christ was to do the will of the Father and this must be our food as well. We nourish our spirit by doing the work of the Father. But we also need love. Love comes from unity within the Body. Love comes from the unity that comes from be equally yoked with other believers. Without this unity in the Body, we are on our own in the world. Like an abused child unfed and unloved, we will never develop. The wind and waves of life will overtake us. We need to be united to the Body, in the Spirit, in the faith, and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. Fighting among believers delights the devil. Whether it is two board members fighting with one another or a husband and wife insulting each other during an argument, the devil loves it. It weakens us. It keeps us in discord. It keeps us distracted so that we don’t focus on the food of our spirit. We are too busy with our own issues that we don’t do the work of the Lord. And we isolate ourselves. We lose the love that comes from the unity of the Spirit. We are weakened and made vulnerable to the schemes of the devil to kill, steal, and destroy from our life.
If the Spirit is the strength of the Body, then discord among the Body dislocates us from the Holy Spirit that holds us together. In fact, when we read the Scripture, we really see that peace within the Body whether it is your church or your family is more important that who’s right in the issues that we fight over.
Our victories in this life and the strength we have in the battle can be directly traced back to our maturity within the Body. And maturity requires nourishment and love, doing the work of the Lord and putting forth all effort to keep the peace within the Body. I don’t want to delight Hell. Yet fighting and discord with other believers makes Hell party like it’s 1999 (I know, I just showed my age with that one.) I don’t want to be an undernourished, abandoned child chained to a bed in Satan’s basement either. We must find a way to not let the issues of life become more important than peace in the Body through the unity of the Spirit.
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It is great for those struggling with the circumstances in their life and why God would allow some things to happen. I wrote it from the heart after my best friend from high school shared with me his struggle to understand why God would allow Him to get cancer. I hope it is a help to all who read it. -Pastor Lee
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (ESV)
Lord, I get too upset over things that just don’t matter. I give the devil not just a foothold, but sometimes I invite him in and give him the good chair in the living room of my heart. I hate this about me. Remind me of how patient you are with me even when I wrestle with you. Remind me of how patient you are with me that I might be patient with others. Help me Holy Spirit to resist the temptation to argue to the point of breaking down the relationship. Unite my spouse and I. Unite my children and I. Unite my brothers and sisters in my church. Unite us all with Your Holy Spirit and let us grow up as a strong and powerful Body ready to fight and win the battles against the principalities of darkness. -Amen
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