|Finally, a chance to sit down and share Bible study notes from Friday. Pastor Don taught, yeah!!!!, on spiritual giftings and spiritual maturity.
Christians almost always feel they are further along in their spiritual path than they are, when our flesh is not being tested. When testing of the flesh occurs, we find out exactly where we are spiritually.
Usually our response to a problem in the body is that someone else has a problem. It isn’t our problem, it is the other person’s immaturity. We tend to want to blame others . Spiritual babies fixate at a certain spiritual age and when a problem occurs, they move from church to church, but stay at the same spiritual age.
There is a difference between having a revelation of Christ and having Christ recreated in you.
Immature Christians are always chasing another revelation, another manifestation of the power of God, the external rather than an inward recreation of themselves.
Jesus had only one calculated tantrum on one day (the chasing of the moneychangers out of the temple), but most of our tantrums are spontaneous combustions.
We are not always telling ourselves the truth, the right estimation of a situation until Christ is recreated in us.
Col. 1:13 – “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”
Col. 1:8 “…who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.”
ALL wisdom and spiritual understanding are fulfilled with knowledge of God’s will. We must be constantly aware of the prime object, to take everything into the reality of 2 Cor. 10:4 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…”
When God wants to relay a message to us, we must be more concerned with the information that the person is relaying, not the method of conveyance. Satan will try to get the message lost by causing us to focus on the messenger, not the message. A newborn believer may have a message from God for the mature Christian, but if the mature Christian discounts the newborn believer’s words, he will not get the message.
Pastor Don said that at one point when he was preaching he was very concerned if the congregation would not say hearty Amens at the point where Pastor Don felt that the Amens were called for. His wife pointed out to him that sometimes people may not be responding outloud because they are pondering what they are hearing, they are absorbing something new, and that sometimes the amens will come later, not in the presence of Pastor Don. So he had to let go of the need to get approval and a response from the people.
But he also pointed out that there is a power released when we speak an agreement with an “Amen,” in the airwaves. The presence of your vocalization is your power to establish the Kingdom here on earth. Commands of the mouth and faith in the heart releases power to put satan underfoot.
Our goal is to be filled completely with the Holy Spirit and acting in the Knowledge of His Will. But some are only functioning at 2%, some at 80% of this. A lot of times we are trying to exercise OUR wills, God is ever changing. His will in unchanging but is also inflexible and variable, it has a clarity and a rightness. (Heather note: This seems a bit puzzling to me in the flesh, but then I am forever trying to put God into a box of my own understanding and God is way beyond what I can conceive, so it is not as contradictory as my flesh seems to feel this statement is.)
When we have a problem, we appeal to God to change his dictates to make it more comfortable for us, to release us from the problem. But really we do not have ALL wisdom and spiritual understanding to see what God sees.
Spiritual understanding is the will of God to provide you with what you need to do his will. He will provide funds to do his will concerning your life.
What we don’t believe is that if it isn’t a direct service to God, that God will pay the bill. Within reason, God wants us happy, and that leaves room for God’s provision for some of our wants, and that does not have to always relate to God’s primary purpose for our life.
Because we are a temple of the Holy spirit, and we set a goal that results in a positive end, God will fund your desire. For example an evangelist in India who wants to visit an unsaved relative in the country. It is all in God’s will, and we don’t have knowledge and faith for it. But that does not allow us to spend resources foolishly.
God will give us luxurious things, but his main focus is for us to deal with our own flesh issues. And if the luxurious things will take away from dealing with our flesh issues, God may choose not to provide them.
God has delivered us from demons of darkness and given us ALL blessings, but WITH knowledge of HIS WILL.
We need to do a good thing, and by spiritual understanding we will step out in faith to do God’s will. God wants to fill us with his Wisdom.
Wisdom is to take information and understand what to do with the knowledge.
Knowledge is the information that we have.
Spiritual understanding is the information to know what to do with knowledge in the natural and the supernatural realm. The application of wisdom.
Not all spiritual people who have much knowledge of the Bible act in wisdom and spiritual understanding.
One person in the Old Testament who showed Spiritual understanding was Jehosephat. He had many problems and numerous enemies that were surrounding him. He was outnumbered. But he knew God was greater than his enemy, so he took the position of getting the Israelites to pray and Jehosephat prays for wisdom about the information (the surrounding of the enemy) that he has. God gives him wisdom, “take your position, the battle is not yours, it is the Lord’s.”
He had the spiritual understanding, and against all fleshly circumstances, he stayed in the position of prayer and faith in God. The war in the physical became the spiritual. What happened is that his enemies were confused and killed each other and himself. Jehosephat and his army did not raise one sword in the Lord’s battle.
Another example was King Saul, who chased David. David woke up one night and found that Saul was sleeping in the same cave, and his men had the KNOWLEDGE, that it would be very easy for David to kill King Saul. But David had the WISDOM to seek God, and God gave him the spiritual wisdom of knowledge, and he obeyed God and did not touch God’s anointed, Saul. David takes some of Saul’s things and clips his robe. He learned from this to depend on God in these difficult situations. Sometimes vanquishing the enemy is not always in the cause of God, who can vanquish every enemy. From that time on David was never afraid of Saul and could never claim credit for vanquishing Saul, saving him from the sin of pride in this. So he knew that it was God who gave him the throne.
Col 1:10-12 …”that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”
Longsuffering with joy and patience. Pastor Don asked us, “Would you rather be waiting with longsuffering or waiting with longsuffering with patience and joy. When you realize that you are not meant to suffer forever, you will learn the lesson you need to learn and release the suffering. So better to face the trials with patience and joy, work through them, learn what you need to learn and move on, giving thanks to God.
If you are suffering ask for spiritual understanding. Wait for the full manifestation of the reward. Waiting is a whole lot easier than longsuffering. So let us wait keep on going through until you get the lesson of your going through, and once you get your going through, your going through will stop.
God will permit satan to keep bugging you until you say, this is the last time. An example Pastor Don gave was if you have a hard time saying no when a friend asks you out to a place, and you don’t want to go, don’t like going, don’t get edified by it, but can’t say, “no.” Rest assured the person will keep calling you and inviting you out until you finally say, “no” you get what you are going through, and then the calls will stop.
God is offended by the spirit of offence that is seen among Christians. People are quick to judge, condemn, and take offence when no offence should be taken.
There are three levels of Christians.
BABY: wants toys and gifts (signs and wonders), for himself. He wants to see a move of the power of God for himself, wants to fall down under the spirit, have tongues, have all the good things of God. When he attends a church service he is offended if the message doesn’t apply to him, or he wants more time to soak for him, wants prophesy spoken over him, it is a ME, ME, ME thing.
TEENAGERS: they want toys and gifts, but for show and tell, but to show their peers that they have acquired them. It is for their self elevation and impressing others. They are strongly affected by peer influence.
MATURE: have toys and gifts to give away.
Col 1:12-13 (above) we have the inheritance of the saints (toys and gifts) IN THE LIGHT, and it is for the equipping of the saints.
Convey (transferred) take from one place and put to another. convey to us the kingdom of the Son of His love.
A mature Christian will say, “Look at what I can do, you can do it too.”
Eph 4:11-17 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind.”
This passage gives us a description of each part of the Body of Christ (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher)-five fold ministry
Every Church which is open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit has at some level all of the five fold ministry. We do not always recognize this for we tend not to see the giftings of those in our church, and often we set our bar so high, comparing people with famous evangelists, prophets, etc.
Pastor Don pointed out that in the Baptist church he was raised many of the women would put their arm around him and speak prophesy. He hated it when they told him that they saw him as a pastor, that he had the gift of preaching, etc. At that time Pastor Don wanted anything BUT that, but these women were prophesying over him. They were not Kenneth Hagins, or any of the other great prophets, but they were prophesying.
We are not to seek these gifts, and if they are there for us to use the focus MUST be the edifying of the Body of Christ, not personal glory, or pride, or showing off.
Everything we do should make us feel better and bring others to salvation.
Ephesians 4:17-18 “This I say threfore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…”
Our primary purpose is to bring the Light of God’s Kingdom to the darkness of this world.
Not all speak in tongues, not all agree with tongues, but tongues is a private prayer language that you can use to build up your spiritual batteries so that you are ready with the right words, thoughts, and actions. If you are not charged up through tongues, prayer, meditation on the Word, you may miss situations where you can act powerfully.
A smile in the flesh is just a smile, but a smile that is charged and filled with the Holy Spirit can do wonders in another person’s life.
If we are spiritually charged, however we achieve that, we then have power to battle whatever satan throws at us. If we are spiritually charged up, we will not so easily fall into the temptation of sin, and have the power to fight satan.
I have to tell you, the above Bible study was very convicting to me. I have seen myself when I have rushed out of the house without any spiritual charge, and I can tell you it isn’t always pretty.
I wish I could tell you that I am spiritually mature, but I can see that in areas of my life I sometimes act like a baby, a teenager, and sometimes spiritually mature. But there is MUCH room for growth in me.
I also find that there are times when I forget the prime directive that we are to build the body of Christ, that we are to help edify each other. There are times when I am judgmental, or don’t reach out when I should reach out. I keep praying for that spiritual understanding. I want to apply the knowledge I am learning and to serve God the best I can, but boy do I still have a lot of growing up to do.
Please always remember that if there are errors in how this is presented it is my error in taking notes. I have to be honest, sometimes Pastor Don talks fast and I have to interpret my scribbles (she says smiling).
I hope you have a blessed Sunday.
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