I often wonder what people are thinking. If a child was not gaining weight or growing, people would be concerned. They would begin to investigate the reason behind the lack of growth. Questions would be asked. Is it an organic reason? An environmental reason? Are the parents not contributing to the growth of their child? Something is not right…what is it? We would be concerned.
A believer who does not grow ought to give consideration along those lines as well. If you are not growing, be willing to ask the hard questions. If areas of your life are moving out of control (Anger, addictions or sin.) ask the questions and seek the answers!
I meet a lot of people who go through their life without a clue. They do not see that their often destructive behavior is leading them down a path of heartache. Many of them are believers who have been in the church a long time. I am not talking about a specific church gathering or people but the church at large, as I have walked through my time with Him. I am concerned when I see groups or people making mistakes that scriptures counsel against. I get it. People get bored. They get tired. They “want what they want” no matter the cost. And the damage they do hurts many in most cases.
I love God and I love His people. (Actually , I love all people.) I am concerned for the future and the church. Not fearful, I know people can change in heartbeat. Concerned as in having an interest in. I believe in the church. There is no plan B for God. He gave it all that we might have it all. Here. Now.
So, where do we go? What do we do?
I am reminded of the “old lady” in the Wendy’s commercial of the early 80’s. She would remove the top bun and ask “where’s the beef?” The saying has come to mean, where is the substance. So when you or I look into the church, the question truly is, where is the “beef”? Many look at the church in the US and ask “where is the maturity”. Where is the fullness? Where is the level of “growing up” that ought to come with knowing God? Yesterday I spoke of being people of integrity and character. (Ironically, what was preached in Sunday service in my home fellowship was on character.) Integrity is something you learn is important when you are being discipled. Having character, moral standing, is the result.
From The Message Proverbs 2:1-13 1 Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you; collect my counsels and guard them with your life. 2 Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of Understanding. 3 That’s right – if you make Insight your priority, and won’t take no for an answer, 4 Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt, 5 Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours; you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God. 6 And here’s why: God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding. 7 He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well, a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere. 8 He keeps his eye on all who live honestly, and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones. 9 So now you can pick out what’s true and fair, find all the good trails! 10 Lady Wisdom will be your close friend, and Brother Knowledge your pleasant companion. 11 Good Sense will scout ahead for danger, Insight will keep an eye out for you. 12 They’ll keep you from making wrong turns, or following the bad directions 13 Of those who are lost themselves and can’t tell a trail from a tumbleweed,
Bold is mine… There is value to those who keep on the “straight and narrow”.
So, how do we get to the answer? What about our clueless state? What about those who keep away from growing up and maturity. I think you need to take a hard look at your life. I am not focused on my “defects” but when they are revealed I must be mature and willing to submit it to God for reparations.
Many are not like that. Perhaps it has not been painful enough or they simply accept the lies of the enemy. For whatever the reason they have not begun to understand what is missing in their life. (I am not talking about the ones who have no desire to get better or move ahead.) Or they may know something is missing and are “looking” for it. “What will ‘supercharge’ my life?” is a popular question. For others they may even know what is the “missing” piece but be unsure of how to accomplish it. Perhaps they have not delved deeply enough in the scriptures to come up with the answer to their success.
A lot of people wonder why a “mentor” or a discipling situation. Perhaps it is the lack of understanding. Or the thinking that “I can do it myself”. Ironically the world often turns to business coaches and life coaches, but the church frequently struggles. A mentor or discipler is not a coach but they do love you and care for you. When I work with someone, I want them to grow. To mature. I tell them that. Like others who disciple I want to help folks develop a pattern of spiritual discipline in their life. I want to guide them to a deepening relationship with the Father. I want them prepared to be used in the Kingdom.
Sometimes we will unpack the Bible. Recommendations for growth may include study, reading and training. (Quiet times, prayer and Bible study.) I will help them exercise and determine their gifts and spiritual direction. It may not even look like mine! My goal is to prepare them for a lifetime of encounter and relationship with the Father. (Phil 3:13)
A mentor who does not guide you in the direction of the Father is not helping you to grow. Some areas may be slower than another but a person ought to grow and mature in Him through a mentor’s help.
Where is the church? Getting ready to grow up!