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An ear to hear: Learn how to listen and reap a harvest.
Growing pains: A spiritual growth from milk to solid food.
When I was first called into the ministry I was overwhelmed by different emotions. I was afraid, I was exhilarated, and I was a little sad because I knew that my life would change drastically and, I would never be the same.
As a baby Christian, which the saints fondly refer to as "babies on milk" I clung fervently to the skirts of the most seasoned saints, and this continued until something happened that ran me away from the church.
Due to the fact, I was a spiritual babe, with little spiritual growth, I got burned very easily. I ran from church to church, which, is common for spiritual babes; however, like any good Sheppard, who loses one of his little sheep, it didn't take long for Jesus to find me. In Romans 15:1 Apostle Paul tells the stronger Saints to bear with the weak, however, we are not perfect, only growing in grace, and sometimes this can be hard to do. The bad part was I got burned. The good part was it was the beginning of my growth, as I weaned off the stronger spiritual mother's and learned to listen to God.
Never Lean on your Own Understanding.
"The assignment" A parable:
One day the spirit of the Lord descended on one of His disciple's and He said: "Behold, I have an assignment for you!" So the Lord counseled with His disciple, and after becoming enlightened, she ran off to perform the task the Lord had given her, and after many hours of trying she failed.
Soon the disciple returned and called upon the Lord, and He counseled with her again. After becoming enlightened, she ran off to perform the task in which the Lord had given her, and after hours of trying she failed.
So she came back and called upon the Lord, but this time, she was depressed, and her heart was heavy: "Lord I have tried to complete the assignment you have given me but after hours of trying I keep failing!"
The Lord never acknowledges her words, He just picks up the conversation where He left off. So He counsels with His disciple again, and again, she becomes enlightened, as her ears opened.
So she runs off to complete the task the Lord had given her, and she completes it in five minutes. When she calls upon the Lord, this time, she says: "Lord the assignment you gave me is done and I completed it in five minutes!"
"I know." Says the Lord.
"But Lord, why did you give it to me in puzzle pieces? Why didn't you just give it to me all at once?"
" I didn't give it to you in puzzle pieces. I tried to give it to you all at once. But once you felt you understood it you ran off to complete it on your own. Next time allow me to finish talking; there is no failure in God!"
Without Faith it is impossible to please Him.
My ways are higher and My thoughts are deeper.
The most complicated thing for me to grasp was, that 'God's ways are not my way's' but that all changed once these words of wisdom entered my heart: "It's not what you know, but what you understand that brings change." Those who have read my hubs know that I have said this often. The reason is, the way I thought had changed once I understood that God knows us so completely, He even understands that we make our decisions based on the way we perceive information.
- For example: If you start a new job you're given an overall summary of the company and the expectations they have of you. You learn your job and what you will be doing but may not understand the inner workings of the company.
- God is a "God of understanding" If we understand our roles, and how our roles are woven into the plan of the company, it will wake up a passion for us to fulfill our assignments effectively.
- Second example: In the case of the disciple who didn't understand how to listen, she allowed her impatience to cause her to lean on her own wisdom; and, she ran off to complete her tasks and failed not once but twice. Understanding the reasons for why her role was so important, changed the way she thought. Now, she understood she was more than a disciple completing an assignment, but her assignment was a part of an overall bigger vision.
As she kept returning to the Lord for more counsel, she discovered that her failure was a result of her not listening in order to receive insight as to why her role was vital. Her failure taught her to listen instead of leaning on her own understanding of the situation. Once she understood, she completed her assignment in five minutes. Why was this lesson important for her? Because she learned she didn't have to work so hard. God is not the author of confusion and there is no failure in God.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the spirit is; love, joy, peace, forbearance , kindness, goodness, patience.— Apostle Paul
Patience: A fruit of the spirit.
Another part I struggled with in my spiritual walk was developing patience. Patience is a fruit of the spirit that can only be mastered through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Patience has never, and if I may be honest, may never be my strong suit. It's not that I'm impatient with people, I'm impatient for results. If you have read my hub ' Someone has invested heavily in you: Discover your purpose and find your joy!" then you will understand more of what I'm trying to convey.
When God first enlightened me as to my purpose and all the goodies that went along with it, I started out inquiring when they would happen. Then I started begging, crying, and when all else failed I got angry. I know that's immature but it's the truth! When I want something I want it now! and although I had been taught how every planted seed produces fruit in their season, I couldn't wait to be blessed.
God cannot be persuaded to give into childish ways. God works in seasons, and because He sees your beginning and ending it does no good to try to wheedle premature blessings from Him. You will receive everything that you are entitled to when your season comes.
Apostle Paul in Corinthians 13:11 says: "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 I put away childish things."
Childish ways begin to fall away as we grow in grace, and other fruits of the spirit begin to materialize such as:
Trying to build these characteristics through self-effort can be discouraging, however, as we renew our mind and begin to grow in the grace and love of Jesus Christ they become a part of us. Our hearts will begin to change as we understand we can love because He loved us first.
Are "fruits of the spirit" real?
Do you believe you can develop the fruits of the spirit on your own; or the work of the Holy Spirit?
Sow and reap... harvest and blessings.
Nowadays, you can go into any grocery store and find fruit and vegetables that are not in season. In these times, our poultry and meats are pumped with hormones, and different fertilizer is used to grow fruits and vegetables that should not be in season. Although this can be done, it doesn't mean it is healthy or good.
I am a firm believer that the hormones used in many meat products plays a role in many health problems today. Let's face it, when things were grown more natural, there were less health problems in the world. Unlike man whose motivated by money or personal gain, God doesn't operate in worldly ways. So you will sow and reap a harvest when your season comes and not a moment before. Fruit out of season doesn't taste sweet, but in season it's the sweetest thing you'll ever know.
Sowing, Reaping and Harvesting.
Do you believe in Sowing and Reaping.
Spiritual growth will change associations.
One of the things my Spiritual mother warned me about was that things would change drastically once I agreed to be a part of the new covenant. Things would be pulled away, people would walk away, and others will simply vanish. The part that distressed me the most was losing friends. For the longest time, I thought I could still serve God in my old nature. I thought I could hold on to my old friends if I didn't partake of the things they did; this was an illusion. As I became grafted into the vine (the family of God) my thinking began to change, my ways began to change: simply put, my friends and I no longer had anything in common.
Birds of a feather flock together.
A huge elephant flocked among a group of beautiful swans. Everyone who came to see the swans said: "What is that big elephant doing among those swans?" The people who came to see the swans were offended, because the huge elephant stood out and was apparently different.
So one day the swans looked at the elephant and said: "Why are you hanging with us. We like you and all, but really, you're not one of us you should go and find your own kind." The group of swans liked the elephant and tolerated him, but eventually they began to feel uncomfortable because birds of a feather flock together.
You will find that you no longer have things in common with your old associates. As you began to grow spiritually the changes in your personality may make them feel uncomfortable. Friends flock together based on mutual interest and goals, good or bad, you are friends because you like the same things. But as that change, as in the case of the elephant, you will need to be around your own flock.
Myth's and truth's about ministry work.
One of the biggest myth's I heard was that God pulls saints away from the "ungodly" so they won't be tainted by their evil ways. I had to learn to keep other people out of my ear in order to listen to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is your guide it is His job to lead you into all truth and understanding. It is true that you are set-apart, but not to be better, but to be prepared for ministry work. The whole point of the gospel is to go fish, and the only thing that sets you apart from the people the Lord has pulled you from, is that you are covered in the blood, and they are not.
The blood signifies that you are in a covenant, and have been redeemed. And you will notice that someone has taken a personal interest in you. Where before God may have appeared too far for you to reach, now the relationshiop feels more personal.
It is the blood, and only the blood that makes you acceptable, and have peace with God; without it we are no different from anyone else. The ultimate goal of the Kingdom is to save others and who better to use than you.
You are the bait used to fish out the flock in which you came from. Know one can understand them better than you, you who walked among them, thought just like them and once possessed the same issues they do. It is the hope of the kingdom that the lost who can identify with your past, can now see their future through you. You who was once lost but has been found and saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
From milk to solid food.-Article summary.
One of the reasons I wrote this article was because of the struggles I went through as a new babe in Christ. As the Holy Spirit set about to "set my house in order" there were a lot of things happening that I didn't understand. I had to fall down and get back up a lot, as I tried to comprehend why my life seemed to fall apart once I had given my life to Christ. All I wanted to know was that I wasn't alone in my pain, anger and confusion. But understanding this is all part of spiritual growth. Childish things are pulled away, as the kingdom sets your house in order. If I had understood this, it would have saved me a lot of heartaches.
Grow in Christ a guide for new believers
© 2014 Dana Tate