Thursday, September 29, 2011

Maturity Is Not Found In The Philosophies And Practices Of This World

It is sad and upsetting to see people proclaim Jesus as their Saviour and then turn around and quote Gandhi or Einstein, or Oprah or any number of other people who did not or do not have Jesus at the center of their thinking. We can't be saying that we are followers of Jesus and then turn around and mix the philosophies of this world into it. The Word of God tells us plainly that the world system and the Kingdom do not mix. Just pulling something quickly out of the Word:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts."
(Isaiah 55:8-9)

The wisdom of man cannot compare to the wisdom of our Creator. Have you not noticed what happens to followers of Jesus when they start mixing it up with the world? What happens to young celebrities who were raised on the Word, proclaimed Jesus to their fans and then started walking according to the thinking and philosophies of the world? They fell away is what happened and most of them created a mess of their lives. We can only follow Jesus by basing our life on the Word of God, God's wisdom and power, which is Christ crucified for you and me.

As we get older we think we know better. We start start putting more emphasis on fine sounding arguments. The Lord has brought us this far, we have been blessed many times over, he has given us great moments of faith to look back on, but we begin to play with the pretty words and philosophies. We start to listen to other sources of wisdom, start doing things differently, start thinking "Well, if it is acceptable by this society ..." We don't think sex before marriage is that big a deal; people living together is the same as marriage; it's up to the woman to decide if the baby should live or not; it's possible to have a same sex relationship and still be saved; that heaven and hell aren't real, just a state of thinking. These lead to even more deceptions.

If you do not want to be deceived by this world and the enemy of our God, you need to stay grounded with Jesus. Never forget your testimony. A mature Christian does not live in the past but he never forgets it either. If we always remember what we were before we met Jesus we will always avoid going back there:

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. (1 Corinthians 12:26)

I have often heard people say, "Why would God choose me?" He chooses who he wishes to choose, according to his wisdom and purpose. We look at all the great leaders of the Bible and we find that they were full of faults. Even the great apostle Paul was a murderer and persecutor of the Church before Jesus. Everyone God chose were weak, pathetic, and foolish according to the standards of this world. None of them would have been chosen as "Most Likely To Succeed". So understand God's wisdom in choosing us:

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

What an honour to be chosen by God to serve as a testimony to his wisdom and to destroy the boasting of a fallen creation. There is no room for boasting because we are nothing without Jesus Christ, and the mature in Jesus understand this. The immature run after the things of this world but the mature understand their place and their purpose. No Christian can ever boast about being a self-made man:

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

It is true that our God loves us with a love that will take an eternity to fathom. It is true that he considers each of us to be precious and special. Our portion is his love and his constant presence. His grace should be sufficient for us in all situations because the reason he has called us to spiritual greatness is for his name sake. If what we are achieving is a work of our own hands it will not last, but if it is the Lord doing it through us then it will last for eternity. If we are building things, even ministry, based upon the wisdom and practices of this world then it will fail and bring no glory to the Name. If we are allowing God to build through us, according to the Word and by the Spirit, through ups and downs, ins and outs, and we are trusting him in all things, giving him the glory constantly, then we will succeed and all the glory will go to Jesus.

Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:31)

So my friends, check yourself. What wisdom and philosophies are you building your life on? Is Jesus your everything, the only source to whom you turn in the good and the bad of life? Is your heart overflowing with gratitude for what God is doing or are you beginning to think the world might have something better to offer? What whisperings are you listening to and what are you dabbling in? Do not allow this world to define love for you but learn from him who is love. Choose the path to spiritual maturity, trust God, live in his peace, walk in his righteousness, be filled by his power, serve him with all your strength and love him with all your being.

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