This is the second post on spiritual recon. When you think of recon, most of you think of the action of spies trying to get information without being discovered so one could use this information to have an upper hand on an enemy. In essence, that’s what wisdom can do. The things we ‘learn’ from our experiences through the power of God can prepare us to stand against the enemy or against problems when they arise. Recon is also short for reconciliation which is essential to the body of Christ after a time of pain. We’ll talk more about this philosophy as we move forward, but for now, let’s look at discipleship.
I feel that the totality of health in the body will be directly proportionate to the level of spiritual maturity of the believers. The problem comes when we are deceived to believe that ‘growing’ in Christ is sitting, learning, experiencing, and getting larger. Programs that facilitate this include small groups, life groups, Sunday schools, bible studies and the like. WAIT! Don’t jump all over the boy, I am ALL for these elements in the church, however, I have come to realize that they are not the answer to maturing the believer.
Most people once they accept Christ think that there is nothing more that God expects from them. Spiritual maturity is essential in order to truly be used by God and to multiply yourself in others for the Kingdom.
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly (1Cor 3:1-2).
Understand that God expects us to grow in Him and in knowledge of Him. We have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil (Heb 5:11-14).
God commands us to grow… Be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Peter 3:18). To consider that growth is for the pastors and teachers is quite an untruth. So how do we grow? How can a Christian become mature if not in a class with a teacher. I’m glad you asked.
A teacher will teach principles and sometimes they will give application. So in essence, you can learn application and principles from a teacher. However, in order to know God and grow in your love for Him you have to grow on your own. What is taught should give you the lessons and ‘teasers’ to provoke an intense hunger for God’s Word. When this is stirred, then you will ‘eat’ resulting in growth.
Growth happens when several things take place in our lives. The first and foundational aspect of spiritual disciplines and becoming a disciple is receiving the knowledge of God. This doesn’t happen from reading about Him or spending time listening to preachers and teachers, it comes only through an understanding of who He is and how He wants a relationship with each of us. When we have encountered forgiveness from the Lord God of the Universe, an intense hunger and passion is sparked within us to grow in His likeness. Until an individual believer decides that he or she needs and wants to grow, there will never be growth…
Scams you say? Yes, I believe that the enemy has created an excuse to personal growth in Christ – it is the establishment of programs and lectures. Although we can grow some through these means, they do not suffice. Each Christian is responsible for their growth and to hold others accountable to growth. When a choice is made, growth happens through the power of the Holy Spirit. Don’t forsake growing together and meeting together, just make sure you understand that YOU are responsible for becoming a disciple – not your teacher or pastor.
So what IS the purpose of these programs and groups? To SPUR discipleship, for accountability and for LIFE! Doing LIFE together is one of the greatest blessing of the Christian life. We have each other to hold us up and ‘beat us up’ if needed. To truly feel a part of the body, you need to connect to the body through and do life together.
Remember that discipelship is a process.