Moments of time are collected like a well-worn scrapbook, tucked away, in the pages of our mind. These memories bring about a shape of who we are today, whether victory, victim, friend or foe. Each time we respond to the “snapshot of time” when replayed, it simply locates our development and maturity.
According to Ephesians 4:11–15, God has put the 5 fold ministry (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers) in the body of Christ to equip believers to be ministers so they can expand the Kingdom. His will is for us is to become fully developed as Christ is. No longer being childish, easily swayed and misled. There was a time for that, but now it’s time to come into maturity.
I want to recognize and go beyond any area of arrested development in my life, how about you?
“And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.”
Each negative snapshot carries with it an emotional memory of a fearful outcome.
Where we fall into arrested development is when we begin to trust in our own past experience over the knowledge of God. The key-thought here is, whose picture will we trust in, God’s picture for us or what someone else has placed in our minds?
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”
We may have become offended at a church so we determine that we just won’t go anymore and we rob ourselves of the very function God has called us into. When we take on an offense, or can’t get past an event that has happened to us, fear comes in and keeps us undeveloped, so, when we are offended again in that same area, our response is usually immature. Offense simply locates us in our walk based on how we respond.
Grace is displayed in the mature person, because they have allowed God to give them a new snapshot of their outcome.
How do we grow and get beyond the old snapshot to the new picture that God has for us?
1. Saturate your mind with the Word. In other words, read it.
I Peter 2:2
“Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow into [completed] salvation.”
2. Do the Word. Even when you are falsely accused.
I Peter 2:15
“For it is God’s will and intention that by doing right [your good and honest lives] should silence (muzzle, gag) the ignorant charges and ill-informed criticisms of foolish persons.”
I Peter 4:5–8 (Speaking of those who abuse you for living righteously)
“But they will have to give an account to Him Who is ready to judge and pass sentence on the living and the dead. For this is why the good news (the Gospel) was preached [in their lifetime] even to the dead, that though judged in fleshly bodies as men are, they might live in the spirit as God does. But the end and culmination of all things has now come near; keep sound minded and self-restrained and alert therefore for [the practice of] prayer. Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
3. Be intentional about yielding your life to God. Eternity is at stake!
I Peter 1:5–9
“For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),
And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.
For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).”
I Peter 3:18
“But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!”
God desires a full life for us or He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to pay for it. Allow His Holy Spirit to speak to you about any areas in your life that is resisting growth and then pray, ask Him to help you to trust in His picture for you.
What are some of the ways that you have learned to grow in your walk?