Conditions, as we see them manifesting in today’s society, reveal that humankind has allowed himself to follow many different kinds of gods. Thus the mind-sets established and passed down to each new generation is the results of perverted ideas as to the meaning of becoming and remaining a success. Success as seen, in the eyes of the world, in a general sense, speaks of fame, fortune and position. This degree of success interpreted means that to attain this position, regardless of the avenue taken to achieve it, you are successful. However, this is not so in the eyes of God, for this so-called success shall pass away and then what? Realizing that most of human kind, in today’s society, does not put God into the equation of being successful, God nevertheless remains the supreme judge, the last one faced concerning eternity. If this were so, should not humankind consider, what is it that God sees as becoming one that is successful in life? What is it that will carry man into eternity and make God, the Judge, happy with such completeness in being a success?
With God being a God of love, He continually in many different ways and forms, reveals in and through His word the pathway of becoming the successful one in whom He is well pleased. Humankind, through God’s first-born Son is to separate from the world’s value system. This separation speaks of the need for a deep-seated desire to become totally committed to Christ. This commitment enables each one to find the needed spiritual power source to follow Christ. Thus, in humanity’s pursuit, man is to gage success by the measuring rod of God and not by the world’s social, educational, economical and religious standards. In seeking God’s view for His eternal purposes, man finds himself motivated in the present tense perspective, God is a now God, not just one that is far off into the future, or a God that is not concerned with His creation in the now. In this, Rev. 3:18 speaks God’s counsel, “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see”.
Is it not true that most of the visible so-called church of today has allowed itself to become nothing more than centers for trained ministers to develop successful programs among each certain group? The question to ask, from where and from whom have they received their training? While there are some who have received, through the spiritual pathway that lead’s to the necessary teaching, training, experience and maturity given by the Holy Spirit alone, the majority maintain the view point of success as viewed in the eyes of the world’s social, educational, economical and religious standards of success. Thus, the fruit of their ministry and groups reveal, before God, the emptiness of their success. Rev. 3:17, “Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked”. Thus, we see an empty success, one not recognized by God as having any eternal value. Is there a need for some kind of change; are people snared up into a sense of false security? If this were our truth, the invitation remains concerning a changing of our course and becoming liberated in Christ.
Here we then see a need, a changing of the mind establishing of a new mind-set, which speaks forth the coming of a new nature. This speaks of a nature that responds to God’s leadership alone. The “mind” is that part of our make-up that influences that which we become and manifest. The “mind” suggests understanding, insight, meditation, reflection, perception, the gift of apprehension and the faculty of thought. When the Holy Spirit renews the mind, it changes from the fearful negative thought patterns, to the positive thinking of the quickened spiritual mind of Christ. Mark 12:30, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength”. In this expression of loving God above all else it becomes a certainty that we shall know the truth and the truth shall make us free. Sincere love speaks of a life-style of one having sincerity void of pretension and without putting on an act. 1 Peter 1:22, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart”. Herein, in this pure sincere love the revealing of Christ increases until a separating from half-truths and in-part revelations come as we gaze at that which is perfect.
1 Cor. 13:10, “But when that which is perfect has come, then that, which is in part will be done away”. “That which is perfect” refers to the completion of God’s purposes in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as He appears within His body of people. Yes, among the people who see Him as He is, there is an appearing of the Christ taking place. 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”. The word instructs us to welcome the Holy Spirits gifts and ministries in our lives to round out our sufficiency for ministering to a needing world. In our present status as God’s children, He guarantees participation in the present as well as future revelations and manifestations of God.
Christ is appearing, even now, to His people through revelation as He reveals Himself to them. Revealing speaks of a seeing Him as He is, line upon line, precept upon precept, as God uncovers His glory that He might be seen by and manifested through His people. While the true church of God has been growing in stages, He never encourages growth to cease. In recognizing man’s stages of growth, God relates to each vessel according to the stage of their growth. John, the beloved, addresses these different stages of maturity in writing to the church as he classifies these different groups. These groups not classified because of their physical age, but according to their level of spiritual growth. 1 John 2:12-14, “I write to you little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one”. Again, these verses do not refer to physical ages as much as to stages of godly development.
Little Children – a. These ones are excited about their newness of life in a relationship with God.
b. But, in feeding on the milk of the word, these see that there is more to salvation than the forgiveness of sins.
2. Young Men – a. Young men are growing beyond infancy into young adults. Their lives are challenged, and the victory gained by living daily by faith. These are learning and knowing the art of spiritual warfare.
3. Fathers – a. The saints who have come to know God as friend with the knowing of joy and peace as their intimacy with God begin manifesting a God likeness.
b. Herein, spiritual offspring are produced through the living process of discipleship are birthed, which speaks of knowing God’s unlimited love and power.
Here then stand a people who shall speak forth the word of God in power as they, motivated by love, establish the kingdom of God in the earth. These understand what is always behind the mind-sets that the world offers, a mind-set which only responds to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Understand that obedience is the clear mark of a person who knows God. Obey God’s word and His love will mature in you. This is a knowing of God in the manifestation of His love and power.