Conditions, as we see them manifesting today reveal a sad truth. This truth, that humankind mostly has allowed itself to be separated from the one true God as they follow after many other gods. Thus, the carnal mind-sets established and passed down to each following generation are the results of perverted ideas as to the meaning of becoming and remaining a spiritual success. Success as seen, in the eyes of the world, in a general sense, speaks of fame, fortune and position. This degree of success, as interpreted, means that to attain this position, regardless of the avenue taken to achieve it, you are considered as becoming successful.
However, this is not so in the eyes of God, for this so-called success story shall pass away and then what? Herein, a needed realization, that most of human kind today does not put God into the equation of being successful. God, nevertheless remains the supreme judge, the last one faced concerning eternity. With this being true, should not humankind consider, what is it that God sees as becoming one having a successful life? What is it that will carry man into eternity and make God the Judge happy with such completeness in being one having a successful life?
With God being a God of love, He continually, in many ways by using types, symbols and forms reveals, through His word the pathway of becoming the successful vessel in whom He is well pleased. Firstly, humankind, through God’s first-born begotten son, Jesus Christ, are to separate themselves from living according to 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 and pursue the spiritual power source needed to follow Christ.
Therefore, in humanity’s pursuit, man is to gage success by the measuring rod as revealed by God. Man is not to be swayed by the world’s political, social, educational, economical and carnal religious standards. In seeking God’s view for His eternal purposes, man finds himself motivated by God’s present-tense perspective. A need to know that God is a now God, not just one that puts Himself far off into the future or One outdated from the past. He is a God that is concerned with the every present 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 church of today has allowed itself to become nothing more than centers for social doctrinal trained ministers to develop their own successful programs among each separate group or denomination? 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 leads to the necessary teaching, training, and experience needed for spiritual maturity as given by the Holy Spirit alone. But, meanwhile, the majority maintain their viewpoint for success as viewed in the eyes of the world’s political, social, educational, economical and carnal religious standards. Therefore, the fruit of their ministry and their groups reveal the emptiness of their self-imposed 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 change; are people snared into a sense of false security? With this being a truth, an invitation from God remains. This concerns being changed from following any carnal religious course and become completely liberated to live and be successful, in Christ alone.
Here we see a need for a changing of the mind, a need for the establishing of a new mind-set way of thinking. This speaks forth of the need concerning the manifesting of a new nature. This speaks of a nature that responds only 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, He changes it from 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 to us of a life-style having a sincerity that is 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 having only half-truths and in-part revelations come. This mind-set change allows us to gaze upon and see 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 concerning each vessel and the coming forth of Christ as he appears within and among 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”. God’s word instructs us to welcome the Holy Spirits gifts and ministries into our lives to round-out our sufficiency for ministering to a needy 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 in the now, to His people through revelation as He reveals Himself to them. “Revealing” speaks of a seeing Him as He is, line upon line and precept upon precept as God uncovers and reveals His glory that He might be seen by and manifested through His people. With the true church of God always 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 while classifying and addressing these different groups. These groups are 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”. Saying again that these verses do not refer to ages of physical maturity but stages of Godly spiritual development.
- Little children – a. These are the ones excited about their newness of life in their new-found relationship with God, recognizing Him as the Father.
- But when these feed on the milk of the word they begin to see that there is more to salvation than forgiveness of past sins.
- Young men – a. These are those growing beyond infancy into young adults. Their lives are challenged, and the victory gained by living daily through faith. These are also learning and knowing the art of spiritual warfare.
- Fathers – a. The saints who have come to know God as a friend. These know true joy and peace in their intimacy with God. These began manifesting a God-like image and likeness, the fullness of God’s original purpose.
- Herein, spiritual offspring are produced through the living process of discipleship and bringing in a birthing, which speaks of knowing God’s unlimited love and power, His increase.
- These are those who come to know who they were in God before the foundation of the world.
Here we see a people standing up and speaking forth the word with delegated authority and 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 worldly mind-set which only responds to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. These 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 means, knowing God in the manifestation of His love and power. Therefore, come forth and increase in the love and power of Christ Who lives within.