5 Ways We Hinder Our Own Spiritual Journey

5With so many Christians in America giving up on their active pursuit of God, I believe we need to help them diagnose the reasons for their apathy. It seems as if they have the attitude of; “I did the church thing, got the t-shirt and I am over it”. “I don’t see the need or the payoff of seeking hard after God the way I used to”.

Some researchers estimate that tens of millions of evangelical believers have stopped active involvement in a community of believers.  You may find the “12 Reasons” why some believers are actively “unchurching” informative as to why your friends or relatives are no longer part of the traditional church scene. My article “The Church In Transition” addresses why the institutional church may have a blind spot about how we “do” church and why it results in so many dropping out from boredom. In a nutshell, believers need exposure to not only pastoral ministry, but apostolic and prophetic graces to go onto maturity and find spiritual employment in the kingdom of God.

However, on an individual level, some of this apparent lack of passion and zeal for God may be a maturity thing; a realignment of our kinetic, youthful activity to a more balanced and educated approach to God. Perhaps a fuller understanding of the Gospel of Grace and the finished work of Christ reduces the amount of striving in our lives.  In other words, we are no longer driven by the condemnation of the Law and the fear-based, performance trap that comes with it. For more about the Grace Movement you may want to see “In The Year 2023”.

Yet sadly, most Americans haven’t found the sweet spot of a mature marathoner, running toward the prize of the upward call in Christ. They have become spectators who are no longer running the race with patience. Even the sporadic trip to church to appease their conscious is insufficient to dissuade their unconscious “knowing” that they have in reality quit the race altogether.

The following heart issues address some of the wrong thinking that hinder or hurt us on our own spiritual journey that we often are unaware of.

1. The Cain Syndrome – When our human efforts to serve God and fulfill His will have have fallen short of God’s approval or validation, it can leave us feeling dejected on the road of life. We can pause and ask the Lord; “What would you have me to do differently; what are you teaching me in this?” Or, we can respond like Cain; who felt rejected and ended up so angry he murdered his brother and spent the rest of his life aimlessly wandering. What Cain failed to understand is that God didn’t reject him, but his human, sacrificial efforts. If God rejects some human work on our part, it should free us to more fully discover what He really wants… not cause us to quit, hate our brother, criticize the Church and wander through life with no purpose.

This self-life or what some call the sin-nature we all wrestle with, consistently produces a misunderstanding or a miscalculation of God’s ways and leads us to dejection. Listen to how Oswald Chambers describes the danger of this spiritual self-pity.

Every fact that the disciples stated was right, but the conclusions they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that has even a hint of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If I am depressed or burdened, I am to blame, not God or anyone else. Dejection stems from one of two sources— I have either satisfied a lust or I have not had it satisfied. In either case, dejection is the result. Lust means “I must have it at once.” Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today “the third day” and He has still not done what I expected? Am I therefore justified in being dejected and in blaming God? Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get a hold of God, not of the answer. Dejection spiritually is wrong, and we are always to blame for it. My Upmost For His Highest; February 7.

Entertaining thoughts of self-pity and feeling sorry for yourself hinders your spiritual journey.

2. The Saul Syndrome – I think it was Albert Einstein who said “Premature responsibility breeds superficiality.” In King Saul, Israel’s first king, we see an insecure individual coming to power without the necessary trials and testing that Joseph, Moses or David experienced to prepare them for the weight of leadership. Saul acted in a way that was harmful to his spiritual journey. He was in it more for the accolades and the approval of the crowds than the approval of the Lord. This “fear of man” caused him to react in impulsive ways, worried what the people would say. Saul’s impatience and impertinence to wait of the “pace of grace” led him to further frustration and rejection. When Saul tried to govern his own life and the kingdom without relating properly to the prophetic Word of the Lord, he got off track on his journey and lost everything.   

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25

Worrying about what others think of you hinders your spiritual journey.

3. The “Little-Big” Blindness – When we are led by our carnal intellectual nature we almost always miss what God is doing and then wrongly conclude God is not working in our lives. It is our addiction to the strong impulses of our flesh that governs us most of the time and keeps us from being sensitive to God’s gentle spiritual impulses. It usually takes many more trials and tribulations to tenderize our hearts in order to hear and feel the subtle whispers and promptings of His Spirit. It’s amazing just how blind and deaf we can be to the Spirit of God. Ironically we have no problem daily using a radio or a cell phone that operates on invisible and inaudible radio waves and tiny bits of micro-electrical impulses. Yet we struggle tuning our human equipment into heaven’s broadcast. In my article “Be Encouraged, God Will Come Into Focus” you may find some perspective.

Failure to recognize God in the smallest acts or events in your life hinders your spiritual journey.

4. The Hitching Post Syndrome – Our intellectual pursuits can lead us to a dead-end. Nowhere is this clearer than watching our government leaders in action (or inaction) these days.  Never have so many intelligent people logically and consistently come to the wrong conclusions. Proverbs 14:2 states; “There is a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof is death”. Head knowledge can be “dead knowledge” if it doesn’t become flesh and dwell among us by God’s Spirit. Holding on to the last thing the Lord revealed to us can cause us to die on the vine as well. The Scriptures teach us that heritage is good, landmarks are good, traditions are good, and liturgy is good, if they are used as tools that lead us to a vital, living, experiential God. One of the Ten Commandments states we are to have “No graven images”… even if they are only in our minds. We hurt our spiritual journey when we hold on to what God said at the expense of what God is saying. What should have been a “guide post” becomes a “hitching post” of dead religion and old wineskins. The Lord taught me to distinguish Expectation with Expectancy.

Clinging to what God did in the past in order to feel more in control hinders your spiritual journey. 

5. The Judas Syndrome – We know Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver but the real story is how Judas betrayed himself by not seeing what was truly valuable in his life. He was his own worst enemy. He was riding the popular wave of Jesus Christ Ministries for reasons that were evidently not pure. In truth, some of us unknowingly do the same today. As the treasurer of the ministry perhaps he saw the potential of Jesus’ ministry and a position in His administration as the future king of Israel. He imagined himself moving up the corporate ladder only to find out Jesus’ ladder was leaning on the wrong building in his eyes. The final straw was the “wasteful” use of expensive perfume by Mary upon Jesus. Judas was infuriated at the financial mismanagement. And to make things worse Jesus didn’t rebuke her, but rather praised her while making some remarks about this being for his burial. Burial!? Regardless if Judas fully understood what Jesus’ burial reference meant, he may have gotten a glimpse of Jesus’ “kamikaze mission” and decided to cut and run. The next verse says “Then” Judas went to the High Priest to get the best severance package he could leverage under the circumstances. (Matthew 26-6-15)

There are many in America who stopped following after God simply because they were in it for the wrong reasons. They were trying to fill their financial, emotional or social status bank accounts in hopes it would give them “their idea” of a life of peace and security.

Failure to recognize why you should be following Jesus in the first place hinders your spiritual journey.

If you’ve become bored with God and whole church scene; if you stopped earnestly going after Him it simply means you have gotten your eyes off of the resurrected Jesus. Somehow you became focused on the box or the container He came in. If you are truly beholding Him, you will be captivated by the One who breathes galaxies into existence. This will keep you from being one of the Walking Dead.

What Does It Feel and Look Like When You Are Doing It Right?

Let me let you in on a secret. When your heart is right; when you have been tenderized by life instead of hardened by it because you kept your eyes on Him instead of the problem, you will gladly remain on your spiritual journey.

As you read His word you come with a spirit of expectation that something is always flowing from a limitless God; and it is priceless not matter how small it is. Even something as small as an atom can have an explosive impact in your life. You come with neutral buoyancy, with no agenda and you are willing to be led by Him. There is a childlike sense of wonder and awe at the slightest glimpse of Him and His world. There is a liberating fear of God. When you properly fear or respect God, nothing else scares you. You experience a pride shattering awe, because you are near to an awesome, yet holy power. You are overwhelmed by an intellectual comprehension on the one hand, while receiving the essence of knowing something beyond knowledge on the other. Yes, we are full of God when we yield to the unique knowledge that surpasses human knowledge.

…to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:19

You understand what the apostle Paul meant when he said, we would see with the “eyes of our understanding”. This is where our Spirit is refreshed and our soul is fed with the living water and bread from heaven. Staying on our spiritual journey is a joy when you do it this way. Nothing in this world even comes close to the fulfillment of laying down your old life and following Jesus. Do I have a witness?

Why “Your” Jesus Has to Die

death2Our Image of God Has to Die, Before We Can See the True God 

Some times our relationship with God is similar to the relationship we had with our natural father, that may have lacked closeness, because our dad was absent physically or emotionally. Our present religious efforts, our high Biblical standards, and sacrificial commitment to God, may be more about us trying to get noticed by a distant Father-God. We haven’t truly accepted His unmerited love for us on a deep level yet.

Ironically the Lord has to deliver us from what seems like our very commitment to Him, in order to bring us to Himself. This is similar to what happened when Jesus let His disciples see Him die right before their eyes. The Jesus they knew and loved, the Jesus they were serving, as awesome as He was, wasn’t the full representation of all He was. The resurrected Jesus is so much more. It amazes me how many times the Lord tried to tell His disciples what was about to happen, but they just couldn’t seem to grasp it. It appears we all need to providentially experience this divine “let down” before we can rise up into the fullness of Who God really is in our lives.

God wisely has to allow our “Jesus”, our Christian formulas, our systematic theology, our dreams and our faith in other people, to die in our eyes. This needs to happen for us to fully embrace the true, resurrected Christ in His fullness. As the Lord worked to circumcise our outward flesh-nature and worldliness in the Outer Court, He begins to carefully cut away the limiting beliefs in our souls (the self-life) in the Inner Court.

A.J. Swoboda, referring to Joseph of Arimathea, the believing Jewish leader, who asked Pilate for the dead body of Jesus, because he wanted to give Him a decent burial, stated, “Part of being a Christian is carrying the body of your God to it place of rest. It is heavy. It is harsh. It is beyond awkward”… “Everyone who is seeking Jesus will inevitably end up carrying Jesus to the tomb”. Have you lived long enough to experience the death of a Christian ministry, a Christian marriage, a Biblical dream, and prophecies of what Jesus was going to do in your life? Welcome to the life of His first disciples.

This painful cutting is actually like a pruning that will produce more life. Truly, except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone (John 12:24). Just as the seed may feel like it is losing everything in the dark soil, it is about to become everything it was destined to be. We will all experience this kind of death as we approach the veil that separates us from knowing God more intimately and experientially.

It’s not until we are drawn by the Lord, to go even deeper in our relationship with God that we discover the impurity of our self-sufficient motives. Here we discover the seed-bed of all sin (pride) . Here we discover what really needs to die in our nature internally, not just the external surface sins. This process is usually initiated through great trials and tribulations and is often accompanied by great disappointments or prolonged suffering.

This is God’s graduate school of heaven that we call Roadkill Seminary. If it were not for the suffering and trials, we would probably be content to stay in the place of Salvation or Service (typical Christianity in America) where we just learn more knowledge without obtaining significant personal transformation. It is God’s gift to us to draw us into this difficult, unfamiliar wilderness (see Deuteronomy 8:2).

Excerpt from “The Inner Journey”

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Does Everyone Need to Attend Roadkill Seminary?

RKS 3As we stated before it is not the intention to discourage anyone from serving the Lord Jesus in any capacity. We are addressing the need to encourage those who are being prepared for maturity and fruitfulness. If we were to ask a plant what they thought or how they felt during pruning time, the plant might scream, “someone is trying to kill me!” However, after the seasons go by, the pruning makes more sense. This material is meant to help explain and encourage every believer as they get pruned.

When asked if everyone must go through RKS, I must respond with, “Yes, if you are following in Jesus Christ’s footsteps.” Every believer spends time at RKS sometime in their life. Our school enrollment papers are signed; our tuition has been paid; and the registration desk is waiting for us to officially sign in. Maybe we won’t experience the same depth of suffering as the next guy. However, whatever it takes for us to be pliable in the Master’s hands will come to bear on our life. Is every one of us called to the kind of wilderness experience of a Joseph, Moses or David and Paul? Perhaps not. However I believe every believer is called to advance the kingdom of God in some way with the one life they have been given by the Lord.

To do this we must undergo the preparation of the Lord at Roadkill Seminary. We cannot do this in our strength. It’s not by might; It’s not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord, Zechariah 4:6. The way to discover and walk in His Spirit is to remove the obstacle of your old nature and our fleshy efforts; only then can we be used of God to remove the demonic strongholds in our world. At RKS we will be truly liberated from us, and then we will be empowered to minister at a level that truly displaces the enemy.

Finally, let me remind all of us that we have “The message” to tell the world, and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But we also each have “a testimony” of what God has worked in our lives. We discover our message while studying at Roadkill Seminary. That is why the Bible says in Revelations 12:11. We overcome the devil by the blood of the lamb (that’s the simple Gospel), and the word of our testimony (that’s our story), loving not our lives unto death (that’s Roadkill Seminary).

Excerpt from “Roadkill Seminary

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How The Call of God Affects Your Flesh

CowAs we stated at the beginning, real Christian ministry is a privilege to bear a cross for Christ, not an opportunity to be successful or popular. This principle is very real to me since I had no aspirations other than to just be faithful and obedient to God. My insecurities limited my scope of ministry. Yet God’s solution for delivering me from this timidity (this self-focus) was to cause me to step into the greater responsibility of leading a ministry, and one with horrendous problems. God knew stepping into this battle would be enough to break me.

This is where we learn that God will sometimes call us to do what seems to be diametrically opposite to what is comfortable or natural to us. A powerful illustration and shadow of this spiritual principle is found in 1 Samuel chapters 5 and 6. In the text we see that the Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant (the chest containing the Ten Commandments). The ark of God represented the direct presence and glory of God; to have it meant you had God’s presence and ultimately His favor.

The Philistines put the ark in their temple before Dagon, a Philistine idol. However, by morning when they arose, their statue was knocked over on its face. The next day it happened again, but this time its head and hands were broken off and the inhabitants of the city began to experience tumors and plagues as God’s judgments fell on the city.

Therefore, the pagan priests decided to get rid of the Ark of the Covenant. They wanted to determine if the judgment on their city was coincidental or an act of the God of Israel, so they decided to put the ark on a new cart pulled by two milk cows who had never been yoked before. They said to themselves “If the milk cows pull the wagon with the ark toward Beth Shemesh (which means house of the sun) in Israel, then it was God who caused the plague; but if the cows don’t go in that direction, then it was by chance this evil has occurred upon us.”

Then the men did so; they took two milk cows and hitched them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.  Then the cows headed straight for the road to Beth Shemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right hand or the left. 1 Samuel 6:10, 12 

Here we see the “anointing” (the presence of God) cause two milk (mother) cows to go against the strongest natural instinct known on the planet, which is, the instinct for a mother animal to feed and protect her offspring. What possible force could have squelched this powerful natural desire of these cows to not respond to the cries of their babies? It was the presence and purposes of God.

The Bible says that these cows headed straight for Beth Shemesh “lowing as they went”, and did not turn to the right or the left. These cows were also symbolically experiencing the sufferings of Christ as all believers do when they submit to the call of God on their lives. This is where many believers miss out on their purpose in life. Some of what God has called us to may require us to do certain things that are the opposite of what is natural or instinctive to us. The skill of these cows to pull a cart is being employed; but to go away from their very own offspring required a death of their very souls. The unction of God can steer us down a road that will “over-ride” our strongest fears and insecurities and even the unhealthy soul ties in our lives.

Some Christians shrink back from the call of God because they can’t imagine God requiring this much of a commitment. Many believers would rather serve God out of their natural abilities and common sense because they have more control. Yet there is a place where we die at a deep instinctual level that qualifies us for an anointing that is a quantum leap from our usual service. When the Lord called us to deny ourselves and take up our cross (our calling) and follow Him, He knew the call would kill our flesh-nature and liberate us to fully serve Him as well as fully experience His resurrection life. (see Offering Skills versus Your Soul the Lord).

I believe God has a deeper call on many Christians. They may be serving God faithfully the best they know how, yet there is more. The thing the Lord calls us to may be the weakest area of our life, the place where we are most insecure and fearful.

However it is here where there is so little of ourselves to get in the way of how God wants to flow through us. Here is where we go from the place of self-sacrifice, where we give God our works, to the place of sacrifice of self He desires, where we have nothing to say about the matter. We simply obey the “unction” of the Lord and go down the road to Beth Shemesh! This is consistent with the principle found in Exodus 20:25 where it states: (see Self-Sacrifice and Sacrifice of Self).        

And if you make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone; for if you use your tool on it, you have profaned it,

God doesn’t want us working or chiseling away at our circumstances to make our altar of sacrifice in an attempt to serve Him. He simply wants us to offer ourselves to Him the way we are. Any self-effort would only defile the sacrifice. The more we identify with the death of Jesus and the lowing of the cows, the more we will have the life of God operating in our lives. The apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:10-12 to identify with the sufferings of the Lord always:

Cow 2Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.  For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

As we yield to the call of God on our lives, we will be amazed at how the Spirit of the Lord will lead us to do things that we would never do in ourselves. Yes, if the anointing of God can silence the cries of baby calves in the minds of their mothers, it can also silence our natural desires and the needy voices trying to deter us from our destiny as well.

Excerpt from Roadkill Seminary

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The 7 Fundamental Disciplines of a Disciple of Jesus Christ

7Success or failure in sports or in business is often determined by whether we execute the fundamentals consistently or not. The Christian life is no different. If we want to finish well, we need to faithfully execute the fundamentals. Here are seven to consider.

1. The Discipline of Hanging Around Other Believers – The Bible says we are to fellowship with one another in Hebrews 10:25; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.  1 Corinthians 12 states we are all parts of a body. Lungs or kidneys will dry up outside the body… so will a believer when they are isolated from a body. God calls us His sheep; and sheep can only survive in a hostile environment when they stick together and follow the shepherd (John 10:1-16). There are also over 30 “one another” commands that we cannot obey unless we are in a community of believers. You are who you hang around. 1 Corinthians 15:33 – 34 states; Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. Your closest friends need to be serious Christians (1 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

2. The Discipline of Daily Reading (Studying) God’s Word – This is not easy to do because life has many distractions, along with the devil trying to steal the Word from our hearts (see Luke 8:12); but successful Christians always find time to spend in the Word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15 says we are to study the Word of God; Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Joshua 1:8 states; This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. We read the Bible to fellowship with the Lord, we study it to apply His word in our lives…or more accurately, His word studies us.

3. The Discipline of Daily Praying (Talking) to God Matthew 6:5-7 states; But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. Mark 1:35 states Jesus prayed in the morning; Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says; Pray without ceasing. Prayer starts with praising and thanking God for everything He has done for you. Simply being quiet before the Lord is also effective prayer as well as praying in the Spirit (spiritual language – Jude 20; 1 Corinthians 12-14).

4. The Discipline of Regularly Worshipping Together  – The fourth commandment speaks about resting and worshipping the Lord every 7th day. Exodus 20:8 states; Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. We are like coals in a fire; when you remove one from the others it usually goes out. Psalm 122 states; I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.” Worshipping together is practice for what we will do together for eternity. Matthew 6:10 states; Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. It glorifies God when His kids gather before Him in one place to thank and praise Him. It is also a faith statement to the world that we believe in God and that He will provide for us, as we cease our work for a day. Regardless of what day you choose, the Lord gives us one day out of seven to rest and enjoy Him. This day of gathering together reminds us of His blessings and His ability to handle things while we rest.

5. The Discipline of Honoring God with Your Finances First – From the very beginning, before there were churches, even before God gave commandments about tithing we read about Abraham and Jacob giving tithes (10%) of everything to God (Genesis 14:20) as a way of showing God was the One Who gives us everything we have. Proverbs 3:9 states we should do this first; Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the first fruits of all your increase. Deuteronomy 14:22, 23 states tithing is the way God teaches us to reverence Him; You shall truly tithe … that you may learn to always fear the Lord. Malachi 3:6-13 states when Israel didn’t tithe they were robbing God from His holy portion! And tithing was the only thing Jesus commended the Pharisees for in Matthew 23:23. As Christians, we know 100% belongs to God so we don’t have to tithe like Israel of old, but we get to tithe as a type of financial circumcision, or sign of our covenant with God. This also enables us to follow the typological example of not touching the forbidden thing (like the tree of knowledge in the garden) as we follow the example of those who walked with God.

6. The Discipline of Service – The Bible states we were not only saved from hell but saved to serve the Lord and others; Ephesians 2:8-10 states, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. It is only as we work together do we see the part of the body God made us to be come alive and grow (1 Corinthians 12). Ephesians 4:16 states it this way; the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. James 1:22 states we are to be doers of the Word not just hearers.

7. The Discipline of a Clear Heart – Perhaps the single biggest danger that “trips up” new and old believers alike, are disappointments and offenses. When we are let down (and we will be) by some expectation we had of God, of ourselves or other believers, we are vulnerable to evil spirits whispering thoughts to us to give up. It’s hard to pray to a God you are secretly mad at. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 states we need to always maintain a forgiving heart; If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. Satan loves to enslave us with an “offended heart”, a  “blaming spirit” or a “root of bitterness” (Hebrews 12:15) so we don’t focus on God but on ourselves or other people. That’s why the Bible calls him “the accuser of the brethren” in Revelation 12:9-11. Therefore, confess your sins to God and He will forgive and cleanse you (1 John 1:9). See also Matthew 5:21-26 and Proverbs 4:2.

God’s Ministry Assembly Line

assemblyNow that we understand the progressive nature of the maturing process we will also begin to understand and appreciate why certain ministers, churches and ministries operate the way they do. The proof of our spiritual growth is played out in the context of Christian ministry where we live. This material helps us understand the “maturity milestones” believers must attain to effectively minister side by side; it’s a maturity/character thing. Our book “Working Together for Jesus” helps us understand why so many elders, deacons, bishops, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers often struggle to get along with each other. It’s a ministry context thing.

Our hope is that we will begin to look at different Christian leaders who we thought were out of order in a different light. We will realize that certain ministers are positioned by the Lord to help believers move along the Ministry Assembly Line, the maturing process according to their gifting. Here we see the division of ministry (those who Defend the Faith and those who Extend the Faith) as God ordained. There are fathering and mothering aspects to bringing Christians to maturity. However Satan and his religious spirits work continually to cause friction and persistent misunderstandings between these two styles of discipleship so he can divide and conquer the Church.

To help understand this division of ministry we should review Hebrew culture. The patriarchal (father) and matriarchal (mother) roles reveal why the Church of Jesus Christ emphasizes two different roles. When a woman had a baby in ancient Israel the father and the mother would often give the baby to a “wet nurse” so the mother would stop lactating to better enable her to conceive again.

Evidently the new mother’s body doesn’t allow her to conceive easily when she is nursing. In the Jewish mind, the more children they had the more they were obeying God’s command to be fruitful and multiply. Wealth was measured by how many sheep and cattle and children they had.

After the child was weaned they would hand the child over to a tutor (“pedagogue” in Greek) until such time as the child would have their bar mitzvah. Then the father would, in a sense officially adopt his own child into his care, his training and his family business. That is why we read about Jesus at around 12 years of age saying “He must be about his Father’s business” when He was in the temple (Luke 2:49).

The Bible says that Israel was kept under guard by this “pedagogue” this tutor, which was the Law.

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  Galatians 3:23-25

This is the Way This Plays Out in Our Christian World

The first part of your Christian walk you are brought into a church/ministry family where you are regularly fed and nurtured by a tutor, a church family, and a pastor or home group leader. These loving and caring people along with teachers change your spiritual diapers and feed you with the milk of God’s Word. Some even call the Outer Court the “utter court” because it represents a new believer’s need for milk.

We are given consistent and regular routines and programs to help us more easily understand and assimilate the Bible’s basic doctrines. Providing peace and predictability are essential when we are young. We become committed to our local church or denomination because it is the house we grew up in, the yard we played in and the first bedroom we hung our posters in.

This is the safe and soft place of the Church known as your mother or matriarchal ministry. This is the place of peace and predictability that is so necessary for all young believers. You can click here for a visual chart on how this looks in your church. However, sadly the religious spirit can enter here in almost every ministry and where Satan plans to keep Christians stuck in perpetual immaturity. What was valid and appropriate ministry can become smothering and emasculating. Egypt was a place of provision for Israel but years later it became a place of slavery to man’s egotistical monuments. This environment de-motivates believers to move on to maturity.

Have you ever seen an unemployed 30-year-old man who sleeps in late, watches TV all day and still lives at his mother’s house because there is no father is in the house to straighten him out? The same is true for believers in America. It is so sad to see the great tragedy of wasted spiritual potential for the kingdom of God. What is even more incredible is the fact that most Christians have never had their Christian experience described like this before. They have never been exposed to the anointing and authority of the Apostolic and Prophetic ministries that uncovers the fact that they have been stuck in perpetual immaturity. The following diagram helps us see God’s intentions hidden in the Tabernacle.

AssemblyThe Reason Why So Many Backslide and Fall Away

Some church experts believe that there are as many as 20 million Christians who no longer go to church? Click here to better understand 12 reasons why some believers no longer attend church. If we are to grow up beyond typical church attendance. we must understand why we need all 5 of the ministry graces Jesus gave to His Church. That’s what we address is in the following.

The Inner Journey

Working Together for Jesus