As we are seeking to mature in Christ, and to know His voice so well that we can quickly and instantly distinguish it, we will consider the statements in Scripture that define maturity in Him, such as Ephesians 4:13, “until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”
Do you know anyone who has attained to “the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ”? I have been privileged to know some great saints, but there is none that I would say have attained to this. With the ones I would perhaps consider the greatest I have known, there is a common denominator—they are not overly consumed with what they are attaining to, and seem to be even unaware of it. This is because their attention is not on themselves, or others so much, but their attention is on the Lord.
Consider that the one who most seem to consider the greatest of the apostles, Paul. Near the end of his extraordinary life he still did not consider that he had attained to the high calling in Christ, as he expressed in Philippians 3:3-14. This is well worth reading carefully in its entirety, and studying as one of the great discourses on true maturity in Christ:
“For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,
“although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:
“circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;
“as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.
“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
“and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
“in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
As Paul writes here that he does not consider that he has yet attained, he was not talking about salvation, or eternal life, but he saw a “high calling” that was so high he could not presume that he had yet attained to it. If the one considered possibly the greatest missionary apostle of all time, near the end of his life still did not think that he had attained to the high calling of God in Christ, how could anyone know if they have attained if he did not know?
It seems that it is not for us to know in this life if we have yet attained, but it is for us to know that there is a high calling, and those who see it are called to run the race to attain it. However, it is my subjective experience that all who claim to have attained this are delusional, and instead seem to be walking more in the kind of pride that God says He will resist.
Consider that the King Himself is “gentle and humble in heart” (see Matthew 11:29). If He is gentle and humble how much more should we be if we are truly being conformed to His image?
CONSECRATION IN THE CAVE
For the past year and a half the pandemic has kept people around the world feeling Isolated from one another. It caused many to feel abandoned as we were disconnected from society for some period of time. Some of us feel as if we were locked up in a cave but this hidden place has been a time of preparation and consecration for Gods purposes and plans. There are giant slayers who were being raised up in those caves who now recognize the end time plan of God for their lives and ministries. There are those who have been feasting on the Word of God and it has become alive in their innermost being as they received revelation. There are some who learned how to discern the times and the seasons just as the sons of Issachar. There are many young people who were being groomed as revivalists to deliver the Word of God to the nations in this cave. There are those who are about to do great exploits for the Kingdom of God There is a story in the book of 1 Samuel about King David who went through a cave experience. He was a King, a warrior, a leader, a poet and a worshipper. He was known for killing a lion, a bear and Goliath who the Israelites feared but were not able to slay. He faced many personal battles but always came out victorious. David was a man after God's heart but was relentless against the enemy and never retreated when faced with a challenge. There was a time when David was running for his life from Saul, and the Lord sent him to the cave of Adullam. The word Adullam means “A hiding place”. His brothers and all of his father’s household went with him. He became the commander over four hundred men in this cave who were all in distress, in debt and discontented. David taught them how to be invincible warriors, raised them up and trained them as a mighty army. They were later known as David’s mighty men. The Lord is showing me that as many of you have been in this cave season, fear has caused you to cry out to Jesus. This has been an emotional time for many. Some of you had no choice but to trust Him to bring you through. The Lord says; ““I heard your cry” and He is about to deliver you from distress, anxieties, fears, discouragement and depression. For those of you who were affected financially, there will be a time of restoration in the days ahead. The cave has been a time of preparation and consecration for some of you to be leaders such as David was. In 1 Samuel chapter 30 when David and his men returned home from war, they reached Ziklag, and found it destroyed by fire and their wives, sons and daughters were taken captive by the Amalekites. David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. They reached the breaking point and the people even turned against David wanting to stone him. But then something rose up in David. He strengthened himself in the Lord, and he asked the Lord; "Shall I pursue this troop? Will I overtake them?" The Lord responded: "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all. The story goes on to say that the Lord restored everything. David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and rescued his two wives. He even received the flocks and herds, and the spoils of the enemy. The Lord says; Your days of being in confinement are coming to an end. There is a time coming where you will look back and see that a lesson was learned in this dark place. You will realize that you are stronger than you think you are, and you are now able to trust Me in difficult times. Just as David slayed the lion and the bear, he was then prepared to take on Goliath. In this season your hands have been trained for war and your fingers for battle. When calamity comes in like an ambush, you will know how to trust Me. Although the battle has been fierce at times, and there are things that appear to be destroyed and lost forever, you will recover all that has been plundered from the enemy. As you continue to encourage yourself in Me, you will regain your spiritual momentum. Rise up mighty men and women of valor, your time in the cave is coming to an end. I will not fail you or lead you astray but you shall surely pursue, overtake and without fail recover all that has been lost or stolen says the Lord. 1 Samuel 30:6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:8-10 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, "Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?" And He answered him, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all." So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the Brook Besor, where those stayed who were left behind. But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not cross the Brook Besor. 1 Samuel 30:18-20 David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking either small or great, sons or daughters, spoils or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all. Then David took all the flocks and herds they had driven before those other livestock, and said, "This is David's spoil."
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