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 Growing Strong in the Lord

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Female Number of posts : 147
Location : Ohio
Registration date : 2008-01-27

Character Profile
Name: Sis. Du Wright
Church Attendance: Never Misses a Church Service
Outside Occupation: Researcher

PostSubject: Growing Strong in the Lord   Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:27 pm

Growing Strong in the Lord

By Jonas Clark

The Spirit of the Lord is saying, “It is time for more spiritual strength and capacity.” Are you willing to do what it takes to develop spiritual muscle?

The Spirit of the Lord is saying, “It is time for more spiritual strength and capacity.” I’m sure this is a welcomed prophetic announcement for Christians with a desire to receive all that Jesus has planned for them. This may even be a confirmation for those with gifts and anointing who realize they need more preparation in order to properly carry their ministries.

The truth is a desire for greater capacity alone will not suffice. Every believer must determine to do whatever it takes to develop inner strength and spiritual capacity so they can be strong in the Lord. That spiritual strength and capacity will enable you to fulfill your destiny in the face of any and every obstacle.

What exactly is spiritual strength? Quite simply, spiritual strength is the ability to carry an enduring heart that follows after God even when His calling or message is not popular at the time (Numbers 14:24). It is the capacity to live in hard spiritual climates when those around you give up, break rank and run from their faith in God. It is the capability to cart the fire of God’s glory according to His will and not your own. Spiritual strength is the endurance beyond the “norm” of moderate Christian living that comes out of pressing into Jesus for more of Him. Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6, emphasis added).

Along with spiritual strength and capacity comes the willingness to pioneer fresh scriptural truths when others want to settle in the cellar of musty religious tradition. Spiritual strength and capacity will result in an enduring steadfastness that goes way beyond the typical “bless-me-only” passive charismatic posturing of some believers. Such lack of resolve is not healthy for God’s people because it produces an apathetic complacency. The effect of spiritual oxidation always hinders positive change and spiritual maturity.

Many believers have spiritual gifts and a strong desire to grow spiritually. They practice being doers of the Word, praying in tongues and seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. They hunger and thirst after righteousness and they are filled. Others have the same spiritual gifts without that fervent pursuit and find themselves shipwrecked among the rocky reefs of ministry.

The latter group loves the Lord as much as the former, but by not seeking first the Kingdom they do not have the spiritual capacity needed to carry a ministry. Could it be they mistakenly chased blessings, gifts, crowds and charisma instead of investing time into the spiritual preparation required of a vessel fit to carry God’s true blessings, gifts and anointings?

We can compare our spiritual development to the construction process of a high-rise office building. When constructing multi-towered buildings, for example, the general contractors spend significant time preparing a foundation for the massive weight of the building. If the foundation is not adequately prepared, then it could crack under the weight of the finished building. Any structural engineer would tell you that a cracked foundation is cause for serious concern about a building’s stability.

So it is too with our spiritual lives. We spend time training our minds to sharpen our intellectual skills. We spend hours training our natural bodies so as to look good and be physically fit and healthy. But how much time do we spend training our born again human spirit to carry that which God wants to impart to us? It’s a question worth pondering.

Developing spiritual strength is preparing the human spirit to carry everything that the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life. It is the development of godly character and integrity – an absolute must in every strong believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the development of a strong prayer life. It means never avoiding spiritual conflict and requires a willingness to be inconvenienced.

John the Baptist is an example of spiritual strength and capacity. He ferried an enduring steadfastness while preaching an unpopular message in his day. Nonetheless, he carried a strong engaging voice of the Holy Spirit. That voice prepared his listeners for a great change that was about to take place – the ministry of the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world and the preaching of the Kingdom of heaven.

How do we develop ourselves to carry such a compelling voice in the face of similar apathy and religious morass in our day? Firstly, our gifts, calling and motives must be submitted to the Lordship of Christ. Wrong motives always rob true spiritual authority and capacity (Acts 8:18-24). John said, “He must increase but I must decrease” (John 3:30). In order to abase we should stay away from such things as the deceptive allure of “Hollywood Christianity.” Polished showmanship and entertainment, no matter how elegant it’s venue, is not the anointing. In fact, it is a form of religious thralldom that is nothing more than a deceitful religious window dressing. It releases a deception that makes one think they are doing something for Jesus when they are really not. In reality flamboyant representatives falsely portray Christianity to an unsaved world.

Let’s not forget about praying in tongues in our journey toward spiritual strength and capacity. Praying in tongues is unpopular and even forbidden in some counterfeit Charismatic and Pentecostal circles. Praying in tongues, however, is important to every believer in developing a strong spiritual life. Praying in tongues should never be discouraged because it is part of our Holy Spirit-filled lives. All the apostles spoke in tongues and we should, too. Scripture says, “If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful” (1 Corinthians 14:14). The Apostle Paul also declared “forbid not to speak with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:39). We must maintain an effectual fervent prayer life (James 5:16). Praying in tongues will help build us up and accomplish that goal (Jude 20).

When believers strengthen themselves through prayer they never ignore spiritual conflict. Anemic Christians fall into the trap of compromising their faith in God by trying to get along with everything and everybody. Whether it is sin or demon powers, we can never ignore what we are called to overcome. Strong believers understand that the anointing destroys the yoke. They never compromise or lower their standards by blending with unscriptural secular opinions. Strong believers know if the anointing destroys, then it must first confront. To develop spiritual capacity we must use the spiritual authority that Jesus gave us to pull down strongholds in our own lives and in the marketplace. Spiritual strength never comes without spiritual conflict. It is “in the conflict” that spiritual strength is forged in the believer.

Another ingredient toward spiritual strength is found during times of inconvenience. “Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better,” wrote 16th Century British theologian Richard Hooker. It always seems inconvenient to pray, to study scriptural truth, to give financially to God, to witness, to apply the Word daily, or to attend church services. Perhaps you have heard it said that nothing great comes easy. Avoiding inconvenient times and staying in comfort zones will kill spiritual vigor every time.

The strong believer must be willing to be inconvenienced to grow in the things of God and develop spiritual strength. When you start feeling comfortable you’re on the way to a backslidden condition and in danger of stepping off that cutting edge. Comfortable Christians get bored, and boredom is the breeding ground of sin. Sin quickly destroys our spiritual strength and separates us from the things of God.

Finally, when developing a strong spiritual life one must avoid “average” at all cost. Average is the killer of spiritual grit and maturity. “Typical” is the friend of the carnal religious spirit that hears the Word of God but does not live it. God never called you to be average. Jesus went a little farther and so can you (Matthew 26:39).

Meditating on the Word of God and applying His truth will strengthen you in your Christian walk. It is the truth of God that is your sword of strength. Firmly gripped in the hand of the skilled believer it pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

The Spirit of the Lord is saying, “It is time for more spiritual strength and capacity.” What does that mean? It means we have to apply these truths and abide in the reservoir of His Word. Stir up the gift of God within you by doing what is pleasing to Him and pursuing a greater relationship with the Lord Jesus. Moreover, study to show thyself approved, pray without ceasing, and be faithful in all your ways. Determine today to press into more of Jesus through prayer with a resolute determination to be a doer of His Word.

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