On Day One we discussed the progressive steps to maturity in Jesus Christ. If followed, these steps will lead to a mature, victorious Christian life. Our goal as stated in Ephesians 4:15 is to “…grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ.” To help those of you who want to run ahead a little bit, I will lay out a few of the places where these steps are found in Scripture so that you may begin the individual study of them. The first of these is addressed by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11:
“For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren,
that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink,
for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them;
and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them
God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
Now these things happened as examples for us,
that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved.
And do not be idolaters, as some of them were;
as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.”
Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did,
and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.
Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
Now these things happened to them as an example,
and they were written for our instruction,
upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
In this whole story we see the step-by-step procedure for God’s people first being delivered from bondage. This takes place with the institution of the Passover, which was a prophetic model of the sacrifice of Jesus that delivers us from the power of the evil one. After being “baptized in the Red Sea” (verse 2), they are then taken on a step-by-step journey through the wilderness that is intended to mature and prepare them to possess their inheritance. (For those who are interested in an in-depth study of this outline to maturity, this is the subject matter of my book, The Journey Begins.)
Another outline is seen in the tabernacle itself. After entering the door, which represents Jesus (see John 10:7), the furniture of the tabernacle is laid out as a step-by-step progression into the very presence and glory of the Lord. This is the most comprehensive study of all, and we will look at it in depth in this book. You can also see a progression in the successive tabernacles and temples built for the Lord, culminating in the Lord Jesus Himself, and then in His church.
There are other places where you can see progressions toward maturity, such as the establishing of David’s kingdom and the bringing of the Ark of God to Jerusalem. We see another in the Songs of Ascents (see Psalms 120 through 134), and then we have the very basic and practical outline for maturity given to us in 2 Peter 1:2-10:
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you
in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life
and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him
who called us by His own glory and excellence.
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises,
in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence,
in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge;
and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance,
and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness,
and in your brotherly kindness, love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing,
they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge
of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities
is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent
to make certain about His calling and choosing you;
for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.”
Think of that. If these qualities are ours, and are increasing, we can be certain of our calling, and we will never stumble.
These are some of the more obvious ways that we see progressions toward maturity in our faith. If we are going to go on to maturity, we must have a vision of where we are going, know where we are, and be able to clearly see the next step. That is my primary goal for this book. My prayer is that all of us can see measurable, dramatic progress in our faith and knowledge of the Lord, as well as the revelation of His glory, power, and His ways to enable us to impact a world progressing in darkness.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|