We’re a long ways off. Before we begin here, we have to address something that sometimes opposes the message of this hour.
I can well recall something that Paul said, that helped me so much, when I first started back to church. “….Forgetting those things which are behind,” Philippians 3:13. That was a tall order for me; but it was completely necessary if I was to go forward; toward the mark. If you have made bad mistakes, you have to get past them. You do know that God has forgiven you; but people, have a long memory.
There are other verses such as this, that if the Spirit had not truly quickened them to me, I would not have made it. I well know that verse about God doing a new thing. It was impressed upon my mind when I began to search and study His word in depth. I also know about being positive and dwelling and thinking on the good things. But one of dear ladies here reminded us about the need for balance. Whether we like it or not, you often cannot realize and see how far you’ve come, until you look back where you were.
One of the requirements that the Spirit spoke to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-7, was “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen.” And the next thing they had to do was, repent.
It is a clear observation, that people are not going to repent, if they feel they have nothing to repent of. What if He were to say to us, that we need to repent, for not growing up in Christ; to the fullness that the church was intended to have? Many are dull in hearing about the order of the ministries God put in the church. And why so?
It might change some of our thinking, if we actually went back and studied once more, the fourth chapter of Ephesians. What followed after the proclamation of these ministries. Just what was it that all of these ministries were supposed to accomplish.
Were the saints ever perfected?
Did we ever come unto the measure of the fullness of Christ?
And did we ever reach that unity, that they had on the day of Pentecost?
I would say at one time, we did. And that is why so many of us saw great moves of God among us. Can we remember how deeply the Spirit moved and compare it with today?
This apostle wrote, “that God may give unto you, the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” In the above text he talked about us growing up into Him, “in all things.” It would also include ‘growing spiritually to become a mature believer.’
Do we see what followed the reason for growing up in Him? There were going to be those who would try to deceive us. In another translation it makes this even more clear; “by the cunning and trickery of unscrupulous men, by the deceitful scheming of people ready to do anything for profit.” Do we not see this so much today.
Is it not clearer, that denying and suppressing the things that God set in the church, would cause us to remain children; spiritually immature.
I know personally, that many of us ran well. But do we know what hindered us; what was it that checked the flow of all of these wonderful things the Spirit wanted among our people.
It is a truth, that because we did not press forward in those gifts and the full restoration of the apostolic church as it was truly set, we have not stopped still. We have gone backwards; we’ve actually been in retreat. He promised greater things; more than we all have now.
~ Robert Blackburn