How often do we want to cry, “God, please make it pain free!” The zone of God’s rank and order may not be a pain-free zone. The relationships God puts us in may be for the purpose of causing the friction that burns off the things that cannot come into harmony with the destiny of Jesus. David dodged javelins and John Mark had to dodge Paul. Steel sharpens steel. (Gal.4:19)
Kathy — Gal.4:4 – “in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son.” It was not a calendar date as much as an appointed condition when God had nations, cultures, politics, and people in position for the birth of Jesus. Don’t jump out there ahead of God because He is positioning people, time and circumstances to accommodate us in fulfilling His purposes… and it all just works out better in His fullness of time.
Kathy — Being born again offers us a new beginning. Our salvation brings another opportunity to be equipped for life as we gain identity and affirmation through healthy fathering. What was not experienced in our natural sonship can be established in our spiritual sonship. These essentials get established as we think differently and become mature sons, overcoming everything that opposes God’s plans for our lives. Gal.4:6-7
News services are using their valuable air time and print space reporting on Christians declaring the end of the world. Christians have said time and time again throughout my lifetime (more than six decades) that no generation has seen things worse than they are now, and it is now the end of the world and the coming of the Lord. They have looked up into the sky and in every corner of the globe seeking all manner of natural signs to confirm their suspicions (Gal.4:9-11). Yet, I find it interesting that not one time have I heard anyone say that no generation of Christians has ever been more like Jesus than this generation (even after all the years and all the centuries of church attendance and flocking to revival meetings and observing the stars and dispensational charts). Amos has a great suggestion: “SEEK HIM that maketh the seven stars and Orion… THE LORD IS HIS NAME:” (Amos 5:8, KJV; also v.4-“Seek Me, and live!”) Could it be that Amos would rather have us take valuable time and effort we are using to seek signs and actually use it to SEEK THE LORD Himself?
God will mold and chip away and apply heat. His purpose is not to get us to heaven but to mold us into the image of Christ. (Gal.4:19) That is why we have apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. He is using each one “for the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, the edifying of the Body of Christ: “Till we all come unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph.4:12-13)
There is more to life than just getting by. There is more to life than just breathing and paying bills. There are promises of God to lay hold of and green pastures to eat and be at peace in. The Word is full of things God has said we can have and do and be, and precious few of us have done more than barely scratch the surface of those things. Let’s get to scratching! (Gal.4:4-5)
Considering scriptural examples, I know I must be willing for God to move me if He sees such a necessity. Sometimes God moves us geographically or with reference to a career or status among our peers. Positioning and timing are high up on God’s list of imperatives (cf.Eph.1:9-10;Gal.4:4-5). There will, no doubt, be need for modifications in our point of reference and our understanding of God’s timing in order to bring the fulfillment of promise. God does not give gifts to be squandered but to bring the fruit forth from our lives that He desires to minister to others.
Concerning Growth and Development: I once heard a known speaker on TV say that if a gift is from God it comes full-grown and there is nothing for a person to grow in. (1) Scriptural precedent shows us that our Heavenly Father is willing to work with our humanness and allows us time to develop. (2) The scheme in Galatians shows us the process of a growing son and his father’s willingness to trust him after various stages of development (Gal.4). (3) The master in Jesus’ parable of Matt.25 trusted his servant at a much higher level after the servant proved himself capable at a much lower level. (4) In Lk 2:40, 52 Dr. Luke speaks of the growth and development of the Person we call Jesus. (5) Even the young prophet who ministered in a high-profile incident in 1Kings 13 needed to grow and develop before he was able to properly discern matters. His immaturity and inability to discern properly was his loss and a lion’s gain (v.24). (6) The Hebrew writer encourages us to train our senses so that we may be able to discern (Heb 5:14). (7) Although Elisha had spent some period of time with the great prophet Elijah, his mentor informed him that there was a great deal more to come.
(This is an excerpt from Marty’s booklet “Now That I Have Begun to Prophesy”.)