Galatians 4:1, 2 “….as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.”
The Scriptures describe and call the believer an heir. See Gal. 4:7; Rom. 8:17. An heir is a lawful and rightful successor to a throne, office, position and an inheritance, property, possession. But he has to grow and become responsible. Until that time, the heir was in the frustrating predicament of legally owning his father’s inheritance without actually enjoying its possession.
Can you imagine what it must have been like for a young man to be, as it were, a millionaire, and yet not be able to do as he wanted with this money? For all intents and purposes, the heir was no different from the slave, for he received only what the “guardians” and “managers” determined to give him (4:1). For as long as you remain a child in the things of God there are thrones you cannot ascend, heights you cannot reach, offices you cannot occupy, inheritance you cannot possess, wealth you cannot be entrusted with, etc. unless you grow and mature to a level when those things that lawfully and rightfully belong to you as an heir can be committed unto your hands.
What Do You Grow To Become?
What is God expecting? Notice I didn’t say what is the pastor expecting? Let us go to the Bible to answer that question.
Ephesians 4:13-14, “…till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children…”
You were created to look like Christ.
Children look like their parents or take after their parents one way or another.
They have the genetic constitution of their parents. They merely manifest what is inside and hidden.
The bible tells us that we were created in the image and likeness of God.
Sometimes there are disputes to resolve paternity or maternity. In such cases, DNA tests are conducted to resolve such disputes. If you don’t have Him inside, you cannot manifest Him outside. It is not what you claim that really matters but what you are. A tree is known by its fruits.
You are created to look like Christ, behave like Christ and rule and reign like Christ.
How do you grow?
Growth is a choice. An unused present leads to an empty future. If you do nothing now, you will remain on the same spot. Being born is an event but growth is a process. You are not too old to grow up.
What each individual manifests depends on a combination of three factors: genetic inheritance, environmental influence (mostly relationships-school, friends, work, church etc) and learning.
You grow by:
- Learning and seeing things from God’s perspective: What you become is what you expose yourself to. What you feed on determines what you grow to become. 1Peter 2:2, “…as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…” You grow by getting your mind renewed with the Word of God. Romans 12:2 and 2Corinthians 3:18. The Greek word for transformed is metamorphosis used today to describe the amazing change a caterpillar goes through in becoming a butterfly. It is a beautiful picture of what happens to us spiritually when we allow God to direct our thoughts: we are changed from the inside out, we become more beautiful. And we are set free to soar to new heights. Anyone who wants to succeed must build and be guided by principles and values worth dying for.
God uses his Word, people and circumstances to mold us. We are transformed by truth, trouble, temptations and other experiences. The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. – Chinese Proverb
- Developing convictions (strong beliefs). A conviction is not just an idea you posses but an idea that possesses you. Why does the Bible say all things are possible to him that believes and not to him that knows? Because people generally do not do what they know but what they believe. People pursue their convictions. What you’ve heard is one thing but what you believe is another. What you end up doing is not what you heard but what you believe. It is not everything I know that I do. But I have discovered that it is only what I do that produces any result.
- Practicing what you know. Joby Weeks, a 22 year old millionaire said it is not knowledge that is power but applied knowledge. What is the use teaching a drowning man how to use a life jacket that he will not use? How many have you seen who come to church to be blessed have applied the principle of giving that they have been taught? It’s no use going to church if you are not ready to change! Growth is the ability to change what you are doing in order to alter your results. It is the ability to improve your knowledge and your practice in order to obtain better results.
- Developing godly habits. We must put on the character of Christ by developing new, godly habits. Your character is essentially the sum of your habits; it is how you habitually act.
Developing Godly Habits
Luke 4:16 “16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, AS HIS CUSTOM WAS, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”
(WilliamsNT) “So He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up, and as His habit was on the Sabbath, He went to the synagogue and stood up to read.”
Discipline is doing what you hate to create what you love. Champions become champions by maintaining a discipline until it becomes a habit… a daily routine in their lives. Psalm 55:17
- A habit is any action, conduct or behavior that you do over and over again. It may be a bad habit like smoking, or a good habit like brushing your teeth.
(To be continued)