IT'S TIME TO GROW UP

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Apostle William T. A. Olubiyi, ThD is a teacher of the word. A speaker at churches, fellowships and several conferences. A vibrant preacher in Revivals and Crusades. He is the man of multiple grace, whose passion straddles both his professional calling, EDUCATION and his divine calling, DISCIPLESHIP. He engages in ministering and counselling among the youths across various fellowships. He had saved many straying youths through his numerous Revival and soul touching messages. A passionate deliverance minister, Christian Education facilitator, trainer and a seasoned rural rugged mission- research strategist. He is an advocate of personal development education and uses every opportunity to talk on the need to encourage the growth of the whole person: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Submitted: March 02, 2017

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Submitted: March 02, 2017

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"IT'S TIME TO GROW UP"

 

BY: William T. A. Olubiyi, ThD, DMin.
presiding apostle & revivalist,
Sword of Fire Revival Ministries International
Nigeria, West Africa.
williamolubiyi@gmail.com
+234(0) 813-1367-805
 
Getting saved is not all there is to the salvation experience. Many who have confessed Jesus as their Lord and Savior believe that once they're born-again they can eat, drink, and be merry until Jesus comes back to take them home to heaven. These people are greatly deceived and will not fulfill their destiny if they continue to believe and act this way. Every person who has made Jesus the Lord of their life has an assignment from on high for which they will be held accountable at the judgment seat of Christ. The end is upon us and now is the time to work and not play because life is a vapor and is quickly passing us by. Jesus is coming soon and the kingdom must be advanced and the work of the ministry must be done. God is raising up an army of believers right now who are being trained and will soon be receiving assignments from above. Pay attention, listen well, and put into practice that which you have learned. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow because your training is very important and will soon be complete. 
 
You are a soldier in the army of the Lord and soldiers are not in training forever. They're trained and then they're sent on an assignment. Without a doubt God gives us all things to enjoy and we are to be happy and joyful in our every day lives. However, having fun all the time is not what we're here for. There will be plenty of time for fun in the afterlife but in the here and now we've got a heavenly calling on our lives and the fulfillment of that call is what living the good life is all about. Everybody has a call, everybody has a place, but you must be trained until you reach a level of maturity where you can perform and operate in the graces and abilities God gives you. In other words, you have to grow up. It is the will of God for you to be perfected, developed, and matured for the work of the ministry. You can't serve God fully and completely unless you are spiritually grown up. You don't give a five year old a grenade launcher and send him into battle. But the more grown up and mature you are, the greater your development in the things of God, the greater and more effective your contribution to the overall building up of the body of Christ will be. 
 
It is a commandment in the Word of God that you become like Jesus for He is the perfect example of being grown up and mature. 1 John 4:17 says, "As He is, so are we in the world." Jesus was not a whining baby nor was He childish. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords! When you grow up and become a mighty warrior like He is, you'll be able to endure hardness like a good soldier. You'll fight on the front lines of battle and push through the adversary. You'll complete the mission you were commissioned to do. God needs warriors who don't sit around and think about how they feel all the time. He needs grown up and mature believers who press on in battle whose war cry is "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world! I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me!" Everybody has a call on their life to advance the kingdom of God. He gives you special gifts and abilities to help fulfill that call but you have to grow up to see the manifestation of those gifts. If you remain a baby you won't see the full potential your spiritual gifts can achieve. For this reason God gave to the church anointed ministers to help all believers become all they were meant to be.
 
Eph. 4:11-16 says, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ - from which the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." God uses people who surrender to the call on their life to do the work of the ministry and He has positioned you to be His answer to the needs of those around you. 
 
You are called to build up and edify the church but first you must grow up to the full stature of Christ. The Message Bible says we are to be "fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ. No prolonged infancies among us, please. We'll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love - like Christ in everything." You must see the need to grow up before you can begin the journey to spiritual maturity. There is an over exaggeration of one's own maturity and most Christians won't admit they're spiritual babies. People who get upset when they're told to grow up think they already have but the fact that they are upset proves that they have not. One characteristic of being immature is to think you're more mature than you actually are. There are Christian babies everywhere and this can be confusing to new believers because there are spiritual infants in fifty year old bodies. 
 
It is God's will for you to grow up and He has anointed people to tell you where you actually are in your spiritual development and what needs to happen next. You need to be told the truth in love and this truth will set you free from the restrictions of childhood. Babies can't do much. They have things decided for them. They don't have the freedom and the responsibilities and the rewards that adults do. Babies live in a small world that they are the center of. The only thing they are aware of is what pertains to them. Babies have themselves on their mind all the time. They like to vent and it's not pretty and it's not nice. Babies need somebody to do things for them. Spiritual babies look to somebody else for everything. They want their problems fixed and be told what to do. More than half the believers in the world want other people to pray for them and believe for them. These people need to be confronted and asked, "Why can't you pray for yourself?" Babies need to grow up and learn to put on their own clothes and start doing things for themselves. They need to work and carry their own weight and take on their responsibility to the body of Christ. 
 
The majority of your learning comes from you doing the work of the ministry. You need to learn how to grow up and not burden other people with what you're dealing with. You need to deal with things for yourself. Paul said in 1 Cor. 3:1, "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ." Babies can't handle much. Babies will ask you things you can't tell them because they don't have the maturity and understanding to comprehend the answer to their questions. You can't feed a baby a T-bone steak. Everybody has room to grow. You need to grow up from where you are right now and you need to do it quickly. It is not okay to be a childish baby for thirty years. Paul writes in 1 Cor. 2:14, "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." You need a mature, well developed spirit to evaluate and discern the things of God. 
 
When you grow up you get very interested in the things of God for no longer is it foolishness to you but instead is the source of life. Don't be fooled into thinking you can discern the things of God with a great intellect. It doesn't matter how smart you think you are. A good education only goes so far for it can't tap into the realm of the Spirit. Some people are so dumb and ignorant that they actually think they're smart, that they know more than anybody else, including God. They'll dispute over doctrine or any little thing that comes up like what color the carpet should be at church. They complain if the church service went too long and they'll stay home if it's too cold out to go to church. You say up, they say down. You say left, they say right. You say white, they say black. It is time for these spiritual babies to grow up! Paul said, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1 Cor. 13:11). 
 
The Message Bible says, "When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good." Those who are deceived into thinking they're more grown up than they actually are become rebellious to the point where they won't let anybody show them where they're missing the mark and failing to grow up. It is shameful for a person to while away the years of their life and not grow up and reach their full potential. Jesus said in Matt. 5:48, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." People often neglect this verse because they falsely believe the manifestation of it is not possible. They assume the fulfillment of what Jesus said is beyond them so they pass right over it and move on to the next verse. The truth of the matter is that Jesus did not say try to be perfect, He said do it! Be ye perfect. He would not tell you to do something were it not possible for you to do so. 
 
In the Bible the word "perfect" does not mean 'flawless.' Everything and everybody in the natural realm is flawed in some way because of sin and the curse that is on the earth. God is a Spirit and He's not holding a magnifying glass on your flesh. Thank God for that. He looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). His eyes roam to and fro across the earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect and loyal toward Him (2 Chron. 16:9). That does not mean 'flawless.' People say "nobody's perfect" so they don't even try but the Word commands you to be perfect and therefore you must be able to be perfect. The Hebrew word for "perfect" is 'complete' and a composite of both Hebrew and Greek means 'brought to its end, complete, lacking nothing necessary to completeness, brought to its completion.' Phil. 1:6 says, "being confident of this very thing, that He who has began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." According to scripture a person who is perfect is mature, fully grown, and completely developed. The more mature you are, the more you'll be like Jesus.
 
God intends for you to reach your full potential and for that to happen you must grow beyond where you are now. You know you're grown up when you become like Jesus. 1 John 2:6 says, "He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked." Jesus emptied Himself and walked the earth as a perfect and mature man proving it can be done. He is now calling you to do the same thing and it is exciting to believe that you can. You grow up and get perfected so you can do the work of the ministry. When you do something for God He requires that you do it perfectly in a sense of following a thing through to its completion. You see it through to its end. You work on it, you continue on it until you have the satisfaction on the inside of you that the task is completed. Shortly before his death Paul told Timothy, "But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Tim. 4;5). He then said in vs. 7, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 
 
Every believer has a job to do and the more complete and mature you are the better you'll be able to fulfill your ministry. You need to grow in faith and walk as Jesus walked and say what Jesus said and do the things Jesus did. Even Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father" (John 14:12). When you begin something, see it through to the end. Jesus said, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62). Be led by the Spirit and follow what's in your heart until you get a release in your spirit to stop and move on to something else. The Bible calls this "perfection." When Jesus said "be ye perfect" He was telling you to be complete just as your Father in heaven is complete. God created man in His own image (Gen. 1:27). He patterned you after His own self and He is perfection. Eph. 5:1 (AMP) says, "Therefore, be imitators of God, copy Him and follow His example as well beloved children imitate their fathers." 
 
The Message Bible says, "Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents." Paul did this and wrote in 1 Cor. 11:1 (AMP), "Pattern yourself after me, follow my example as I imitate and follow Christ." People will imitate who and what they respect and imitation is the way God gives you to develop your spirit and your involvement in the things of God. 2 Thess. 3:11 says, "For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you." 3 John 11 states, "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God." Heb. 13:7 says, "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." You must position yourself to be in the presence of strong, well developed believers who can show you how to grow up and be more mature and complete. We learn by observation. We imitate what we see people do, not what we hear them say. 
 
In today's world there is too much "do as I say, not as I do." Paul addressed this when he wrote in Phil. 4:9, "The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." The Amplified Bible says, "Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me and model your way of living on it and the God of peace will be with you." Jesus, of course, is the ultimate example of whom we are to follow. Every day press toward the mark of being like Jesus. Luke 2:40 says, "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him." Vs. 52 says, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Jesus grew up! He is your example and you are to pattern your life after His. At age twelve Jesus was in the temple "sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers" (Luke 2:46,47). 
 
Every year His parents went to Jerusalem at the Feast of the Passover. The previous year and the years before that Jesus went home with the rest of His earthly family. But this year, at age twelve, He stayed behind and went to the temple. A change had taken place. Jesus began to grow up at age twelve. His focus began to change. His interests and priorities were different than they were the year before. Instead of playing with the other children He chose to go sit in the temple to learn spiritual truths. He's asking questions about the Word and sharing what He knows. As your example Jesus is showing you that children at age twelve should be hungry for and pursuing the things of God. They should want to learn more about Jesus than they want to go outside and play. It is not acceptable for a teenager to sit on the couch and play video games all day long. In times past sixteen year old boys were putting on armor and going into battle and fourteen year old girls were getting married. 
 
This generation is expecting far too little from their children. They let them act like children all through their teenage years and when they turn eighteen they're not developed as an adult and can't handle the pressures of an adult world. How do you know if you're grown up? You know when it's time to play and when it's not time to play. God believes in vacations but not every week. Heb. 11:24,25 says, "By faith Moses, when he became of age" - when he grew up - "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin." The prodigal son was an impatient young man who wanted his inheritance and he wanted it now! His father gave it to him "and not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living" (Luke 15:13). A characteristic of youth is waste and when his money was gone the prodigal son had no friends. Many people are users who will hang around you if you're popular and have money but scatter when the going gets rough. 
 
Young people are easily influenced. They want to be like their peers and don't discern if they are doing good or not all for the sake of being accepted. It's popular today to get tattoos all over your body and body piercings and to dress in a certain way. They smoke and take drugs and have sex. Youth are impatient and wild and act insane and insecure. They have wrong priorities. Jesus wanted the rich young ruler to sell everything he had and come follow Him. "But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions" (Matt. 19:22). Jesus wanted him to grow up and mature and He was showing him how. Jesus wanted him to put God first and offered him a place with Him in the ministry right then and there. The young man thought his money and earthly pleasures were more important so he turned and walked away. It is time for the body of Christ to wake up and grow up! You have to change the way you think, talk, and act. You have to put away childish habits and behaviors. Paul said, "When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me" (1 Cor. 13:11 NIV). 
 
You are not supposed to go through a second childhood. The outward man is perishing but the inner man is being renewed day by day and growing stronger and stronger (2 Cor. 4:16). A characteristic of one who is grown up is to be self-disciplined and self-motivated. You've got to make yourself turn off the television and read your Bible. Force yourself to pray and visit the elderly and help the widow. Babies always express what they feel but a mature person learns the value of words and only speaks when necessary. He doesn't spew out of his mouth every lame thought or feeling that comes to his brain. Good listeners are not as common as they should be. Even a fool is considered wise if he keeps his mouth shut. Believers who are grown up don't use words to vent their feelings. They don't chat and say things that have no substance but instead use words as tools to build up and edify. What comes out of your mouth reveals the level of your maturity and development. 
 
Children and those who are grown up speak differently. Adults don't talk about their problems nor do they gossip about other people and judge them. They talk about love and important things that have to do with the kingdom of God. Babies are carnal and ruled by their feelings but there will come a time when you feel one way but act another. You'll want to tell somebody off but you'll love them anyway. You'll endure hardness like a good soldier as you act in faith and talk in faith. You'll stir yourself up in the spirit as you press on and take that hill. Jesus is the standard by which all spiritual growth should be measured. He is the perfect example of the perfect spiritual man. He is the complete one, the fully developed one. When you grow up you are to be just like Him. You can operate like Jesus. You can think like Him, talk like Him, act like Him, pray like Him, love like Him, be led like Him, live like Him. Most of the church don't believe this. For them it is a reality not to be grasped but Jesus said in Luke 6:40, "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher." 
 
The Amplified Bible says, "A student who is completely trained will be just like his teacher." You can be just like Jesus. In fact, you're commanded to. You can grow up and be just as honest and faithful and genuine as Jesus. You're bridging the gap as the days go by. You'll never surpass Him but when you're grown up and fully developed you'll be just like Jesus. He was the brightness of the Father's glory (Heb. 1:3) and the image of His person. When you've seen Jesus, you've seen the Father. His plan for you is that when people see you, they've seen Jesus. And when they see Jesus, they've seen the Father. After the ascension the people said about the disciples, "They've been with Jesus." They trained under Him and they acted like Him and sounded like Him. We are living in the last days and there is a work to be done and little time to do it. He needs all of us to grow up and stop acting like babies. You need to put away childish things and operate in your full potential and do the job and let the Lord come back. Babies don't get to rule and reign but only those who are perfect, complete, and whole. It is imperative that you grow up and become just like Jesus. 

 


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