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The goal of every believer should be to walk in the light they've been given and to attain perfection in their lives as defined in the Word of God. Phil. 3:12 (NLT) says, "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me." In the Bible the word "perfect" means 'to be complete, to develop to its end, to finish to full development or full maturity.' According to scripture, there are many who are called to be saints who have reached this spiritual level of perfection. Vs. 14-16 (AMP) says, "I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us stay true to what we have already attained." You are called to perfection which means you are called to develop until you are completely mature, until you finish your course, and are fulfilled in what God has called you to do.

Many people don't begin the journey to perfection because...

Submitted: March 14, 2017

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Submitted: March 14, 2017






The goal of every believer should be to walk in the light they've been given and to attain perfection in their lives as defined in the Word of God. Phil. 3:12 (NLT) says, "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me." In the Bible the word "perfect" means 'to be complete, to develop to its end, to finish to full development or full maturity.' According to scripture, there are many who are called to be saints who have reached this spiritual level of perfection. Vs. 14-16 (AMP) says, "I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us stay true to what we have already attained." You are called to perfection which means you are called to develop until you are completely mature, until you finish your course, and are fulfilled in what God has called you to do.

Many people don't begin the journey to perfection because they believe it's an unattainable goal. To them Paul writes in vs. 13, "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead." Paul is saying you need to press on to Christlike perfection which means to be like Jesus in every area of your life. People make excuses and say "nobody's perfect" with the implication that nobody can be, not knowing that scripture says you can. They reason that if nobody can be perfect, then why try? This is precisely how the devil wants them to think. People who say nobody's perfect forget that Jesus was perfect and He lived a perfect life. His ministry was perfect and His relationship with the Father was perfect. They also forget what John said in 1 John 2:6, "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." If Jesus walked in perfection, then so should you. Don't be foolish and tell the Lord you can't do this when He said you can.

If you don't believe it's possible to be perfect as Jesus is perfect then you need a fresh revelation of what's possible. You need to renew your mind and start believing what the Bible says more than the traditions of man which implies nobody can be perfect. You need to understand that God is not talking about the perfection of the flesh, He's talking about spiritual perfection. He is talking about having a heart that is perfect toward the things of God. Not only is this possible, it's your call in life. You are called to perfection. It's what you're called to do and what you're called to be. The Lord is looking for people to be this way. 2 Chron. 16:9 says, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him." A perfect heart is a heart that is fully committed to Him. Don't get sidetracked thinking you've got to get your mind and your flesh in order before you can be perfect in the eyes of God. No, He's looking at your heart and this, indeed, can be perfect every day of your life.

Those who walk in the light are wholehearted toward God, those who are halfhearted are lukewarm and these are the people God will spew out of His mouth (Rev. 3:15,16). Being halfhearted is what makes you imperfect, not a lack of knowledge or for sins committed in the past. There is no excuse or any justifiable reason for any born again believer to be halfhearted toward the Lord. It's a choice you make and, if you'll choose to follow God wholly and completely, you'll be on the path to perfection in His eyes. God does not look at your flaws and mistakes but rather looks at the condition of your heart. If you're doing everything you know to seek Him and please Him and follow Him, God will look at you and call you perfect. Your flaws are not as important to Him as they are to the carnal person who judges all the time. Yes, getting sin out of your life is important for it hinders your fellowship with the Father, but the person who is wholehearted will not live a life of gross and habitual sin.

Jesus said in Matt. 5:48, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." This is Jesus talking but still most Christians don't believe this. You've got to make up your own mind as to whether you believe what He said or not. The Amplified Bible says, "You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect." The Lord has asked you to come up to a higher level from where you now are, so ask Him to renew your heart and mind and reveal to you what His definition of perfection is. Even if you don't yet understand it, you can still accept it by faith. Jesus also said in Luke 6:40, "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher." The reason you follow the Master is because you want to be like the Master, you want to be perfect as He is perfect. The path to perfection is a daily journey where you grow and strive to be more and more like Jesus.

Many people who go to church have not had a life changing experience with Christ. Instead of becoming like Jesus they foolishly choose to follow the trends of the world which is getting darker and darker by the day. Instead of trying to bring change to the sinful world, they choose instead to become like the world to the point that homosexual ministers are now being ordained to lead the local church. It is easy to follow a God who they think makes no demands on them to change their sinful ways. They think God will accept them just the way they are but this is not the God of the Bible. The devil has deceived these people into thinking they can believe in Jesus without being changed. These people are walking on dangerous ground for the wages of sin is death. They're mocking God because they think they can sin and get away with it. They're trying to modernize the church to go in the direction the world is now going. Instead of changing the world, they're allowing the world to change them. These people have been called to be saints but instead are living like the devil himself.

You come to Jesus just as you are but that doesn't mean you stay that way. God hates sin and so should you. Immediately you should embark on the path to Christlike perfection. You need to renew your mind so you'll think like Him and you need to get your body under control. Don't sit around saying nobody's perfect but rise up and press on to the high calling of Christ. You need to do everything you can to become more like Jesus today than you were yesterday. You've been recreated in your spirit and this is what allows you to walk as the Master walked. His footsteps are on the path to perfection and so are yours. You can talk like Jesus and act like Jesus. Ps. 37:23 says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way." The Amplified Bible says, "The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord, and He delights in his way [and blesses his path]." You please the Father when you're on the path to perfection. If you miss the mark and fall down you immediately repent, get back on your feet, and keep moving forward.

Never think you are on this path alone. Jesus is by your side loving you, encouraging you and, if necessary, correcting you. There is no shame in being corrected by the Lord for it is evidence of His great love for you. Heb. 12:5,6 (NLT), "My child, don't make light of the Lord's discipline, and don't give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child." The Message Bible says, "My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline, but don't be crushed by it either. It's the child He loves that He disciplines, the child He embraces, He also corrects." Those who are halfhearted think it's an insult when they get corrected and often respond with denial and anger. Their arrogance and pride is blinding their eyes to the love that is being shown. Those who are weak and timid hang their head in shame and walk away. Being corrected shines a little more light on your path and this is what everybody needs in order to walk as Jesus walked. Perfection is achieved when you embrace the correction given by those who love you most.

If you have not yet arrived at Christlike perfection then correction is needed in your life, sometimes a lot of correction. There are wrong doctrines and sinful temptations that are continually trying to get you off course and daily corrective adjustments have to be made. If you're not being corrected then you won't reach your destination. How far off course you are determines how much correction you need. If you're on the straight and narrow path to perfection then little correction is needed. If not, if you're way off course, then the correction may be somewhat harsh and traumatic. David was guilty of adultery and murder and a major correction took place when he was confronted by the prophet Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-15). The good news is that David received this correction and repented of his sin. Some people need a lot of correction and there is no shame in this if your heart is in the right place. The important thing is to receive the correction when it is given. This won't be a problem if your heart is right toward God because you know these corrections will help you achieve Christlike perfection.

There is no such thing as a child or an adult who does not need correction. Whether or not you receive correction is based on how you view it. Is it a good thing or bad? Is it given to help you or condemn you? The condition of your heart determines the answer. Those who are wholehearted receive correction as a good thing coming from the Lord while those who are halfhearted avoid it like the plaque. God corrects you because He loves you, and love will always tell you the truth even when it's not desired. The truth is not always pleasant but it's the truth that will set you free. Those who receive it are the ones who mount up with wings as eagles and soar high above the clouds of gloom and despair. Those who don't receive it will stay in their immaturity all the days of their life. Their house is built on sinking sand and when the rain falls and the winds blow, their lives will collapse and great will be the fall of it. They did not receive correction when it was given and paid a heavy price for rejecting it.

People like to talk about the love of God but never want to talk about His correction. The two go hand-in-hand for whom the Lord loves, He corrects. He loves you and now He's going to correct you. Get ready for it for surely it's coming. Heb. 12:7,8 (NLT) says, "As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn't discipline you as He does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really His children at all." When the Lord corrects you there is no condemnation attached to it. He is here to lift you up and not tear you down. He is always looking out for your good and knows that if these corrective adjustments are not made then the enemy can come in and bring havoc into your life. What type of Father would He be if He didn't try to stop this from happening? This is what godly correction is all about but still it is your responsibility to receive it and respond to it.

It takes a humble heart to receive the gift of correction. It's a manifestation of the love God has for you and should be received with opened arms. Don't run away from correction but embrace it with all that is within you. This is not to say it will be  a joyful experience for you. It won't be. Heb. 12:11 says, "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." The Message Bible says, "Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God." There is no justification for you to not receive correction if the need is there for it to be given. You missed the mark so humble yourself and repent. Correction is not pleasant as you're going through it but afterward it yields a great blessing. It's through correction and repentance that you are able to attain Christlike perfection. This should be the goal of every born again believer.

Jesus said in Matt. 11:29, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Jesus has a humble heart and, when you yield to Him, you will become as He is. A humble heart is meek and gentle and is forever faithful. It is submissive and obedient. To become humble you must rid yourself of all that is prideful and defiant, and it may take some correction to do it. This is why you can't despise the chastening of the Lord. To get to where you want to be is going to require some correction yet millions of believers are offended when it happens. They need it yet don't have enough sense to receive it. Pride is blocking their ability to receive correction and soon hard times will come. Prov. 16:18 says, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." People who don't receive correction need to be confronted and rebuked because they're about to have some major problems. The motive of godly correction is always love for the Lord only has what's best for them on His heart and mind.

It's correction that causes you to become like the Master. Humble yourself and receive it quickly and willingly. Correction is not condemnation for God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world. God is correcting you because He loves you and wants to have close, intimate fellowship with you. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, "Go and sin no more" (John 8:11). He corrected her but did not condemn her. Jesus loved her and told her to do what was best for her. There is no excuse for getting angry and despising those who correct you in a godly manner. Don't accuse them of not knowing what they're talking about because if you do, you'll be like the devil who's called the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10). You need to humble yourself, slow down, and take a deep breath. Then prayerfully consider that what they told you might be true and ask the Lord to help you get back on the path to perfection. God is forever ready to forgive you and give you the direction you need. Admit that you are not yet perfected but believe in your heart that you can be.

Be thankful when you're corrected. This means you're that much closer to being like Christ. Those who get hurt and offended all the time are spiritual babies and have not developed in the things of God. Those who don't receive the correction of the Lord will eventually be rebuked by Him, and this is far worse. The good news is that if you're receiving a lot of correction, this means you are well loved. Correction is a gift from on high and you should be forever grateful for God's love toward you. Heb. 12:1 says, "Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us." This is something you should do on your own but when you don't do it, God will step in with godly correction. He is only doing what you should have done in the first place, and He's doing it because of the love He has for you. You are in a curse-filled world and sin will contaminate you and weigh you down and hinder your pursuit to be like the Master. This is why you have to get sin out of your life, whether it be on your own or with the Lord's correction.

God loves you so much that He is unwilling to leave you in the condition you are currently in. Jesus said in John 15:1,2, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit." Notice that even if your walk with the Lord is flourishing and you're bearing much fruit, there is still some corrective pruning that is taking place. Why is that? So that you can bear more fruit. If the primary desire of your heart is to be used by God in a special way, then get ready for some pruning. He'll point out things in your life that have to change, things that could be slowing you down and preventing you from doing even more. Many people at this time will be expecting a pat on the back for all the good they've done, but the truth is they're just getting started. There is more work to be done and to help you fulfill your destiny God will tell you to change this and to change that. This is far more important than a pat on the back.

Don't be foolish and think you can reach a point in your life where correction is no longer needed. There is always sin to get rid of and weights to be removed. In your heart you know what these things are and, when they're dealt with, your productivity in the kingdom of God will rise to a higher level. This is why godly correction should be desired and not despised. Paul said in Eph. 4:15 (NLT), "Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church." The Message Bible says in vs. 14-16, "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. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love."

You are to be a light in a dark world. People are to see what Jesus is like by the things you say and do. If you are not acting like God's personal representative on the earth, then there are some things you need to be corrected on. Godly correction is not a bad thing but is a display of God loving you. To not be corrected is to not be loved. Job 5:17 says, "Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty." Correction gives you freedom for it deliverers you from the bondage of doing things the wrong way. God can and will do this for you in every area of your life. You should desire this correction and receive it with gladness even though it may not be enjoyable at the time. You can take comfort knowing that God has your best interests in mind and that His only purpose in correcting you is so you can become more like Him. As He shines, so do you shine when you walk in the light of godly correction. All good things come with a price and the good benefits of being corrected is well worth the price to go through it.

A question that is often asked is who should correct whom? Who has the right to speak godly correction into the life of another? Aaron and Miriam tried to correct Moses in Num. 12 and paid a heavy price for it. Does anybody have the right to correct somebody else? As a whole, the church has been ignorant in this area and many people have been quick to judge and criticize others and pass it off as correction. They're looking at the speck in their brother's eye and considered not the plank in their own eye. For this reason many have been judged by God much like Aaron and Miriam. Their judgment opened the door to the enemy and gave him access to their lives. Never should a person correct their spiritual elders, those who are over them in the Lord. Even if you don't agree with everything they do and say, you need to respect the fact that God has chosen them to be in the position they're in. To disrespect your elders is to disrespect God because He's the one who put them there. God takes this personally and Aaron and Miriam learned this lesson the hard way.

Paul said in 1 Thess. 5:12,13 (NLT), "Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord's work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other." A part of spiritual guidance is godly correction. God is saying here that spiritual leaders can correct those who are under their care, and not the other way around. The same principle is true in the Christian home. Children should never correct their parents and a wife should never correct her husband. This is unpopular with some people but not in the eyes of God. He said in Eph. 5:22,23, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body." If the husband is missing the mark somewhere then the wife should pray and ask the Lord to reveal it to him. It is the Lord's place to correct the husband, not the wife's. The same is true with children in regards to their parents.

Those who are in a leadership role have been anointed by God to fulfill that call. This applies to pastors in the church and husbands in the home. This is not about what gender they are but rather the position they hold in God's eternal plan. There is no man who is any better than any woman, but the role of husband is the position God has chosen to be the leader in the home. You are to respect the position even if at times you don't respect the person who holds that position. The same thing holds true with your boss at work and those who hold government offices. Those whom God puts in leadership positions have been anointed to lead and correct. This means they have an advantage over those who are not in those positions. God has put an anointing on the husband to lead the home and give godly correction when necessary. The wife may know more than the husband in certain areas but this does not mean she's anointed to lead and correct. A lot of responsibility goes with any leadership role and this is why those who fill those positions should be honored and respected.

Correction is a good thing and you need to receive it from the Lord and from those He places over you. You need to know who these people are and be willing to submit to the anointing that is on them. You need to give them the respect they've earned and the honor they deserve. A truth in life is that you will listen more to the people you respect than to the people you don't. And listen you must do because you will need instruction and correction to become more and more like Jesus. You're in training and you must see it through to the very end. There are spiritual coaches and trainers assigned to you who will help and encourage you to stay the course. Perseverance and endurance is needed and as you discipline yourself to receive godly correction it will be there. Day by day you will find yourself growing into Christlike perfection. It won't always be easy but be like Jesus who "though he was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered" (Heb. 5:8). No, it's not easy but it is the only path that leads to perfection.

1 Peter 5:10 (AMP) says, "After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]." Perfection comes as you learn to endure those temptations to rebel and give up. You need to overcome these attempts by the devil to bring you down and submit yourself to godly instruction and correction. This is how you grow and get perfected. The Message Bible says, "So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ - eternal and glorious plans they are! - will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, He does." Those who don't get perfected are the ones who don't overcome their own stubbornness and rebellion. These are the people who always want to hear how much God loves them but refuse to listen when He corrects them. Little do they know that with God love and correction always go together.

One of the worst mistakes you can ever make is to reject God's correction when He gives it to you. To reject His correction is to reject His love. A sobering truth is that you can wait too long to repent and then it will be too late. Heb. 12:16,17 (NLT) says, "Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn for a single meal. You know that afterward, when he wanted his father's blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears." To repent means to change so, if your life hasn't changed, then you haven't repented. You can kneel at the altar and cry your eyes out but if you don't change then all your tears are in vain. Esau never changed and because of that it was too late to turn his situation around. Jesus referred to this truth in Rev. 2:5, "Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to Me and do the works you did at first. If you don't repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches."

Jesus says again in Rev. 2:21, "And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent." The Young's Literal says, "I gave her time to reform, but she did not reform." God will give you a window of time to receive godly correction and to repent. If you don't change in the time frame you've been given, you won't have the opportunity to turn your situation around. This may be hard to accept but it's the truth nonetheless. You've been given a set time to repent so you best make the most of it. Listen to godly correction and stop doing the wrong you've been doing. Turn your life around and get on the road to perfection. If you don't then bad days are ahead. Vs. 22,23 says, "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death. And all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works." That is a sobering thought and, indeed, it should be.


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