Growing in grace (pd.2)

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Growing in grace (pd.2)

 

Once we know the types of grace that is open to us, we can now begin to map out strategies for spiritual growth.

The first rule to note about growing in the grace is that our attitude to God and His things is most important. The bible says;

“The eyes of the Lord moves to and fro over the earth looking for a man whose heart is prefect towards His will”.

Spiritual growth is strictly on qualification basis and what disqualifies most people is their attitudes. If we are not inclined towards devotion to God, the love of truth, the love of the brethren and selflessness, it is doubtful that God will entrust us with more than the basic levels of grace. The bible says;

“I the Lord search the heart and will reward every man for his actions”.

This means, no matter how good or otherwise our actions, our attitude to life will qualify us. This is why God will overlook many in the Church to choose prostitutes and thieves for His favour. This also means that our intentions are very important. If we set out to please men, we would receive little reward from God, but if we set our intentions at pleasing God, we would most likely succeed. This last reason is why many labour for the Church but are not uplifted by God; because they turn out to be man pleasers and not God seekers. Men see our performance but God searches our heart.

That haven been said, we can now go to the heart of the matter.

As hinted in the part one of this article, the basic grace or the grace of children is open to all believers, it is the covenant of God with us based on our haven received Jesus as our Lord and saviour;

“To them that received Him, He gave power to be called children of God”.

The way to grow in this grace is to respond positively to the love of God and by worship (that is, living our lives so that God is pleased with us by obeying the teachings of Christ). Jesus said;

“Because you have obeyed my instructions, the father has loved you, just as He loves me. Now, remain in my love by obeying my commands” (paraphrased).

To grow in this grace, all we have to do is to say to ourselves, “Because God commands us not to steel, I will not steal” or “Because Jesus says ‘do not let your anger remain till evening’, I will forgive them”.

As hinted, the grace of children is co-operate in nature. When two or three children of God associate together, the power released towards the grace of children jumps up exponentially. It is little wonder that the devil will seek to prevent this by instituting sins that could disrupt the flow, such sins include;

1)           Offence – On the level, the sin of offence is to violate the principle of good will (love). The bible says

“Love your neighbour as your self; do unto others as you would have done unto you”

If we do not love our neighbours, do we expect God to show His love for us? Remember, the grace of children is the love of God.

2)           Occultism trap – This takes many forms in the church and in society in general; from racism, tribalism, sexism, to denominationalism and the generation barrier (the most basic form of this is the click). Occultism is setting up a standard of righteousness to rival God’s standard. It involves setting up an exclusivist club where membership is restricted based on a standard of lifestyle; this is another way of saying ‘a standard of worship’. Occultism has its roots in idolatry; it is exalting above God and setting up a ‘god of our own covetousness’. Jesus said;

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I”

Where two or three are gathered together according to any other foundation but Christ, there is an idol amongst them. But not just any idol in the case of occultism; it is ‘the god of fortresses’ spoken of in the book of Daniel 11;

24b “He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers”

30b “He will turn back and vent his fury on the holy covenant. He will return and show favour to those who forsake the holy covenant. His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant”

37 “He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the ones desired by women nor will he regard any god but will exult himself above them all. Instead of them, he will honour a god of fortresses”.

The god of fortresses is non-other than the antichrist. Thus, every click or exclusivist society is really an underground coven of antichrist worship.

In the above verses, we read about the abomination of desolation, (desolation means abandonment). What this does is to make God abandon His sanctuary. Thus, where ever any form of occultism is practiced, the Holy Spirit eventually abandons the place.

3)           Hero worship – This, like occultism, is a form of idolatry. It is in fact devil worship; for the same reason, one third of the angels in heaven became demons. Under this is false doctrine and fanatism. The bible says, “Do not follow the multitude to evil”, the same applies with leaders that mislead the flock. The bible in the book of revelation (speaking concerning Jezebel) says;

“By her teachings, she misleads my servants to sexual immorality and idolatry. I have given her time to repent but she is unwilling. I will cast her into a bed of suffering and I will make her suffer intensely. Unless they repent of her ways, I will strike her children dead. Then you will know that I am He who searches hearts and I will reward each of you according to your deeds. Now, the rest of you who do not hold to her teachings and have not learnt Satan’s so-called deep secrets, I will not impose any other burden on you”

Moses did not enter the promise land because he did not trust God enough to sanctify Him holy before the people; he honoured himself rather than honouring God; thus, he was promoting hero worship. But the striking thing about his ministry was that it was meant to lead the people of God into the promise, and that is precisely what he did not do. Leaders who promote their own honour or are worshiped as heroes will never lead the people who worship them into the promise of God;

“I will not share my glory with idols or my honour with men”.

In the book of revelation read above, the consequence of hero worship is spiritual death or spiritual powerlessness. The reward of overcoming is ‘dominion over the nations’. Those who engage in hero worship will never manifest the dominion of the sons of God;

“For the whole earth awaits the manifestations of the sons of God”.

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