Fundamentals of Christian Growth Part 7

Over the years I’ve learned any lack in my life is a consequence of my not having the right knowledge from God’s Word. 

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
2 Peter 1:3

Some people will try and counter this verse with natural reasons for their lack. They blame skin color for poverty, big bones for obesity, and family bloodlines for diabetes. If things like this could keep us from the blessings of God, why didn’t Peter reference them? He did not and he also did not provide any exclusions! God’s divine power has provided us “all things pertaining to life and godliness” and this supply is accessed through the Word of God.

I was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma several years ago which the doctors diagnosed as terminal. This was the first Scripture the Holy Spirit led me to. He showed me that the cancer was present because there was a lack of personal knowledge about my redemptive rights in Christ Jesus. This led me into an intensive time of study and meditation in Scripture. The doctors said my life could only be extended to six months through “intensive” treatment. That was more than ten years ago. The tumor is gone. My life was extended by filling the gap of revelation knowledge!

It is our wrong thinking that is keeping us in bondage. This is not what most people want to hear. There are a lot of good people living in lack and sickness. God did not cause their situation. He desires good for them but if they do not have the proper knowledge these issues will not be resolved. God can heal us of anything. Sometimes He will do this through a miracle but in most cases, it will be through His Word.

If we are going to grow spiritually we will need to accept that our current situation is not important compared to where we are going. The only reason we remain in bondage is that our focus is on the lack, symptoms, or doctor’s report instead of on the Word of God. Jesus allowed His body to be broken for our healing and then He allowed His blood to be poured out through His crucifixion to redeem us. His sacrifice will always be infinitely greater than any sickness or lack which may manifest in our lives!

I know that you may have been through some bad things in life and would never trivialize that. There may have been a person or persons who abused you. I can’t understand what you may or may not have been through. A person in my past used to hit me with a broomstick but the things that person did to me could never be compared to God’s love for me. My life was bound up and going nowhere until a quality decision was made to stop focusing on what had been done to me. Instead, I chose to focus on God’s love for me which is infinitely greater than anything that has ever been done to me! The love of God can overcome any hurt in our lives. 

The Word of God has changed the way I process information. In the past, my focus was on my problems and the abuse I had suffered at the hands of other people. The Word of God has given me an insight and built my faith to the point where it became possible to move into the fullness of God’s plan. It can do the same for you if you will commit to making it first place in your life!

I’ve learned over the years that the Word of God has an answer for anything happening in our lives. Carli was the granddaughter of a pastor I once served under. She was led to pursue a degree in mathematics at college. This was not her strong suit and as a result Cali almost failed out of college the first semester. She talked with the pastor and he told her to turn to Scripture. I was young and did not understand how that would help as the book of Numbers did not include a primer on mathematics! 

Carli struggled with her grandfather’s advice. She did not discount it but instead took it to God in prayer. The Lord led her to start reading the genealogies out loud every day. This confused me even more and I honestly found myself questioning both of them! Caili faithfully read at least one chapter of genealogies in the morning and another in the evening for the next semester. She finished her second semester in college with a 4.0-grade average! This continued through graduation – one chapter of “so and so begat so and so” every morning and another in the evening. Her ability to understand mathematics increased on an almost daily basis and Carli continued her studies and finished a master’s program with perfect grades.

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1:4

The Word of God has an answer for all of our problems. It contains the “great and precious promises” of God. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us as we give ourselves to meditating on Scripture. Just as He led Carli to the genealogies, He will lead us to the specific Scriptures that will bring revelation knowledge for our issues!

Notice that Peter tells us we partake of God’s nature by the “great and precious promises” that are found in the Word of God. If we could just tap into this one truth, we would experience tremendous spiritual growth! Peter also tells us that we can escape “the corruption that is in the world through lust”. This is not just referencing sexual desires.

Years ago I served in a recovery program that included a street mission. Men and women would come in off the street, hear the Word of God, and be led into freedom from drugs and alcohol. One of my duties was to preach at Wednesday evening chapel. Half of the crowd those nights were homeless men who came straight off of the street. Some would be drunk and others hallucinating from one drug or another. I was usually the only person in the chapel from our mission with upwards of fifty or more men.

One Wednesday evening after service I noticed one of the homeless men was standing by the exit with a hand in his bag. He seemed to be extremely agitated and there were no other exits so I had to go through him to leave. We were the last in the chapel and so I was alone and did not have my cell phone. I approached him and he yelled at me! He was angry with me and proceeded to tell me why.

This man had been in chapel several months before and heard me say the things I’ve been telling you. He left on a mission to prove my claim that the Word of God has all of our answers wrong. The gentleman went straight to a liquor store after chapel, purchased a bottle, and sat on the sidewalk outside to drink it. Our mission had provided him a New Testament so he pulled it out and flipped it to the book of Phillippians. The man read chapter one, verse one. He then took a drink and shouted triumphantly that I had been proved wrong. He had found an answer to his alcohol problem from the one verse.

Unbeknownst to the man, the Holy Spirit was working through that pocket New Testament. He was so excited about proving me wrong that he read verse two, took another drink, and shouted again. This continued until he passed out! A verse would be read, a drink taken, and then a shout of joy. I had been proven to be wrong! The next day he woke from his drunken stupor and repeated the whole process until passing out again. This was repeated day after day for the previous few months. He never read another book but instead would start back at chapter one after reading the last verse in Phillippians. 

So I had no idea that this man was “proving” me wrong day after day for almost three months. It made him happy as he had sworn off religion years before. God had no place in his life and this only cemented it for him that he had made the right decision to walk away from religion. 

Something happened to this man the day he showed up at the chapel and blocked the exit. He had woken from a drunken stupor just like he had for the previous few months and opened his New Testament to Phillippians expecting to spend another day proving me wrong. A verse was read but his body rejected the alcohol when he took a drink. Most of the day was spent going from bottle to bottle trying to drink but the man would become ill at even the slightest taste of alcohol. The Word of God that had been planted one verse at a time over the previous months had separated him from the alcohol and he was completely free!

Peter tells us that the Word of God contains God’s  “great and precious promises”. It has the answer for all of our needs but we will have to devote ourselves to seeking these out. I shared earlier about my diagnosis of having malignant melanoma. Doctors did not expect me to live longer than six months but the Word changed this diagnosis. Carli was failing in her studies at college but the Word of God contained in the genealogies enabled her to graduate with honors. It also brought freedom from alcohol to the homeless man. These are just a few examples. Your answers are waiting for any issue that you may be facing in Scripture as well. What price are you willing to pay to find them?

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