Proper priorities are an essential to spiritual maturity that cannot be overlooked. To achieve spiritual maturity, Christ must be operating in the position in your life that He deserves and owns. If He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then the place He deserves to occupy in our lives is the place of highest priority: the place where the “buck stops” – the position that orders all other priorities and all responses. Not only does He deserve that place of priority due to who He is; but He “owns” that place because He bought it with His very own life – with His own blood. Spiritual maturity will never be reached until Jesus is given final decision making authority over every person, place, and thing in our lives.
The battle over what will have priority in life takes place, primarily in the mind. The battle in the mind is for control of our belief system. The belief system orders our priorities – control the belief system and your control priorities. Priorities determine actions, responses and behaviors. Actions, responses, and behaviors determine consequences and destiny.
As a believer – to win this battle in the belief system, we must realize and agree with our position in Christ. You may reside at 512 Main Street, but that’s not where you live – you live seated at the right hand of the Father in Christ Jesus! Inherent in that position is freedom from all accusation due to the justification that is necessary to abide there. If your position is not settled in your belief system, a battle will ensue in the mind and your lack of faith will give a foothold for the enemy to argue against the Truth.
In Christ, we have everything we need. He alone has the ability to fulfill the dreams, hopes, and desires that bring a healthy and whole life for us.
Here’s a few things to know about Christ that help bring us to maturity:
1. In Christ, everything makes sense.
I did not say that you will understand why everything happens – I’m saying, that in Christ, everything finds its place of priority and, therefore fulfills its purpose.
When something operates at a different priority level than the one it was created to operate in, it loses its power to bless you!! If our priorities are out of whack, then things/people in our life control, frustrate, and disappoint us. Therefore, they lose the power that God created within them to bless us and all because they are operating at a different priority level than they are supposed to.
2. In Christ, the visible and invisible are brought together.
We know a spirit world exists that we cannot see. The key to understanding that world and being at peace with what is going on in that world is found in Christ. When you don’t know what is happening spiritually, you always look at Jesus to find your peace.
When you don’t know what the hand of God is doing, you can always trust His heart. And, His heart is revealed in Jesus. What do you see in Jesus that you cannot trust?
3. In Christ, a new order is being created in the midst of the old.
Christ is creating a new order based upon His word and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. But, because we have two diametrically opposed orders operating in this world, we experience conflict. Many people get so angry at others in the body of Christ because they do not see perfection in their lives. Well, the church is part of the new order Christ is building. Think about what is happening in your own life. After salvation, God goes about the process of destroying old patterns and ways of thinking in our life. So,why would we be upset to see that process happening in other believers? Instead of being patient with others, many get offended and leave the church due to imperfections in people. How do you think that looks to God? Here we are, a work in progress and we judge others for being at the same place we are! It’s the height of hypocrisy!
Patience and joy must work side by side. The old order is being destroyed day by day. We must be patient while God does His work in tearing it down in our life and the lives of others. At the same time, we should be joyful in the assurance that God is building His new order day by day in our life and the life of others!
As a side note – we don’t like to suffer. But, one of the clearest evidences that our faith is real is suffering. If we are not suffering for being a believer or for being associated with others in the body of Christ, then something is lacking in our faith. I’m not just talking about suffering because we are associated with a pastor that unbelievers don’t like. I’m talking about suffering because we are closely associated with other believers – a suffering that comes from being so closely related that we are affected by their weaknesses and their strengths. We are servants to the new order God is creating. Servants expect to be inconvenienced, to have to wait on others and to be present when someone makes a mess and to have to help clean it up! Let’s stop focusing on what the church can do for us but let’s focus upon what we can do for the church! By doing so, we will be a lot happier!
The purpose of your pastors and leaders is to preach maturity to you. They are to warn you when you don’t hear their words. They are to teach you how to walk in maturity and, therefore see you grow up in to all things in Christ!
As they do so, please remember: until Christ occupies the position in your life He deserves and owns, spiritual maturity will never occur in your life! Your pastor can’t order your priorities – that is solely up to you!