Awakeimage.jpg (3359 bytes)

Washington, DC Prayer Meeting, October 28, 2011

At Hylton Memorial Chapel, Woodbridge, VA. 5:00 pm

How Do You Measure Your Spiritual Growth?

Spiritual Maturity: Recognizing the Defining Moment

America as a nation is approaching a defining moment in history. Will the nation survive the coming catastrophes? Can we recognize how close we are to a change in history? We are a nation in crisis. We are a church so divided. We are a system driven by the egocentrism of money, power and fame. We are a people so disenchanted. Can we recognize the signs of the time? Can we read the handwriting of God on the walls? If we can recognize this precious moment in history, we must raise our voices to God is prayer and fasting for forgiveness and to God to heal the land.

While preparing for Sunday School lesson about how to measure spiritual maturity in September 2011, the Lord dropped another message in my spirit about the importance of recognizing God’s defining moment. Many people are lost in life because they are unable to recognize the defining moments in their life. Can you recognize the person, place or time of divine connection that will ignite the birthing process of God’s promise embedded in you? God spoke many promises over each person he created. Our spiritual maturity is a measure of our ability to recognize the person, place or time of connection for the birthing process. Human spirit cannot recognize or decipher the mystery of God’s Spirit. Human cognition operates at a very low level of intellect capacity compared to that of the Holy Spirit. Do not try to use human knowledge to explain the visions of God. The only person who can recognize such a moment is the Holy Spirit. Your measure of spiritual maturity is therefore a measure of how you are able to surrender to the Holy Spirit and be led by God’s eternal Spirit to accomplish God’s purpose.

Dying with the Promise Unrealized

Many people are pregnant with God’s promises. Some will learn to recognize the birthing place and time. Others will die while still pregnant with the promises because of the bitterness of their hearts, or their inability to surrender to the Holy Spirit. "I will do it my way!" I’m sure some people have heard celebrities bragging about their abilities to accomplish their earthly desires. If you dare try to do it your way while serving in the ministry, the Lord will step out of the way. Then he will allow you to make a fool of yourself until you recognize who is your coach and driver and what team you belong. The children of Israel were pregnant with the promise of God leading them to the land of Canaan. Most of them perished on the way without reaching the promise land because of their disobedience and the bitterness of their hearts against God. They died in the wilderness while still pregnant with the promise within them. Only God knows how many people have died while still pregnant with a promise buried within them.

There are so many Christians in the ministry who chose to do it their way. Along their journey, they missed their way while being led by human spirit and desires, and cheers from confused spectators. They were unable to recognize their connection to a person, place and time that were to ignite the birthing process. Eventually, they missed their day of visitation, and ended up missing their divine destiny as ordained by God. Some would take a wrong turn, and encounter a wild animal who would tear them and their projects to shreds leaving a bloody trail along the road! That was exactly what Samson did in the book of Judges. God gave him a special Spirit and power to work with him. His relentless desire to fulfill human lust lead Samson on the wrong path where he encountered a wicked wolf named Delilah. It was the wolf that destroyed Samson despite his anointing. He lost his anointing at the shrine of human lustful desire.

Only God Can Protect the Promise

Jesus said, "Every tree that is not planted by my father shall be uprooted." Meaning, if you are working in the ministry for the Lord, he determines your purpose, actions, and directions. As long as you are obedient to God he will protect the pregnant promise inside of you. The Spirit of God will lead you to your divine destiny. David was pregnant with God’s promise as a king of Israel. King Saul was jealous, and hated David. God planted Jonathan, the son of Saul as a protective gap between David and Saul. When David got angry and wanted to destroy the entire Nabal’s house God planted a connection with Abigail, Nabal’s wife. Abigail was sent by God to stop David on the way to a bloodshed that could have impacted his destiny as a king of Israel. When Joseph was about to be destroyed by his own brothers and later sold into slavery, God sent the Ishmaelites (the relatives of his grand father’s half brother) to rescue Joseph and took him to the land of his destiny. God was the one who sent an angel instructing Phillip to go along the road from Jerusalem to Gaza and meet a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury. Phillip met with the Ethiopian and explained the Bible to him. The Ethiopian was later baptized by Phillip. God had a plan when he brought both of them together for his glory. The Ethiopian eunuch would take the gospel message of Christ back to his African people, even during the time of Paul before the New Testament was written.

Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Promise of the Father. Peter led some of the disciples to go fishing. Jesus after resurrection saw what was going on with his disciples going in the wrong direction. Jesus came back to redirect them and reinstate Peter as the head of the disciples. Jesus confronted Peter in a very loving manner until Peter realized what he had done. Jesus asked Peter the question, "Peter do you love me?" Jesus asked Peter that question three times. Peter said, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus responded to Peter saying, "Peter, feed my sheep," (St. John 21). Jesus had placed a promise of the Day of Pentecost before his disciples. It was the defining moment in the history of the Lord’s ministry that will affect believers today. Jesus did not want Peter, or any of the disciples to miss the day, or the time when the Holy Spirit would arrive.

If a Person Walks Away God Chooses Another

Some people will encounter hardship in the ministry and walk away. God will in turn raise somebody else to accomplish his purpose. The children of Israel were supposed to be a nation of priests to teach the world how to worship God. They missed their timing and their mission. God raised the gentiles to fulfill the missions neglected by the Israelites.

The Lord is in the business of connecting people for his greater purpose. If a messenger determines not to follow God’s instructions, then Lord will raise other people to accomplish his purpose. Not everybody that is pregnant will make it to the labor room to deliver. Today, I see many promising preachers on both the television and radio doing their own thing instead of letting God directs them for his purpose. No matter how good it looks, if it is not God ordained, you are wasting your time. Some of the flamboyant preachers will miss their God ordained destination because they measure their ministry success by the size of their ministry and the revenue. They brag so much about what they are able to accomplish for God, instead of letting God accomplish his purpose through them.

If you can hear the voice of God, learn to surrender to God’s Spirit, accept to be directed by eternal Spirit and follow the Lord instructions, you will never miss your defining moment. Your defining moment may be the threshing floor, the birthing place, or the furnace of fire for purification. Whatever the case may be, whichever way your life turns, a walk in the Spirit of God will help you to identify that very precious moment. You will recognize your defining moment before God.

By Yinka Vidal Author, Closer Walk With Jesus