Thursday, 9 April 2009

Brokenness: Study two part 2. Weaning of a baby

Later, you will be able to download the study format for this topic.

Weaning is a process to accustom an infant to food other than its mother's milk. This disengage oftentimes is by enforced discontinuance. There are a few babies that take weaning lightly. In most cases, they cry and refuse to eat any other food. They want to continue taking the familiar milk. However, no matter how the child likes milk; no matter how the mother loves the child and does not want to see the child’s tears, she must wean the child. This is for the good of the child. If the child continues to take milk when he is supposed to be chewing bone, it becomes unhealthy.

See an example of a baby who is supposed to be chewing meat but unfortunately, refuses to grow.

“1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
1 Cor 3:1-3 (KJV)

Paul, who planted the Corinthian Church, desired it to grow unto maturity and so did God. But they wanted to continue serving God in the flesh. The same word translated ‘carnal’ in King James Version can also be rendered, ‘fleshly and worldly which refers to the lower side of man as apart from God’s touch or influence and estranged from God and prone to sin’ (from International Standard Bible Encylopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (C) 1996 by Biblesoft. Emphasis added).

These are believers who are trapped in this kind of fleshly living. Paul in addressing this matter did not pamper the Corinthians. In fact one of the brethren was suspended from the fellowship for a season. (See 1 Cor.5:11-13). Direct rebukes were given over specific issues. There is no other option, they have to learn and grow.
When God decides to wean His child, it can take varied dimensions. He can challenge us to stop our way of life which is not pleasing to Him like He did to the Corinthians. He can also remove us from our familiar ground or remove our familiar experiences from us with the intention that we will seek Him more fervently and more intimately. In the course, we begin to learn Him again and get to know more about Him that we had not known before. Oftentimes, we stay too long at a place of a miracle to the extent that we begin to roam round a circle. We begin to build ‘ministries’, doctrines, and tabernacles around a place of encounter with God. We stay there and refuse to move forward even when God has moved on. We become self-conceited and develop thick skin against change. Before long, you begin to see all the fleshly attitudes exhibited in the Corinthian church in our midst. Pride, familiarity that breeds contempt prevails. ‘Ministries’ can still be clothed with some spiritual garbs but the truth is that God is no more there. God wants us to move on and do something different, we tell Him that “we have ‘arrived’ here and have no intention to leave this familiar place”.

When we are in this kind of state, oftentimes, God can take some serious steps to move us forward. It happens also to people that got born again newly. They can testify that any time they cry during prayers, God answered hastily. Anytime they fast, it works like magic because God will just answer everything they requested for from Him. There are some that have a place that they have sanctified as a ‘holy place’, out of their love for fellowship with God and desire to pray and see Him do things only He can do. None of the prayer points taken to the ‘holy place’ comes back without an answer. Sometimes it is the way God used to speak to them. They do like Gideon; God responds and gives them direction. Everything is like ‘plug and play’. Their faith is boosted and they grow in the Lord.

However, after two, three years or so, things change. None of those ‘things’ works again and the child of God is confused. He has a problem and he tries all those ‘methods’ he is familiar with and none of them works. He fasts like before but the problem refuses to go away. He tries the ‘ways’ he used to get ‘words from God’ and they do not work any more. He goes to the ‘holy place’, but the familiar feelings he used to get are all gone and it’s like nothing has happened. He searches himself and cannot find an apparent sin I his life. He tries to confess even some sins he did not commit and none of those things work. Now, does it mean that God has abandoned His child? Not at all! Does it mean that the kingdom of darkness is having ‘upper hand’? Never!

God is growing His child to become a man, a grown servant He can trust and use for His purposes. He teaches His child that waiting unto Him is part of worship. He teaches him that He delights in a continual fellowship which can take place any where other than the ‘holy place’. He is the God that is everywhere and you can call on Him in your inner room, he will hear. You can call on Him standing up or kneeling down, He hears. Anywhere you call upon Him, He will answer, and not because of the feelings you develop each time you go to the ‘holy place’, but because you trust Him, even when you do not see any sign. He teaches you that it is not the ‘method’ that works but He. He will want you to get attached to Him instead of to the works He does around you. The primary reason why God saved you is for fellowship. Every service you render to him is still within the fellowship. Look at the reason He chose the apostles:

“14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, 15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:” Mark 3:14-15 (KJV)

He called the twelve to be His regular companions and as they relate to Him, He sends then out to preach and teach. Any time somebody loses the fellowship which is the primary calling, the second part of the calling becomes of no kingdom value.

God can decide to wean His child and accustom him to things he was not familiar with because He wants him to grow and be a mature son who can handle issues of inheritance.

We have a lot of people in God’s service today who do not reflect their Master in character because we have rebelled against training. We refuse to entrust our lives into the hands of the Master Goldsmith so that we can be refined. Like soldiers that gave up in training and ran away, some of us have abandoned God’s dealings and ran away doing our ministry our own way. Like begets like and no wonder on the last day, the works will not survive (See 1Cor.3: 12-14). Whatever is not tested here is likely not to withstand God’s test on the last day. Decide from today to move forward in your Christian experience no matter what it may cost you.

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