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Br Dr. Richard Ing

October 11, 2009


Spiritual maturity in Christ is vital to survival in the end times.  In truth, we are in a race to perfection, end times or not.  1 Co. 9:24-27.  The very purpose of creation is for God to have perfect sons and daughters in the image of His Son, Jesus, and a perfect church, to become the bride of Christ.  Ro. 8:29; Eph. 4:11-16; Eph. 5:27; Rev. 19:7-9; Rev. 21:2-3; Rev. 22:17.  That should be the goal of every Christian.  It is the will of God for you and me.


Christians yearn for the gifts of the Spirit and great anointing to preach the gospel, heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead and do wondrous works for God.  They admire the early apostles that had great anointing to do signs and wonders, preach the gospel and hear from God.  That’s the model most saints have in the back of their mind.  If only God would somehow bestow upon them all the gifts and power they need to go out and be God’s mighty servant. 


Instead, the vast majority of Christians is resigned to the idea that they are just a run-of-the-mill member of the body of Christ and have no control over the anointing in their life.  They believe that God has not chosen them to be anointed.  They think it is God’s decision to give or not and they are one of the have-nots.  Multitudes of Christians go to church every Sunday, pay tithes faithfully and even pray, fast and read the Bible for years, but never seem to receive any gifts or anointing from God.  They spend fifty years diligently attending church services, Bible studies and church events, but never experience supernatural healings and deliverances.  They live and die as spiritual babies.  Even the fruit of the Spirit hardly ever manifests as a sign of maturity.  Gal. 5:22-23.


The four walls of a church is a safe place for most Christians.  They have become secure in the habit patterns they have about church and Christianity.  They are comfortable in their attitudes about God and religion.  But, they are bumps on a log and useless to the kingdom of God.  They haven’t brought anyone into the kingdom of God for years.  They have given up.




The key to spiritual maturity is simple – go out and preach the gospel of salvation.  Evangelism is God’s way of perfecting the saints.  Sharing the gospel with others, even family and friends, is a daunting task.  After all, one might be roundly rejected, shunned and looked down upon.  Sticking your neck out and telling people that they will go to hell if they do not accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior are not for the timid. 


A passion for evangelizing is the key or secret to growing in the Spirit.  God uses other ways to chasten, scourge and encourage, but without evangelism maturity is hard or maybe impossible to come by.


In the church, you will find friendly people that have things in common with you and who will accept and love you.  There is a feeling of well-being and safety.  Outside the four walls, there are multitudes of unfriendly, uncaring, rude and threatening people.  It is a scary wilderness.  But it is out in the wilderness that God tests His people.  Moses spent forty years as a shepherd in the wilderness while God was humbling and perfecting him.  Joseph spent years as a slave and a prisoner before God could truly use him.  Elijah lived in the wilderness next to the brook Cherith while his enemies were looking to kill him.  David spent years in the wilderness fleeing from King Saul.  They all learned to trust and obey God in the wilderness.  Faith, diligence, humility, submission, loyalty, goodness and the fruit of the Spirit are not learned in comfortable palaces and the good life.  It was under dangerous and uncomfortable situations that they matured in God.  I recall a story I read a long time ago.  It goes something like this:


            A young man (around 15 years of age) wanted to know all about life and to become a perfect man, so he became a monk and lived in a cave on a mountain.  The villagers considered him a holy man, so they brought him food and drink daily, and sometimes gifts of clothes and other items.  The young man meditated, chanted and thought about life for 15 years in the cave.  Finally, he decided that he understood life and its secrets.  He felt “enlightened.”  He changed into farmer’s clothes walked down the mountain into the nearest village and seeing some fruits in a market, he took them and started to eat.  He was used to being fed for free by the villagers.  Soon the owner of the fruits came out and began beating the monk with a stick and yelling, “Thief! Thief!”  The monk was arrested and forced to work at hard labor to pay back for the fruits he took.  After six months in prison, he was released. 


            The monk decided that he didn’t know enough about life yet and went back to his cave to meditate on life for another twenty years.   Finally, he decided that he was now ready to handle anything in the world.  He put on farmer’s clothes once again and walked into the village down the mountain.  There he saw a man beating a woman at the side of a road.  The monk took the stick away from the man and began beating the man and chasing him away.  He felt that what he did was a good thing.  But, the woman began to yell at him for chasing the man away.  “Now I belong to you!” she told the monk.  That man was my master and I belonged to him.  Now, I have nobody to take care of me.” 


            The monk ended up having to work very hard to feed the woman.  He couldn’t get rid of her.  In the end, he became a farmer like the rest of the people in the village, and had three children from her.  “Alas,” he concluded, “I didn’t learn anything about life in the cave.  I wasted all that time.  All I learned about handling life came from outside of the cave.  Life is suffering.”


The story applies to Christians too.  The church building is their cave.  They pray and study the Bible within the four walls of the church, but never learn about life and how to overcome the world while sitting in a pew and singing songs.  It is when they get outside of the four walls and interact with real people that they learn about how to live the Bible and overcome trials.   


It is when they take up their cross, confront the world, enter the battle and follow Jesus that they learn to embrace sufferings and trials.  God perfects His saints through chastening, tests and scourging.  Want to learn what love is, how to overcome fear, rejection and shyness?  Go preach to someone.  Want to learn to discern and experience the leading of the Holy Spirit?  Go out and evangelize.  Want to experience healing the sick, casting out demons and doing signs and wonders through the Holy Spirit?  Preach the cross.  Want to learn compassion, grace and mercy?  Go out into the wilderness and confront the devil.


No man can teach you these things.  As 1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” 


You can’t learn how to box or cook, swim or golf by just reading an instruction book.  It’s when you actually go out and do it that you learn.  Some things you can only learn through experience.  Reading the Bible can take you only so far.  The boldness to cast out devils, heal the sick, and raise the dead is learned through practice outside your personal cave.  Faith grows as you preach and minister the Word of God in the wilderness.  Evangelize all the time, and you will draw closer to God.


You can live a somewhat cheerful life by ignoring or avoiding evangelism, but you will never attain perfection in Jesus Christ without choosing the sufferings, rejections, tests and hardships that come with evangelizing in the world outside.  This is not to say that the only way God chastens and teaches you is to evangelize.  He uses other means too.  But other tests and trials can take you only part of the way.  Evangelizing takes you all the way to perfection.  Tests and trials here and there are like little tributaries, but evangelism is the main river to perfection in Christ. 


I can honestly say that all the anointing, wisdom and discernment I have today came from God and not man.  No one taught or gave me the anointing to heal, cast out devils or raise the dead, except God. No one laid hands on me and said, “Here is the anointing!”  Here and there, I received ideas and encouragement from men, but I never received the anointing I have now until I went out to the mission field to evangelize and teach.  No one took me by the hand and said, “This is the way.”  I had to stir it up myself.  It was scary and there were times when the anointing seemed non-existent; but even when it was not present I learned from it.  While I am not yet perfected, I know the path one must take.  That is the main reason why I have gone to many places in the world to minister.  Whenever I minister, the pressure is on to seek God and grow in the Spirit.  It is very lonely standing on a stage behind a podium as hundreds peer at you, expecting miracles and signs and wonders.  There were times when I didn’t feel like talking.  I was exhausted. I learned what Paul said: “It is when you are weak that God is strong in you.”  You learn something new each time you evangelize and minister healing, deliverance and counsel the broken-hearted and bruised.  There is no quicker and surer way than sharing the gospel of salvation.




The apostle Paul willingly gave up everything in his life to pursue perfection.  Phil. 3:4-11; Phil. 3:13-15.  It was through his many travels and efforts to tell the world about Christ that he underwent many tests and trials.  He intentionally embraced all the tests that preaching to the unsaved brought.  He had to endure rejection, beatings, death attempts, dangers in the sea, from robbers and even his own people in order to take the gospel to the world.  He knew that he was in a race to perfection. 

He understood what was in store if you dare to preach the cross.  2 Co. 4:7-18.  He knew that the sufferings were only temporary, but the rewards great.  In 2 Co. 6:1-10, Paul described a kind of knowledge that one can receive only through experience and a passion for evangelism.  He encouraged every Christian to follow his example.  Paul endured many things to preach the gospel.  2 Co. 11:23-30. 




You learn faith and how to rely on the Holy Spirit when you share Jesus with others.   You learn how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.  You feel it in your spirit.  Your faith begins to build every time someone comes to the Lord.  You become excited and begin to burn inside your heart for more.  You overcome fear.  You overcome rejection, shyness, fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of being laughed at, fear of people.  People can swear at you, spit in your face, threaten you, but you won’t care.  You become more skillful with the Word and in preaching the gospel of salvation.


God is in control.  He is not going to let you get hurt or tested beyond what you can handle.  You learn how to discern what spirits are bothering a person.  You discern when a person is ready to receive the Lord.  You know in your spirit when a person is not ready or is filled with pride.  You become more confident with each situation.  You learn to love, have compassion and grace for others.  You learn obedience to God, diligence and loyalty.


As you go further, the anointing increases.  You become bold in healing the sick, casting out devils, healing the broke- hearted, the bruised.  You see miracles daily – the deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk, the dead come to life.  Your anointing increases.  Your faith soars.  You know that God is with you as you evangelize your family, friends, neighbors and strangers.


You will never grow into maturity without embracing evangelism.  You can’t become a spiritual giant with great anointing to do these things without paying the price – to use these gifts and anointing wherever you go.  You learn through exercise of your gifts and calling.  Heb. 5:14. Evangelism must become your passion.




Whether nor not a person accepts Jesus, you have heaped up treasures in heaven.  Mt. 5:10-13.  You are the salt of the earth.  It is a win-win situation.


Yes, the world needs for you to preach Jesus to them, but you also need to preach the gospel to the world so you can grow into spiritual maturity in Christ.  No evangelism, no anointing; much evangelism, much anointing.  Where there is no evangelism, there is no boldness, no confidence, no faith, no anointing, no diligence, no real obedience, no confidence, no pleasing God, no growth in the Spirit.  If you fail, learn something from it, pick yourself up and go forward.  Do it again and again.


Do something.  Send tracts to all your friends and family through e-mail, or mail, call people on the phone, have lunch or dinner with someone you would like to share Jesus with, walk the neighborhood and say hello to neighbors, share things such as vegetables, fruits, and stories.  Join groups and clubs where the fish are.  Share more in church to get used to speaking in front of people.  Put Chick tracts around public places.  Talk to waitresses, make a plan and follow it.  Type out your testimony and spread it around.  Start a home discussion group.  Don’t sit around and do nothing.  Choose to evangelize.

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