Morning Messages

HAVE YOU AGED OUT?

“Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!

Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, His Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does He do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust Him to do them in you? Don’t these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God. This is no new doctrine! And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. Scripture backs this up: “Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law.”

The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you. Habakkuk had it right: “The person who believes God, is set right by God—and that’s the real life.” 

Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.” Galatians‬ ‭3:1-14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

How does one age out? In this country and others, children with no sense of maturity about life and all it entails are aging out of the foster care system. Thrust into a world for which they have not been prepared to handle simply because they’ve “aged out.” Have you aged out of your relationship with Jesus? Have you had your fill of religion?  Have you become so disillusioned by everything that’s going on around you? Feeling as though life isn’t working? This Jesus stuff isn’t working out for you? Have you become so intellectually smart that “church and the Bible” are beneath you, that this Christianity stuff is for uneducated babies? That’s the mindset of a childish Christian. Have you aged out?

In the scripture reading above in another translation, Paul asked a very poignant question: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”Galatians‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭KJV‬‬ 

He was basically asking them, who had cast a spell on them, that they would so quickly turn away from the truth they had known, to follow or believe a lie? That’s what aging out does. It makes you think you’re able to take on life by yourself but you have no idea where you’ll end up. Most eighteen year olds aging out of the system haven’t got a clue about life. Most Christians haven’t got a clue about what their life in Christ involves either. They listen to every preacher, run to every conference, and because they lack discernment, are unable to tell what’s real and what’s false. Paul likens that to being tossed about by every wind of doctrine. Ephesians 4:13-14

Childish Christians have no idea of the personal cost of following Jesus. At the first sign of testing they give up and run like babies. “I didn’t sign up for this,” they say. Well what did you sign up for? It is no secret that we must face trials and testing. But if you’re thrust out before you have matured as a believer then the opportunity to be deceived will be  present. Paul asked the Galatians. “ How did you receive the Spirit? Was it by the works of the law (flesh) or by believing what you heard? Are you trying to maintain by the flesh what you received by the Spirit? Our answers will indicate whether we’ve aged out or in.

Jesus’ followers never age out, as a matter of fact, the example He set forth for us was one of little children. He was letting us know that children are forever learning and maturing. No matter how old we are chronologically, it is irrelevant to our spiritual maturity. Age has nothing to do with it. He said “ except we become as little children we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” Matthew 18:3 He said we had to humble ourselves as little children. So have you aged out? If you have, you have cut yourself off from experiencing true maturity in Christ. God has no grandchildren but He does welcome and cherish ninety year old children. Whether you receive Him at the age of six or a hundred and six, you’ll still be His little  children. Even John the apostle referred to his hearers as my dear children. See 1 John 1-5

Spiritual maturity has less to do with how old you are, and more to do with how childlike you are in your walk with Jesus. It takes childlike faith to believe that Jesus is who He says He is, has done what He said He’d do, and is coming back again. A child believes that you as a parent can kiss pain away. They believe a bandaid can heal anything. Lol. When we exercise childlike trust in God and His Word, we bring heaven to earth in response to our present need. Jesus often said in response to fear: “Just believe “ stop being a grownup for one second, get out of your head, have faith like a child and believe. You’ll never age out if you live with childlike faith. Notice I didn’t say childish I said childlike. There is a difference.

The apostle Paul said these words: let’s read. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” ‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

We’re mature yet childlike. Jesus wants us trusting Him without inhibitions. He wants us to believe every Word He says. He understands that aging out is the trick of the enemy. The enemy wants us going back to self sufficiency, he wants us to grow bored and weary in our walk with Jesus. Paul saw that happening with the Galatians and sounded the alarm. The Holy Spirit is sounding the alarm today. Don’t fall back into the old pattern of the flesh. What was begun in the Spirit cannot be sustained by the flesh. Only God can bring us to maturity, and purely by the preaching and teaching of His Word. What you once heard and believed by the Word, don’t discard by looking back to old doctrines of works to maintain your relationship with Jesus. Don’t age out -age in.

We have been justified by faith alone, faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. He will never turn you out. You will never be too old for God’s kingdom purposes. You can never be too young either. Paul told Timothy:

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I repeat: your maturity in Christ is ageless. The more you develop in Christ, the more childlike you become in your faith in Him. Childlikeness makes us attractive to the world. Our confidence in Christ makes us greater witnesses for Him. Self confidence or self reliance, as a matter of fact, anything that dominated by “self” needs to be avoided at all costs. That’s what got us in trouble in the first place. Adam and Eve put self before obedience and we’re still paying a heavy price. But Christ, the Anointed One, has redeemed us from the curse, becoming sin for us, taking on the curses associated with disobedience and calls us to be children of the light. God represents Himself in scripture as Father, always caring for His children. If you’ve aged out then you’re on your own. If you’ve aged in, He’ll always be Daddy and we’ll always be His little children. It’s not about age it’s about faith. It’s about believing faith. Trusting even when we cannot see.

If you as a parent tell your young child to wait for you, They will stay at that spot whether you come back or not. Many children have been abandoned by those words: “ I’ll be right back.” My mother did that to me at the age of four. My Heavenly Father has kept every promise. This is why I can trust that Jesus is coming back. I’m sixty-three years old and I still climb on His lap, lay my head on His chest and let Him love me and I reciprocate by loving Him back, like a child. I’m never too old to be loved on. I’m never too old to climb on His lap and to trust His promises no matter how long they may take. I’ve aged into His never ending love and grace. Thank God He never ever put us out to pasture. At the end of our childhood days He welcomes us home. 

Don’t swallow the devil’s lies. We’re not a part of a family that ages out. The longer we serve Him the sweeter He grows. Run to Him with childlike faith. I told you we’re in a backwards kingdom. His children never grow up enough to leave, as a matter of fact the older we get the more we cling to Him. Hallelujah! Discover the joys of being a little child again in Abba’s presence. 

Father in the precious Name of Jesus, I praise you for welcoming me as your little child. I don’t want to grow up if it means growing out of love and fellowship with You. I don’t want to grow up if it means I stop experiencing the warmth of Your presence. Keep me in Your love as I mature in my walk with You. Thank you for reminding me that growing up doesn’t mean aging out. I’m Your forever child. In Jesus Name.

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew‬ ‭18:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

W. Tennant

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit 

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