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Off With The Old Man, On With The New

We live in a day and age where everyone wants everything instantly. We have fast food, instant food, instant coffee, instant 'get-rich' programs and through asceticism, this concept has been carried over into the church. People today are not content to wait upon the Lord for anything. They want instant spirituality, instant growth and all of the other promises of God without stopping to consider the scriptures which clearly say we are to be patient before the Lord, or the ones that say we will go through much tribulation to enter into the Kingdom of God, or this one, "all who want to live Godly lives in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted." (Find that one in your little scripture loaf of bread.) These things do not take place overnight, any more than maturity in Christ and understanding the deep things of God do.

It used to be said that it takes twenty years to make a man of God. I am not sure I agree with the twenty year figure, however I do know that it takes time to grow in your walk with the Lord, to put off the old man and it's carnal nature and put on the new man (knowledge) which will allow us to become all that God has called us to be in all areas.

The following is a short story that I pray will more clearly demonstrate that which is required by all of us. I ask you to remember but two things as you read: 1). the Word of the Lord says we are required to seek God with our entire mind, body, soul and spirit, and 2). if we seek him with all that we have and lay down our bodies upon the alter as living sacrifices, which is our reasonable service unto God, He will be found by us.

That, brothers and sisters, is the promise of God, and again, there is a prerequisite for every promise. What then is the prerequisite for this promise? Read on...

Many, many years ago there was a young man who felt called by the Lord to do the work of the ministry. He soon learned of a very powerful man of God who had started a school for those who believed they had been called to do the work of the Lord. He immediately signed up for and was accepted into this school. After approximately two weeks of going to classes and studying the Word of God with his teachers the young man became bored with the routine.

Each morning at 6:00 as the young man awoke and looked out his window toward the top of the mountain, he would see the man of God already there and on his knees, deep in prayer.

One day, being in a hurry as he always was, the young man decided to skip all of his classes and climb the mountain so that he might receive direction from the man of God himself, and wisdom on holiness, commitment and consecration unto the Lord. Shortly after starting up the mountain, the young man discovered it was much steeper than it originally looked and the sand, being very loose, was extremely slippery and treacherous, there being few branches or small trees to use as footholds. Despite this he continued to struggle up the mountain. At approximately 10:00 that morning he reached the top and found himself standing before the man of God, who, as usual, was deep in prayer.

Presently the man of God looked up at the young man and said, "My son, why have you chosen such a dangerous and reckless path? Had you but looked, you would have discovered that there is a very safe and sturdy staircase which was built about 200 yards from where you climbed up and leads directly up to this very platform." The young man answered, "I guess I just didn't take the time to look and see if there were another, simpler path, but now that I am here what I wanted was for you to show me how to obtain holiness, commitment and dedication that I may be totally and completely sold out to the Lord Jesus Christ." After hearing the young man out, the man of God arose and said only, "Follow me."

The young man's mind was racing with anticipation for he thought, "this man of God will now teach me the secret of how I may get to the place in God that he is at," and eagerly he followed after the man of God. Without saying a word, the man of God began the descent down the staircase, with the young man following closely behind. At the bottom they began to cross a narrow meadow. The young man thought to himself, "This is fabulous! The man of God is going to take me into the field where he will call fire down from heaven and I will be anointed and filled with holiness." But they passed through the field and the man of God continued on until, a short while later, they arrived at the edge of a river. The man of God walked out into the river until the water came up to his waist. By this time the young man's emotions were running wild within him for he thought, "Surely now I understand. He is going to baptize me and as I come up out of the water God will anoint me with the power of His Holy Spirit, and I will be as other men and women of God."

Just then the man of God called to the young man to come and join him in the water. Anxiously the young man waded out to where the man of God stood. He was very excited about being baptized and receiving power from God, so much so, that his mind could not possibly conceive of any other reason for this trip to the river. As he approached the man of God, he felt the man of God's hands on his shoulders, pushing him down into the water until he was completely submerged. He was filled with joy and anticipation as he crouched there underneath the water with the man of God's hands on his head. He thought, "I can hardly wait to come up that I might be heavily anointed and filled with power. Then I shall return to my classmates and teachers and show them how great I have become."

A minute or so passed by without the man of God raising the young man up out of the water, and the young man realized that he was becoming short of breath so he began to push himself up. To his surprise he found that the harder he pushed to stand up, the more the man of God held him under the water. Panicked now, he began to struggle with all he had to get out from under the water but the man of God, being much stronger than the young man, just held him there. Some two minutes passed by and the young man began to believe that he might die. He struggled and fought with all his might and suddenly, the man of God released his hold on the young man and pulled him up out of the water. He began to gasp for breath, taking in as much air as his lungs would hold. It took him a few minutes to replenish the oxygen in his body to the point that he could breathe normally and speak. When he had gotten his breath back he began to yell and scream at the man of God, "What do you think you are doing, you crazy old man? You could have killed me! Why did you hold me down for so long, you crazy old fool?" Finally, when he had finished yelling, cursing and screaming at the man of God, the man of God looked down at him and said, "My son, when you want and need God as badly as you wanted and needed that breath of air, come and see me again."

How many of us today are looking for the short cut to the anointing of God - the quick road to holiness? There is an easy way you know...for Jesus said, "Wide and easy is the road to hell and many will find it. But narrow is the path and difficult and filled with persecution that leads to heaven and eternal life with Me, and few there be who find it." (paraphrased)

Ask yourself which path you are on. There is an easy way to answer that question, for scripture says, "Anything that does not come from faith is sin," and "Without faith it is impossible to please God." How many things have you done today that were totally, absolutely based and rooted in faith, (those things which are unseen,) the new man acting on the truth, the Word of God, and how many were done because they are things you have always done? You didn't pray about them. You didn't ask God about them. You just did what you have always done. In other words, how many of you can say that your body is truly dead to sin and to the precepts and principles of this world (all of them,) or that your body is alive unto Christ in that He was able to use your body to do His will today? Could He use your body to go somewhere today? Could He use your mouth to minister to or pray for someone today? Can He ever? Answer this question truthfully and see if you be in the faith.

I leave you with these last words which are also the words of Jesus, for He said, "When I come will I find faith?" Will He find it within you?

May God bless you and give each and every one a supernatural revelation of the truth and of that which the Spirit is saying unto the church...

I remain your brother in Christ.

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