Three Keys to Family Membership

Today we’re jumping into our Mount Carmel Church series family matters. We’re doing week two, the sermon notes are in your worship guide if you like to use the paper or you can get on YouVersion Bible App if you’re more of a techie. Let’s open up our bibles today to Ephesians chapter 2. Woo. Yes. Why do we do that, we’re just excited about Jesus. We Think he’s the most exciting thing in the world, so glad to have you with us today. Last week we talked about this, Easter Sunday, we kicked off our family matters series. I gave you three keys to family membership. Three “o’s”. You remember the three “o’s” you get bonus points, super bonus points if you remember the three o’s. The first one was opportunity that this has to be made available to us. We can’t be a part of the family of God unless It’s made available to us. That Jesus made it available to us. That’s the first, “o”, the second “o” is that it’s optional; that love and relationship involves and requires a choice.

We’ve got a choice whether we want to be in the family of God or not. God says, Hey, I’d love for you to be a part of my family, but it’s up to you. It’s your call. I love you unconditionally, but you have the option to reject me, if you want to. Man, that’s a lot of love. That’s a lot of love, that can love people that may not love you back. I don’t have that level on my own. It takes God’s love in me, for me to have that. I want to love the people that love me. Let’s just be honest right here, if you don’t love me, I don’t like you. Just kidding, but that’s what it is like without God’s love, right? Maybe that was too honest, maybe we should just keep the veil on a pretend like I like everybody. So, now the third “o” is about being open, we have to open our heart and accept what God has offered. So that was last week.

Household of God

But today we’re going to look at the different roles in the family and how those roles impact not only our relationships in our house and our family setting, but also how it impacts our relationship with Jesus. So, if you’ve got Ephesians chapter 2, let’s take a look at it. I’m gonna Start Reading in verse 11 a lot of scriptures here. I’m just going to build something and, and we’ll land here at the end. Here’s verse 11, this is the apostle Paul writing to the church in Ephesus, and he writes these words. Therefore remember that you, talking to us, talking to them specifically then, but he’s talking to us in 2019, that you once gentiles or non-Jews, non-believers, in the flesh- who are called uncircumcision by what’s called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Paul just wants to make it straight out understood that if we do not have God, we do not have hope. If we’re in a world without God, we’re in a world without hope. God is the only hope we have for our world. We can’t put our hope in political parties. We can’t put our hope in certain people. Our only hope has to be in God. Just checking, making sure you understood what he was saying there.

The next scripture says, but now in Christ Jesus, anybody ever have those moments where you were with without hope, but now? You’ve got to have one of those “But now” moments, those moments where you feel overwhelmed by fear, discouragement, disappointment. It’s like I have no hope. I don’t know if this is ever going to turn around. I don’t know if it’s ever going to get better. I don’t know if it’s ever going to change, but now! This is the way I was, but now, God has done something in my life. We need some but now’s, some, but now’s, maybe when you raised that, Hallelujah, when you don’t feel like singing. See we’ve got to realize in our life that sometimes we’re going to praise God when we don’t feel like it. Those but now’s aren’t that my feelings change it’s my decision changed. This is how I felt like I had no hope, but now I’m in Christ Jesus. That’s not the Mount Carmel Church sermon, but I’m just throwing that out for free, sorry. but now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off, been brought near by the blood of Christ. Check out this part, for he himself, Jesus is our peace who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in himself, in Jesus, one new man from the two, thus making peace. That he, Jesus, might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

In other words, the division between God and man because of sin, There’s this gap between God and man. Jesus came and preached peace and brought a, took away the division between God and man. He came and preached peace to you were far off to those who were near for through him. We both have access by one spirit to the father. How do we get to the father? We get to the father through Jesus. How do we get to heaven? Through Jesus. It’s not through my good deeds, it’s not through my good morality, it’s not because I’m a good person and God will probably send me to heaven, no. The only way I go to heaven is through relationship with Jesus Christ. Attendance in church, does it get me to heaven? I can come to church every single Sunday and never make it into heaven. It is through Jesus. Just making sure we understand the process. Now, verse 19, this is important, now therefore, so because of all that Jesus did, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

I want to stop right there, that you’re now no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints of God and members of the household of God. Look at that phrase, household of God, Words literally means member of a family means one who belongs to a particular household. So, isn’t that pretty cool, that God has a household, there’s a household of God, how he wants you to be a part of the household of God. I think could be a great place to live in God’s house Now we call it church God’s house, but there’s a household of God. There’s a membership, there’s a family, and we’re going to take a look at the three primary roles of members of the household of God in the upcoming weeks, so you can tell people to come back over these next three weeks because we want to talk about three different roles of the members of the household of God.

Son or Daughter Role – Dependency

The first one we’ll talk about today is the son or daughter role. That’s about dependency. We’ll go into detail on that today. The next one is the spouse. That’s about deference, you’re like deference, what is that? You’ll love that word, you may not love that word, but come back next week and hear about what that means to be a spouse and what it means to have difference in that relationship. Thirdly, there’s the parent role, so three roles in the household, and this is in the natural and in the spiritual and the natural in our homes.

You’re either a son or a daughter, you’re a spouse or you’re a parent, right? We’ll see. It’s also that way. Spiritually. We’ll talk about how that applies in a relationship with Jesus as well as in the home. Now in the natural, you may be a spouse, but not a parent yet or you may be a parent and not a spouse right now, but one thing we all have in common, every single one of us is we are all sons and daughters. Whether I have a relationship with my parents or not, whether I even know who they are, every single one of us are a son or a daughter. That’s the road we’re going to talk about first. So, let’s take a look at it. The son or daughter role is about dependency. The word dependent means relying on or subject to one another, subject to one another. Now we all have this in common naturally cause we’re all sons and daughters, but we all have this in common spiritually. In our household I’m a parent role and I’ve got five kids, but spiritually we’re all on the same level playing field with God, that we are all sons and daughters of God, because God doesn’t have grandchildren. He doesn’t have any grandchildren; all He has his children.

So, when it comes to God, me and my children were on the same level so that we all have to have a relationship with God as sons or daughters. they don’t have to say its God dad, me, no, it’s God and them, their relationship with Jesus. My relationship with Jesus doesn’t do anything for them other than give them something to model but they have to have their own. They’re right under Jesus in the relationship with him so we all have the son or daughter role. In that context. It is the first and most important role in the household, the son or daughter role and if you say, well I’m a parent so you don’t think of yourself, you need to realize you are a son or daughter first and this is why it’s the most important role. I am a husband and I’m a father, but I was a son first. That’s good. I became a husband in 1998, I became a father for the first time in 1999 and so I was a husband and a father, but I was a son long before for that, a few years before that. So now here’s what comes from this stage, knowing who we are as a son or daughter is essential to our success spiritually and naturally, our identity comes from the son or daughter role.

Our identity, who we are, comes from it. Here’s what I mean. Misconceptions in this role will lead to misrepresentations in the other two roles. Here’s what I mean by that, If I don’t understand my role as a son of God, then it will drastically impact my role as a husband. If I don’t get my role right as a son of God, I will not get my role right as a parent. Everything that I need to do successfully in life comes from my identity as a son. When I know who I am in Jesus, I will be a better husband, when I try and be a good husband and not concentrate on being a son of God. I’ll tell you, when I screw up, I can tell you a lot of ways I screw up, but here’s how Chad Everett screws up mainly, when I try to be one of those roles outside of my dependency on Jesus. This is why that role is about dependency, because in this stage you got to learn to be dependent on something bigger than yourself.

When I’m not dependent on my relationship with Jesus and I try and be a husband, just because I think I got some things figured out and I know women been married 21 years, I know women, I don’t have to tell you how that’s going to end up. It’s never good. It’s never good. because what happens when I understand and operate out of a place of son ship, my identity is there, and I’m not looking for my wife to give me identity. I’m gonna preach to somebody, you see, when I operate out of that role as a son of God, I’m not looking to my kids for my identity. I’ve had to deal with more rejection as a parent, than I ever did, as a kid. Cause I’m like, why, what, what happened? You as they go through stages, we’ll talk about this more, I better move off of that I’ll get hung up at that point. We’ll talk about that. So, for this role is very important, that I’m depending on Jesus it impacts every other. So, we’re going to talk about just the son or daughter role.

Alright, so check this out, There’s three stages to the son or daughter role. I like everything in threes. The Trinity: Father, Son, the Holy Spirit, this whole world is surrounded with threes. I don’t know why you don’t see them everywhere. It’s all threes. So, Here’s the three stages for the son or daughter role: 1. there’s the baby stage, that stage is about exposure. 2. there’s the child’s stage, that’s about exercise. 3. that’s the adult stage, and that’s about excelling. You see what I did there, Mount Carmel church? Are you appreciating my alliteration? I, Chad Everett, work hard for this, no just kidding, but see, here’s what he talks about. The baby stage, it’s about exposure, the child stage is about exercise, and the adult stage is about excelling. Now we’re all in the natural, these three stages in the natural, in your existence. We’re in all three of these stages. For a certain period of time. You’re only a baby for a certain amount of time, In the natural. I’m not talking about behavior; I’m talking about in the natural. You’re only baby, You’re only a child for so long. You’re only then you go into adult stage. So, we move in these stages over time, but spiritually, check this out, this is so important, spiritually, we move in and out of all three of these stages constantly. Naturally, I’m only in this stage for a certain period of time, but spiritually I need to visit all three of these stages on the regular and I’ll explain what I mean by that.

Baby Stage – Expose

So, let’s look at this first stage, baby, it’s about exposing. The word Exposed means: to make known, to bring something to light, to cause it to be visible, to be open to view. This initial stage is about awareness. It’s about seeing things for the first time, becoming aware of something for the first time. When a child is first born into the world, they’re born with their eyes closed. So, they’re born into the world, their eyes closed and at some point, they open their eyes and they see this new world, for the first time. They see this world and now they begin to experience this new world. They start to learn this new world. They don’t know anything. They come out babies and they start seeing, they can’t do anything for themselves; They need help. The child’s brain develops faster in the first five years of their existence than they do in any other time of their lives. 90% of a child’s brain is developed by the age of five. I know you probably know people that you don’t think that’s true, that their brain has developed that fast, but if 90% of the brain was developed by the age of five, but babies are constantly exposed to new information. They’re curious, they’re adventurous, they’re playful, they’re always learning. If You watch a little toddler, a little baby, they’re always learning. They’re figuring out things, little things. The first time they figured out how to put their fingers together, they look at their hand and they, they start figuring out how to touch they, they’re raw, they can’t do anything. They need help. They need someone. That’s why they’re dependent on someone else. When they come out, they can’t eat for themselves; They need someone to feed them. They can’t go to the closet and pick out something to where you, you’ve got to clothe them. They’re totally dependent on someone else in this is the baby stage.

We have to be willing to be dependent on someone else. I remember when my first child was born, 1999 and, and you know this is the first one, I’ve never been a parent before. And so, uh, so you got that first time in the hospital and they put them in that little bed thing there and you got the drawers underneath, It’s a mobile thing they rolled around, and so I put them in there, and they, you know how many has ever seen that first doo doo, you know what I’m talking about? You know that first one, that you could tar a roof with, That’s the one I’m talking about. If you haven’t changed the very first diaper for any child, then you have no idea what I’m talking about, but if you have, that first bm, if you will, that first exodus, it’s an incredible experience. So, I thought as a dad, is that too much for you? Sorry. I thought as Super Dad, first time like, you know what babe? I got this. I’ll take the first one. I want to be one of those. I had no idea. Nobody told me, no one educated me, on the first one. So, I’m diving in, you know, we smelled like, oh there it is. They told us this is a good thing. You know that first movement, we’re excited about it. So, I thought I was supposed to be excited about it but then I took the thing off and I wasn’t excited anymore because I looked at it and I’m like whoa, wow. So, I look under the cabinet for something to clean it up with and this is back 1999 so all they had was cotton balls. Okay, so I reach in, grab me a handful of cotton balls. Okay, the cottons sticking to everything and I’m not, it was a mess. It’s like, anybody got a wipe here, maybe a putty knife, something? I need to get something. When a baby’s first born, they can’t do anything for themselves. They need somebody to help them. Same thing spiritually. We understand that in the natural, right? Same thing in the spiritual.

Look what John says in John Chapter 3, if we’re going to be a part of the household of God, we’ve got to be born into it. We were born into this world through a woman. We’ve got to be born into the household of God. Just because I’m breathing doesn’t mean I’m a member of the household of God. Here’s what Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 he said, most of the surely, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God, cannot see the Kingdom of God goes on down. He said, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God just like a baby’s born into this world. They’re eyes are open. They see the world for the first time, they have to learn and experience, when someone is born again, they’re a baby. They see the Kingdom of God, which just means the ways of God, the system of God. They begin to see it for the first time. When you’re born into God’s world, it’s a whole new world, from this world. When you’re born into God’s system his way, he says to love your enemies, bless those who curse you do good to those who hate you. It’s a whole new world and when you first opened your eyes to that new world, you have no idea. You begin to learn, it’s exposure. It’s learning that when you’re a first born again, some people make the mistake that once they’re born again, that’s it. I got saved, so I guess I’m just going to hang on until Jesus comes back or till, I die and go to heaven. No, you’re just beginning.

Once you’re born again, you just get started. It’d be weird if we would look at a baby that was just newborn and say, hey, that’s awesome, we’ll leave you here, someday you’ll be an adult. We wouldn’t do that to a baby; We help them, we develop them. This is the same way spiritually; this baby stage is about being exposed to the new things God wants to do in your life and growing up in that. Look, how do we grow? How do you grow in this system? 1 Peter 2:2 says it this way, as newborn babes desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby. Now the word grow means to increase or achieve the highest position. Let me say it to you this way. Here’s the strategy of the enemy right now.

The strategy of the enemy has tried to convince church people, Christians, followers of Jesus, that you can have a relationship with God without the Bible. That’s his go to move, to get you say, you know what? just going to church is good You don’t have to read your Bible. You don’t have time; you don’t have time to read your Bible. You got to make sure and stay up to date on your Instagram feed. You don’t have time to read the Bible. Here’s the strategy. Why does the devil want to keep you and I from reading the Bible? Because he doesn’t want us to grow. He knows that the scripture is true, that when we begin to read the Bible, it helps us to grow and develop. Notice what it says, that you grow thereby, by the word. How am I going to grow from being a baby when I get born again?

The first thing we need to do is have a relationship with a Bible. Have a relationship with the word of God. If you’ve stopped reading the word, if you stop reading the Bible for any reason, you need to pick it back up again because our growth is going to be stunted by our lack of biblical application in our life. It’s our food. It’s our nourishment. So, you need to get to, here’s the practical points, right? Get your devotional, gets you a devotional. Maybe take you through an old testament scripture, a new testament scripture, and a Psalm. Sit down every morning, read through those scriptures, pray beforehand. Say, God, show me something in your word, as you read through those scriptures. You say, alright, God, what are the things that you wanted to highlight to me and speak to me, out of those scriptures? It may take you 15-20 minutes, but you spend some time in the word, spend some time growing because that’s how we’re going to grow and the baby’s stages. So, it’s about exposure.

Child Stage – Exercise

Let’s look at the next stage. The child’s stage, It’s about exercise. The word exercise means the act of bringing into play or realizing an action at this stage, is when you begin to put into practice to the things that you’ve learned. Look at Hebrews chapter 5, I’ll read this to you and then we’ll talk about it. For though, by this time, you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk, is unskilled in the word of righteousness, he is a babe. Notice what’s happened. This is someone who’s a believer. They are a follower of Jesus, but they don’t have a relationship with the word, so they’re unskilled that word unskilled means they’re inexperienced, they’re unacquainted with. They don’t have a working knowledge of the Kingdom of God, of the principles of God, so now they’re just a baby. Doesn’t mean they’re not going to heaven. It doesn’t mean they’re not safe. It just means they’re not going to be able to walk in everything Jesus wants them to walk in they are unskilled, in the word of righteousness. He says they’re not equipped.

So, you’ve got to grow past this. So next he says, verse 14, but solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Here’s the verse that’s very important about this stage. The children’s stage, It’s about exercise. What does that mean? If you’re going to see the results physically of exercise, you have to do it continually. How many would love is if you went out an exercise once a month, that you would be in the best shape of your life? Would that be awesome? But exercise doesn’t work that way. Exercise means you have to consistently apply. You have to consistently exert force against resistance.

The child’s stage, he says, the only way you’re going to grow is by reason of use. That word use means systematic training. Practicing again and again and again. You will have your senses, your ability to understand, recognize, or exercise. It’ll be trained. So, here’s what happens at the child stage in the natural. Parents, you’ll, relate to this. The child’s stage is when you expose your baby to all this information and they start having their own opinion. You know when you first started telling him stuff, they just do whatever you want and yeah, yeah, yeah. At this stage, you start telling them, hey, I need you to do this and their like, hmm, and this could start very early. This could start when you’re still calling them in the months age, you know when you won’t call your kids by years yet? You need to stop doing that when it’s about 48 months, you’ll go ahead and say they’re four years old. Then all of a sudden, they say, no, or I don’t want that. So, this child state, it’s not bad. What’s happening is the child is starting to exercise their will in conjunction with what they’ve been exposed to. Your will is not a bad thing. Your will is a gift from God. God doesn’t want to break your will. He wants to shape your will. He wants to mold your will. He wants your will to adapt to his.

So, I want my kids to have a strong will. I want them to have a strong determination, but I want them to adapt a value that God wants them to do in their life. So, this exercising is about, you begin to push against, you begin to say, Hey, this is what you ought to do. This is what I’m showing you, but in this stage, you begin to say, okay, this is what I think, I’m not sure if this is what you’re saying. You begin to exercise You’re will in accordance with theirs. So now, spiritual application, because we all said, well, I’m not a child anymore. Well, we all are in the stages, because there’s a time when God exposes you and I to a new truth, He exposes you to something brand new, you’ve never seen before. Never heard before. He tells you something, a new secret. He whispers this into your ear, in that moment, and you’ve got to decide. because here’s what happens, the child doesn’t know what the parents know. Anybody ever felt like you knew something, your kids didn’t know yet? You’re like, you’ve been there, done that, bought the tee shirt and you’re trying to explain it to them and they’re like, I don’t see what you’re talking about. That’s ridiculous, that’d never happen, you don’t know what you’re talking about, you don’t understand. Right? I understand.

Be careful before we get on our kids because it’s the same thing, we tell God when he’s tells us something says, Chad Everett, I need you to do this and I want you to do that. And I go, well, I don’t see how that’s going to happen. That doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t. You don’t understand God, what I’m dealing with here. You don’t understand my problems. You don’t understand. We tell him the same thing. So, in this child stage is when God asks me to bring my will into alignment with his and I have to exercise faith and I have to do it over and over and over, I have to do it consistently, If I’m going to grow. Here’s the problem. I’ll hold that thought, remind me to tell you about the problem. So, let’s go to the next one. Ephesians chapter 6 says this, children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. That word obey means to hear under, listen attentively, and obey, and it’s easy for us to use this scripture and pound it into our kids. Children obey your parents, just like some men only know one scripture out of the whole Bible and its wives submit to your husbands and they beat it over their head. You’re supposed to submit to me. Yeah, no, not like that, I’m not.

So, you got to understand this, Children obey, what that means, is to listen under. There is a stage in your life, children in the natural, this is why you need to value your parent’s opinion. You need to value and notice what it says. Children obey your parents in the Lord. If they’re giving you godly advice, even if you don’t see it, there’s a season in your life that you need to listen under them, even if you don’t understand everything, even if you don’t agree with everything, even if you don’t see how its going to turn out. You need to listen and obey because God says, you’re honoring me, when you honor your parents. But now the same thing God asks us to do to him, everything that God asks us to do with our children, he’s asking us to play that role and be the child to him, that when he asked me to obey, I don’t ask questions, I just do what he tells me to do. That’s the child stage.

Adult Stage – Excel

Let’s go to the third stage and I’ll tie all these together. The adult stages about excelling. So, we’ve got exposure, we’re exercising, and now we’re excelling. The word excel means to be superior, to surpass in accomplishment or achievement, And I’ll give you Ephesians chapter 4, just for time’s sake, I’ll read there in verse 13 says, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the some son of God to a perfect man or a perfect woman, doesn’t mean without flaws, perfect, doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes. If perfect means, I don’t make mistakes, I will never fit this bill. What it means is to come to maturity, to full age, to be fully accomplished. So, here’s the goal, in the adult stage. In Romans 8:14 he says, as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God. We’re growing into it. So now let’s put these three stages together.

The baby stage, it’s about exposure. We understand this in the natural. You’ve got a baby that’s dependent on someone else. We got the child’s stage; it’s about exercising and practicing. Now we’ve got the adult stage, which is about excelling. Now, let me bring it to us all from a spiritual standpoint. Every single one of us need to understand, we have to be able and open to operate in all three stages spiritually with God. We have to be willing to be exposed to something new, to look for new things in God. Sometimes we see ourselves only in one role. I’ll do it this way, sometimes, we can get in the adult stage and we get where we’ve got some things figured out and we get stuck in that stage because we won’t want to be a baby again and expose ourselves to something new. You ever been in that place where you, sometimes people get old and crotchety, you know what I’m talking about? They won’t do anything new anymore. They just stick with their old same thing? That’s a good way to get old quick, when we’re not willing to be exposed to something new. Your age cannot determine your exposure to something new. It has to be a heart thing. This is why in the adult stage we got to be willing to learn from the people in the baby stage because the people in the baby stage, they’re open to play.

Let’s do something new, Let’s do something fun. Hey, I want to watch TV. Come on Dad, let’s go out and play. Nah, its alright, you guys go do that and I’ll just sit here for a while. We gotta be willing to learn, I’m not going to grow unless I understand that, hey, people in the baby stage, they’re supposed to spur me on to new energy and people in the baby stage need to be willing to learn from the people in the adult stage, because there’s some areas of my life I’ve reached maturity and that God has blessed me and I’ve gotten there, but here’s what we got to understand. Here’s where I’ve made a mistake. Here’s the problem. Remember? You forgot to remind me of the problem. I made a mistake as a parent; I want to rectify. I’ve got five kids, I’ve got one in college, one getting ready to go.

I’ve made a mistake as a pastor, Mount Carmel Church. I have not talked openly enough to my kids or to my church about the process, the pain of the process. I don’t want my kids to think that I got to the adult stage in certain areas, and not know, that I went through the baby stage and the child’s stage, where I spent years exercising, exercising, exercising, battling thoughts, battling weakness, overcoming fear, overcoming insecurity, overcoming problems, saying yes to God. Every day when my flesh wanted to run away, when I wanted to quit, when I wanted to give up over and over and over until I finally get to a place of maturity in that area. It’s a process and it hurts sometimes, it’s challenging.

You can’t look at other people and say, wow, I wish I was like them. You don’t know. You don’t know what it took for them to get there. You don’t know what pain is in the process. I want to be more transparent about if we’re going to grow in our relationship with God. We got to stop talking about just the arrival points and we need to talk about the journey points because what happens, you hear me talk about arrival points. We get hyped up and then you go home and you realize you’re still in the journey point and we get discouraged and say, well, you were talking about this and that and I’m experiencing this, so evidently  I’m not a very good man, evidently I’m not a very good woman.

You just may be at a different stage. You just may need to keep exercising. You just may need to keep working. But see, if I’m in that adult stage, I gotta realize there’s times in my life God’s going to say to me, Chad Everett, I want you to branch out and I want to expose you to something new. Something new? Yes, it’s something you’ve never seen before. Well, if I’ve never seen it before, I don’t understand it. I know. It’s called being willing to be dependent and be vulnerable and say, Daddy, I need you, please clean up my messes, as I journey into something new and I get into the process, now God’s exposed me to it. Now what am I going to do with it? Am I going to put my effort into it? Am I going to exercise? Am I going to exert force against resistance? Because the first time you try something new, the enemy’s going to come slap you in the face and say you can’t do it, so, we have a choice, in that moment. What am I going to say, am I going to quit,  am I going to give up or I’m going to keep pushing back. I’m going to keep for the first time you get on the treadmill and you start running.

Guess what? That treadmill. God bless you. It’s like, Whoa, Whoa, 30 seconds. That was awesome, man. Woo. Knocked it out. But see, we want to get on there and think we ought to be able to run forever instead of starting with 30 seconds. The same thing spiritually in our relationship with God, we got to be willing to get on the treadmill with God and exercise. I’m going to practice good thoughts, today; I’m going to practice loving thoughts, today. I’m gonna practice not cussing anybody out before noon today. I’m gonna practice. I’m gonna exercise, well see, the problem is, we as believers, once we get mature in an area, and I’m talking to myself because sometimes in my moments of parenting, I don’t know if this is true for you.

Wisdom & Experience

Sometimes in my moments of parenting, I will say something and it’s like the Lord would say to me, Hmm? Short memory, don’t you? Said, it wasn’t that long ago, I was saying the same thing to you, bone head. Maybe he didn’t call me bonehead, I’m just feeling like I’m trying to make a point. So, I got to remember that once, I was young, once I was naive, once I didn’t know, once I was trying to exercise my will and my parents were telling me something and I didn’t know if I believed them or not. I got to find out for myself, but how many knows this is true? Wisdom before experience is better than wisdom after experience. There are some things we learn after we go through things and I’m thankful for that, It’s part of it, and I’m all for that, but if I can get a bit of wisdom from somebody that’s been there so that I don’t have to go through there, then why wouldn’t I take it? So, I want to encourage somebody, that you see yourself stuck in a stage. Maybe you’ve been exposed to something new, you’re at the baby stage, but when you realize you’ve got to actually put it to practice, I can give you a message, but if you don’t put it to practice and actually apply it and exercise resistance, the enemy’s going to mop the floor with us.

Every time we try something new, we get stuck in this child stage and we realize we got to work at it. Being an overcoming Christian, too many times we’ve been, either intentionally or unintentionally led to believe that it is not a struggle, It’s hard. There’s times that If you’re going to be successful, you got to do it. The same way, If you’re going to lift weights or exercise. If you’re gonna go out there and walk for two miles of a morning, whatever you’re going to do, it’s going to take you exerting some force against resistance. If you’re going to reshape your mind to bring your will under the authority of Kingdom of Jesus, it’s gonna take some effort. So don’t get stuck in the exercise stage. Some people try and exercise stage and the child’s stage and as soon as they fail, they think that’s it. I can’t do it. I’ve been there. I’m still in the child’s stage in some areas right now. I’m in the baby stage. Some areas right now, but here’s, here’s what we got to be open to. You feel me?

If we’re in the adult stage in an area we gotta be willing to be taught and learn from someone in the baby stage, or let’s say it this way, if I’m in the baby stage of an area and someone else is on the adult stage in that area, I’ve got to listen to them. God May try to call you into a baby stage where He’s wanting you to learn something new and you’re like, nope, I’m comfortable in my adult state. Here’s what I’m sure about. Here’s what I’m confident about, and God says, wait a minute, this person over there, I want you to be involved, I want you to go in that stage, and we’ve got to say, I want exposure to something new. I want exposure to something new. Jesus open my eyes to see something new,open my eyes to see a new side of God. Well, I know this about God, I’m comfortable there. I know, but how many know that God’s pretty big when we get to the place that we think we’ve figured Him out, It’s a dangerous place to be, because he’s huge. He always wants to take me out of my comfort zone because he always wants me to grow. Growth and comfort do not go together. Is anybody hearing me? I want us to grow.

Life Application

So let me close with this, I don’t know what stage you’re in, but I know this, you’re in all three stages, in some area of your life, all three. Some of you are an adult stage, in an area that I may be in a baby and I need to learn from you. You’re better at something. you’ve gotten to a place and I need to be vulnerable. I need to be open to say, you know what? I need to learn that there’s areas that I’m in the child stage still, I’m working at it, I’m exercising, I’m working on stuff, still. I want my kids to know, I want my church to know, I’m still growing, I’m still exercising, I’m trying to figure this thing out. I’m growing in my relationship with God, I’m reading the Bible, not just wanting to preach sermons. It’s because I’m trying to grow into a better husband, I’m trying to grow into a better father, I’m trying to grow into a better son. I need to know that I am a son of God first and out of that relationship with him, you need to know you’re a son or a daughter of God and out of that relationship, every part of your life grows from there.

Thanks so much for watching with this. This is Chad Everett and we love our online Mount Carmel Church family and we invite you to connect with us.