Spiritual growth sometimes could be likened to the growth of a new child. When a child is born, no one demands anything, rather, all that’s expected is that the child should feed, pee on itself, poop on itself, cry over the smallest inconvenience and feed some more. But there is one important thing parents expect from a baby: GROWTH! With time, the child is expected to grow, not just increase in size, the child is expected to be able to take care of itself. For example, while it is normal for a child of 5 months to poop and pee on its own body, a child of 2 years is expected to pee when there is a need for it.
The same thing happens with spiritual growth too. No one gets born again and becomes perfect same day, no matter how moral, there will be moments of stumbling and times of mistakes. But then, we did not become a child of God by doing good, stumbling or making mistakes can’t disqualify us from being a son. We become God’s son by receiving the Spirit of adoption when we believe.
But there is a phase almost all if not all Christians go through. Sometimes, there is usually one thing that is of the flesh a son of God may be struggling with. Prevalent among the youth is fornication, masturbation or addiction to pornography. To some, it may be lying, cheating, gossiping/backbiting, selfishness, greed and much more.
Deep down, you know sin should not reign over your body, but then, when you are faced with this thing, you often crumble at its feet. You have repented so many times that when you fail, you are too ashamed to go to God, to pray or fellowship with the father.
This is the time the devil often tries to keep a child of God down. There are some lies the devil sells at these moments, lies that seems logical and almost normal and natural. If you buy these lies, you will no longer try to resist the devil, you would have submitted to him so much that you will not resist whenever he calls.
Your Pastors/Leaders are doing it
So you read a pastor you respected so much has been stealing church fund. Then a trusted church member told you the Sunday school superintendent that practically reeks of holiness had been siphoning government money to sponsor his expensive lifestyle. And here you are, a church worker without a title, faced with the temptation of cheating your business partner. The Holy Spirit bid you to tow the right part, but then you look at the pastor and Sunday school superintendent, you saw despite their sinful habits, they are still ministering with signs and wonder. So the devil tells you to get smart if they are still being used despite their sins, how much more you without anointing and responsibilities.
In another scenario, you are not even a worker in church but you love the Lord and loves his presence. But here you are, you have been struggling with fornication/masturbation for a while. Then one day, you heard the junior pastor that has been casting out demons and healing the sick has been sleeping with the choir mistress and now she is pregnant. You heard they even had sex the same day he ministered in church and many people even testified they got their healing as he was ministering. So you began to think, maybe the Holy Spirit is really that understanding. If they could wield power when sinning, then God will definitely understand and condone your masturbation, you are not even going all the way’, you thought to yourself.
You’ve read it in the bible that backbiting is a sin, but here is a pastor’s wife that you look up to, she could backbite and gossip for the whole of Africa’, so you thought maybe it is not wrong to gossip, as long as you sound spiritual.
If they could not fight it, You too can’t
Here is another lie the devil tell. You have been struggling with a particular sin for years, you have prayed, fasted, gone for counselling, yet no headway. Every time your pastor preaches against such sin, you feel guilt-stricken and weak. Then one day, you heard your pastor has been committing the same sin.
You know it’s wrong, your pastor knows it is wrong, yet he has been sinning. So in your mind, you concluded if the most respected man of God could fall into such sin, if he could not win the war against sin, then who are you? A boy of God like yourself. He made you accept you can not win, so you stopped resisting.
The devil will sell those lies to you, like Elijah, you will be convinced you are the only one that is trying to please the Lord. He will tell you if your pastors are doing it, then every believer have a secret sin they are indulging in.
He will attack your mind because he knows that is the place the battle could be won or lost. He knows if you could accept these lies, sin will become your master.
He won’t tell you about the book of Matthew 7:22-23 that says
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’.”
The devil will not tell you ‘For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Roman 11:29.
He will surely not tell you Jesus made it clear people will do signs and wonders in His name, people like that pastor, Sunday school superintendent, junior pastor, and choir mistress, yet, Jesus will reject them… why? Because though they called Him Lord, they were evil-doers. All the devil wants is that you will be carried away with their works, but neglect their walk with the Father.
Before you get deceived by the devil, remember 1Thess 4:4 that says: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor
And remember 2 Timothy 2:19 that says:
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
In a large house, there are articles not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Apostle Paul said follow me, even as I follow Christ, why will you continue to use the life of people with a tainted walk to determine your own walk?
The devil is a liar, don’t buy his lies.