Coming Of Age

In the movie The Penguins of Madagascar, as the shell of “Private” (the youngest member of the swashbuckling gang of penguins) hatches, “Skipper” (the leader of the team) whispers in awe: “The miracle of birth!”

Whether it’s bringing forth another human into this world through blood and sweat or the bloodless division of one cell to produce two daughter cells, the presence of two where there was once one is something beautiful to behold; a miracle indeed.

Becoming born again is no less a miracle. In fact, some say it’s the biggest miracle that could happen to a person. Jesus himself said there is a whole party thrown in heaven whenever someone is born into the family of God (Luke 15:7).

But as beautiful as being born is, it quickly becomes a cause of concern if there is no form of growth. In the human body, if all a cell does is divide and give rise to new cells that refuse to mature but continue to receive nourishment from the body, there is cause for concern (especially for the physician) as those kind of cells are cancer cells (until proven otherwise).

Becoming born again – beautiful as it is – is not the end. God’s expectation is that we mature in Christ and be fruitful (John 15:1-5), such that we who were once daughter cells bring forth daughter cells of our own in this body of Christ. Not showing the fruits of the Spirit is a sign of immaturity.

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His dear Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Romans 8:29

God’s expectation over every believer is that they become more like Jesus with each passing day. If you’re born again, it is your destiny to be Christ wherever you find yourself. Growing and becoming useful to God demands that we lay down our natural preferences and take up the cross of “What Would Jesus Do (WWJD)” in every situation.

Believe me, WWJD can be quite a painful cross to bear in circumstances that test your faith, strength, and convictions. But it’s this painful process to helps us grow into vessels God can rely on for use.

“Instead …grow up completely and become one with… the Messiah, in whom the whole body is united and held together by every ligament… As each individual part does its job, the body builds itself up in love”

Ephesians 4:15-16 (ISV)

God’s expectation is for every believer to find their purpose in the Body of Christ and dispense that purpose such that the whole Body is developed. Growth requires that the believer be committed to a local church and dispense purpose in whatever calling God may have given.

The “deficiencies” that we may be seeing in our local churches is probably because there’s someone who is refusing to grow into that joint of supply. Constantly moving from one church to the other in search of “The Perfect Church” is a sign of immaturity. Resolve to find your place in the body and supply what you’ve been given Grace to supply.

Don’t be a cancer to the body of Christ. Grow up!

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