A Word From Ron – Spiritually Afloat

When my family and I moved to Hungary, God opened a lot of doors for us in ministry. We worked hard in our community and through each and every opportunity that presented itself. We aimed to cultivate each relationship so that we could one day share the Gospel.

God honored our efforts and we saw many come to Christ. But I often heard a similar story from many whom we ministered to. When the word “church” came up, I was stunned to hear, “Oh yeah, I used to go to “the Chapel” (full name withheld).

I don’t mean just a few times, I mean dozens. The “chapel” was one of the first church plants in Budapest after the fall of communism and became very popular due to the notoriously good music, facilities, and advertising. But, with all the bubbling over of excited and power packed, feel good, messages, people went home pumped up, but spiritually starved. They weren’t fed any of the Word and when the Bible was even used it was rarely to any depth.

What these churchgoers experienced week to week was not enough to equip them for the challenges they faced in life. They went back to their old ways of dealing with things, their own lustful ways, and with a feeling of emptiness. In fact, it was worse than empty, they felt exhausted by the church. They were searching for strength, guidance, stability, and direction and they left more aimless than when they started.

 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Ephesians 4:11-15

Paul here has exhorted the Ephesians to recognize and empower those who have been gifted with equipping the saints so that they might grow others to become fully fit in their spiritual walk, to measure up to “the fullness of Christ.”

We face a generation, as apparently did the Ephesians, of spiritually immature Believers. Paul described them as children, literally infants who haven’t even learned to speak. And because they are so immature, they are blown around in any direction the wind blows. There isn’t anything to anchor them down to avoid such drifting.

Like an unanchored boat they float, often drifting towards dangerous rocks. But people want to be more anchored, more grounded. Without solid grounding, teaching and discipleship, people don’t know when or even how they are being tricked or conned. Satan is described as the father of lies, and immature, non-grounded Christians are easy prey. This is why Paul is so concerned that Believers not stay immature. That they are fed so that they mature in “every way,” to the stature of Christ, and solidified by bonding with other mature Believers. This bonding effect makes Believers immovable and impossible to blow with the wind.

On a trip to Peru, I had the privilege of visiting Cusco, which if you have never seen it is an ancient marvel of architecture and construction. Walls built from boulders and rocks that weigh in the tons, but crafted and pieced together so tightly, they have not only lasted hundreds of years, but have survived floods, earthquakes, and many other natural disasters. The things that undeniably has made them withstand every test of durability, is the solid materials each has been made with and how closely they were made to fit together.

Together they withstand every test and trial, and in similar fashion, a mature Believer, closely joined with others in love, will withstand the cunning, powerful, attacks of the enemy.

If lately you find yourself spiritually afloat, likely you find yourself lacking one or both: either you need to be spiritually fed, and/or you need to draw close to other strong Believers for added strength. So, anchor yourself down.

Dr. Ronald J. Barnes Jr.

President / CEO

January 31, 2022

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