Victoria - posted on 10/05/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )
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Today we are going to look four keys to maturity and this is a principle that can span across so many areas, whether it is to do generally with our walk & coming to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, to do with something God has promised for our lives or anything else in between.
So if we can please turn to Judges 13 reading from verse 1.
Judges 13:1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years. 2 A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was sterile and remained childless. 3 The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, "You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. 4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, 5 because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines." 6 Then the woman went to her husband and told him, "A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. 7 But he said to me, ‘You will conceive and give birth to a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from birth until the day of his death.’"8 Then Manoah prayed to the LORD: "O Lord, I beg you, let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born." 9 God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 The woman hurried to tell her husband, "He’s here! The man who appeared to me the other day!" 11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, "Are you the one who talked to my wife?" "I am," he said. 13 The angel of the LORD answered, "Your wife must do all that I have told her. 14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her."15 Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, "We would like you to stay until we prepare a young goat for you." 16 The angel of the LORD replied, "Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the LORD." (Manoah did not realise that it was the angel of the LORD.) 17 Then Manoah enquired of the angel of the LORD, "What is your name, so that we may honour you when your word comes true?" 18 He replied, "Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding." 19 Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the grain offering, and sacrificed it on a rock to the LORD. And the LORD did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched: 20 As the flame blazed up from the altar towards heaven, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. 21 When the angel of the LORD did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realised that it was the angel of the LORD. 22 "We are doomed to die!" he said to his wife. "We have seen God!" 23 But his wife answered, "If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this." 24 The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the LORD blessed him, 25 and the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.
1st Key – To Conceive.
The first key is to conceive and is found in verse 3. Judges 13:3 The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, "You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. Conception happens at the time we first have a witness or revelation. It’s the start of what is to come.
A dictionary definition of conceive is:
1. To become pregnant with (offspring).
2. To form or develop in the mind; devise: He conceived a plan to increase profits.
3. To apprehend mentally; understand: She couldn't conceive the meaning of of what took place.
4. To be of the opinion that; think: Who could conceive that such a tragedy would occur.
5. To begin or originate in a specific way: The group was conceived in the 1960s.
6. To form or hold an idea: Ancient peoples conceived of the earth as flat.
Now for Manoah’s wife her witness was that she was going to physically conceive a child even though she was barren. Ours could be to do with our walk, our ministries, our circumstance. Whatever it is, it begins with a witness.
Amos 3:7 Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
Nu 12:6 he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.
So God will give us a witness or reveal something to us, so we’ve conceived something, what next.
2nd Key- To Receive.
The second key to receive and is found in verse 6. Judges 13:6 Then the woman went to her husband and told him, "A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. 7 But he said to me, ‘You will conceive and give birth to a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from birth until the day of his death.’
Manoah’s wife received the witness she had been given. When we think in terms of pregnancy, once the egg and sperm have come together at conception, that egg now needs to attach or implant it’s self inside the uterus (womb), it needs to be received or else the pregnancy won’t continue. Well once we’ve been given a witness we have to receive that as being for us, as being for our lives. Manoah’s wife showed that she received this when she went off to share it with her husband. It wasn’t, perhaps he has me mistaken with somebody else, it wasn’t, oh well that’s not for me, it was an acknowledgment, wow, that’s for me I better let my husband know too.
The definition for receive is: laqach law-kakh'
To receive, to take, to take in hand, take possession of, to capture, to take a hold of, to buy, to welcome.
1. To acquire or get something; be a recipient. (something given or offered)
2. To listen to and acknowledge formally and authoritatively:
Manoah’s wife took a hold of it, she took it in hand, she accepted that the witness given to her was also for her.
Pr 2:1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
Pr 10:8 The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
2Co 6:1 As God’s fellow-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.
Jas 1:21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
We have to humbly accept and receive that which has been given to us, not conceiving it in vain. Which take us to our next key, for if we don’t do this, it will all be in vain anyways.
3rd Key- To Believe.
The third key is to believe and is found in verse 23. Judges 13:23 But his wife answered, "If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this."
Manoah’s wife believed what she had been told, she received it as being for her life & she believed it would come to pass. Believing & receiving are very much intertwined with each other. The believing part is the process, it’s time God will use to develop us, it’s the “waiting season” we talked about the other day. Once again with pregnancy, a baby is developed inside its mother. It takes roughly 40 weeks for this process. Well once we’ve conceived & received, whatever it is God is giving to us, we will have that time of development to go through, and only God knows how long that will be, whether seconds, hours, days, weeks, months or years, but all through that time we need to continue to believe.
The definition for believe is:
Believe, commit to, be put in trust with, be commit to one’s trust, believer
1) To think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in
2) To credit, have confidence
3) To trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith.
When we believe we should act and walk & speak in accordance with that faith & belief, even as Manoah’s wife did. Even when her husband was not up to par on his trust & faith, she had the faith to believe that which she had conceived & received.
Ro 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
2Co 4:13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,
Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
Jas 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
Jas 2:17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
4th Key- To Achieve.
The fourth key is to achieve and is found in verse 24. Judges 13:24 The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. Manoah’s wife achieved her promise, she saw it through to maturity.
The definition for achieve is: asah aw-saw
To do, to make, to execute, to work, to do so, to perform to get.
1) To accomplish,
2) To act, to act with effect, to effect
3) To bring about, complete
4) To produce
5) To be done
6) To finish
Now achieving doesn’t so much have to do with our doing, but is more to do with God’s doing something. However we do have a part into it, the conceiving, the receiving, the believing, the doing everything that God calls us to do.
Ec 7:8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
Mt 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Joh 17:4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
Ro 15:18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—
The achieving part is God doing his work in us & through us. God will see that everything he has spoken is accomplished.
Is 55: 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
I just want to read verse 11 in a couple of versions,
NAS 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
AMP 11 So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void , but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
MES 11So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.
NLT 11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
When God gives us a witness or a promise, He doesn’t send it forth vainly, no he has a plan & purpose for our lives, therefore when he speaks his word produces, it accomplishes & achieves everything it is supposed to. There are stages we must go through to bring it to completion. We like Manoah’s wife must first conceive the witness, or idea, then we must receive that which has been conceived, as being for today & not only that, but as being for us, following that we must believe and act & speak in accordance with our faith, and we must continue to believe until we achieve that which has been given for us. God has spoken it so he’s not going to let it go to the wayside, he’s going to complete it, we will achieve that which God has given for us. And again, that achievement, isn’t merely us bringing to pass something in our own lives, but it is God bringing to fulfilment that which He has said he would, it is God bringing us to maturity, that is to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Therefore whether God has spoken to us, about our finances, or our promises, our relationship with him, whatever it maybe, let us continue to experience these four keys in all areas of our walk with Him as we come to maturity in them through him.
Conceiving, Receiving, Believing & Achieving.