My wife Brenda and I have three sons. And when they were born, I was amazed at how small they were, and then equally amazed with each passing week at the changes and the growth that was taking place in their bodies, and in their actions and their reactions. Every day was a growth process, and it became easy to look back at how much they had grown and developed as the weeks and months passed.
Then as the years began to move along, and they grew and matured, more was required of them in each stage of their development. For example, eventually their mom didn’t have to hold their spoon or fork for them, because they were well able to do this for themselves. And eventually, they learned to dress themselves and tie their own shoes. And the more they grew and matured, the more responsibilty they were able to handle.
I have found that similar comparisons can be made between the natural side of life and the spiritual side. Because becoming born again is the rebirth of the human spirit, and when we first receive Jesus into our heart, we are spiritual babes in Christ that must grow and mature.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” 1 Peter 2:2 KJV
The end goal in the natural is for a baby to grow and develop until they reach a place of mature adulthood. And the end goal in our spiritual life is that we grow and develop in the things of God until we have become a spiritual house, as we can see from what Peter writes just a few verses following the verse shared above.
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house….” 1 Peter 2:5a KJV
So, what does it mean to be a spiritual house? Well, for one thing, being spiritual means that we are no longer a carnal Christian, always yielding to the appetites of the flesh. But also, a spiritual person is continually growing in the Word of God, is involved working in the Kingdom of God, and is continually becoming more in tune with what the Lord is saying and doing than what is taking place in the natural realm around them.
Interestingly, the word “house” has a dual meaning. It means that individually we are the Lord’s house that He can operate in and through of course, but it also speaks of what we are collectively, as a local church family. As each of us individually build up our inner man and grow into spiritual maturity, then corporately we are established as a strong spiritual family (church) as well, where we can do great exploits for God.
These verses found in the second chapter of Ephesians will better explain what I am trying to say.
“19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22 NASU
As I stated above, spiritual people are more in tune to God inside them than their flesh and their circumstances. So then, the more our inner man is built up and developed, the stronger our relationship with God will become, and the more effective we as a church will be.
To build up our spirit-man, and to become a spiritual local church that can fulfill the plan and purposes of God in these last days, we must listen and feed upon what God has to say in His Word and give God’s Word first place in our life. Because if God’s Word isn’t preeminent in our lives, then something else will be.
“20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body. 23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:20-23 NASU
Until we put the Word of God to work in our lives it is impossible to really grow up spiritually, and to become the spiritual house the God expects us to become.
The Lord wants you to grow and develop and become a spiritual person. And then as you and the other members of your local church come together in one accord as spiritual people, mighty things will begin to occur in your church family. So, let’s all do what is necessary for our local churches to be the spiritual houses God designed them to be.