Growing Up

By Fred Pruitt

Still another way to view the law and our relationship to it, is in light of it being our “schoolmaster” to bring us to the formation of Christ in us.

It really is simply about growing up.

We obey rules when we are children.

When one is an adult we are essentially free to do whatever we might want. The question we ask God, “Lord, what do you want to do here?” the Lord fires back at us: “What do YOU want to do?”

When Jesus was asked on numerous occasions to go elsewhere to heal someone, never did He say, “Well, let me pray about it and see if the Lord moves me to go.”

No, He was decisive in the moment: “I will, and immediately He put forth His hand …”

When you grow up, you’re in charge of yourself essentially. Most of us live within borders of some sort — a job, a marriage, a family, a business, etc. — but within those borders there are often infinite possibilities. We decide to brush or not brush our teeth, to clean up or not clean up, to wash the dishes or leave them for the next day.

When I first left home to “become an adult,” at 17 1/2, I moved in with some guys my age and we soon had a pigsty. We left dishes in the sink until we had no dishes and the sink stopped up. Did we fix it? No, we started doing dishes in the bathtub — until the same thing happened there! It took some girls we knew coming over to clean the place up.

Ok, so my mom wasn’t there to tell me to pick up my room, wash my clothes, etc., and in my first outing I tried my own way, and it didn’t take long to see that didn’t work. At least a little cleanliness, a little order, was necessary. And it became desirable to clean up the dishes for a lot of reasons.

I had done nothing unlawful. Washing dishes or not washing dishes does not fall under the purview of sin. I was under no law to wash the dishes. The law I had been under, my parents’ law, no longer applied since I was living on my own. So I was within the law of my home as an “adult.”

I did, however, begin to find out what was expedient. As Paul told us, “all things are lawful unto me, but all are not expedient.”

So that is our learning as young adults — we are free — but we find an expediency that God works in our lives through our desires, which are His as ours.

But once you see for yourself this adulthood, this place where the Father has now found YOU faithful and you come as Paul to be “an able minister of the new covenant,” (2 Cor 3:5,6), while on the one hand every moment, flowing like a deep underground river, it is continuously “not I, but Christ,” on the other, there is now a connectedness in consciousness in us in which we just live as ourselves doing our daily living, and the Lord is saying to us when we seek His will, “What do YOU want to see here?”

Because now this place where we live is in Him, and out of Him we speak, so that makes our speaking to be important, because the Lord lets none of our words fall to the ground.

Of course what He wants to see is those who determine in themselves that they will be other-lovers no matter what the cost. Which is the outflow of adulthood. And that cannot be contained in a stone tablet of laws.

Growing up to be a father of the faith is simply leaving once and for all the stony heart, with the law chiseled in it, in exchange for the fleshy heart of love (Ez 11:19). The soft malleable heart that drives us by its love desires which not only “works no ill to its neighbor,” (Rom 13:10) but also makes us a corn of wheat that falls into the ground and dies that it will bring forth fruit for the harvest.

Someone said that leaving the security of the law is scary and that is true. But it must happen or we do not grow up. We must find freedom ourselves if we are to give it to others.

Thanks be to God that through Him, Jesus Christ crucified and raised again, we do find our freedom.

“Let this mind be in you ….

(Eph 4:13-16)  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:

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

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