Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Concerning Spiritual Elevation by Apostle Theresa Harvard Johnson

Scribal Anointing Literary Network
Copyright 2011 Theresa Harvard Johnson

Father has taught me that spiritual elevation isn’t a “thing,” it is a process. It is a STATE of going from one level of maturity in the things of God into the next. Unfortunately, in our westernized, Christian culture the phrase “spiritual elevation” generally walks hand-in-hand with ordinations and licensing in ministry. It walks hand-in-hand with the lust for titles and power when in truth, this type of thinking -- outside of wisdom -- can cause and has caused many of God's people to become “targets for the enemy” when they are placed upon the shoulders of people ill-equipped to walk fitly in them.

In truth, people of God, spiritual elevation is a place of rising above where you are into a place of greater experience, wisdom, knowledge and understanding in the things of God -- an all the others things follow the elevation. It is a place of constant death to the ways of childhood and a process of being catapulted into a place of assured and proven maturity.

We must see spiritual elevation BEYOND the “stuff” that is often associated with it.

The understanding of spiritual elevation (which is a sound biblical concept) can best be taught by looking at what it takes to rise in military ranks in the natural. You see, we are often referred to in the scriptures as being a part of “Adonai’s Army” or the “Army of the Lord.”

No one enters service in the military as a five-star General – without any formal training; tedious and challenging exercises; practical experience; an understanding of tactical and strategic warfare; tests and trials; or even understanding order and protocol. Jesus himself is said to have been taught. EVEN IN THE MILITARY, there are people OVER YOU that help you rise and watch your progress. (So many forget this... as it is also true in the body of our Lord.)

Hebrews 5:7-9 says, “7 During Yeshua's life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions, crying aloud and shedding tears, to the One who had the power to deliver him from death; and he was heard because of his godliness. 8 Even though he was the Son, he learned obedience through his sufferings. 9 And after he had been brought to the goal, he became the source of eternal deliverance to all who obey him, 10 since he had been proclaimed by God as a cohen gadol to be compared with Malki-Tzedek.”

Spiritual elevation is rooted in the process of moving from MILK to SOLID FOOD? From one position of GLORY to the next position of GLORY? Giving solid food to a child who is only able to drink milk is not wise. So is it in the realm of the Spirit! That child must grow to learn how to move from drinking to chewing... and that child's system must learn how to digest the heavier, weightier food...

Some people love their "milk-position" and get stuck there...

It is a terrible thing to become unteachable – entering a place of rejecting wisdom and wise counsel. The bible calls such people FOOLS. Proverbs 23:9 says, “Don't speak in the ears of a fool, for he will only despise the common sense in your words.” People of God, we are even commanded to LEAVE FOOLS ALONE… and leave them to their own twisted thought processes.

When true ELEVATION COMES – which is spiritual growth and maturity – you will exemplify the lifestyle and characteristics of Christ. In the military in the natural, there is certain criteria that one must go through to move up in the ranks. It’s no different in the realm of the Spirit. This is why MENTORSHIP, SHEPHERDING & GODLY COUNSEL are so critical to our lives. Can you imagine the condition of children raised outside of the bounds of godly parenting? YES YOU CAN! We see the results of it every day when we turn on our television or walk down the street.

This pattern in the realm of the spirit still exists in the midst of parenting (in the spirit and in the natural) and in shepherding (church headship & Godly mentorship). In addition, we never – EVER – lose or devalue Father’s place of headship in our lives. That doesn’t disappear in the lives of those who may be called to be imparted into by others.

The true test of spiritual elevation can be found throughout the scriptures! While these aren’t the only places to find out what maturity looks like, these are a good place to start:

■Examine the Fruit of the Spirit – particularly love, patience, self-control, etc. (Galatians 5:22)
■Examine Christian Conduct & Response (Hebrews 5)
■Examine the Qualifications for a Congregational Leader (1 Timothy 3)
■Examine the respect/order for Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12)
■Examine how we are to act/respond amongst one another (1 Corinthians 3)

This list is endless. Moving from milk to meat is not just about teaching from REVELATION. People of God, it is about walking in the WISDOM OF GOD, the UNDERSTANDING OF GOD and the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD… and rightly applying that knowledge to one’s life and ministry.

Personally, I’d rather serve under a man of wisdom whom no one knows; than the man who seeks the approval and recognition of men. TRUE SPIRITUAL ELEVATION, moves you up in the RANKS without YOU doing anything at all to draw attention to yourself. People RECOGNIZE LEADERS… and announce their coming without that leader saying a single word.

Spiritual elevation IS MOVING INTO MATURIT – not by your own will or man’s design – but by God as you walk in obedience and learning as Christ did. With every place of spiritual elevation THERE IS A COST, A PRICE THAT MUST BE PAID to get there. For every place of elevation there is a DIFFERENT test. Don’t be deceived in this hour about what spiritual elevation really is...

1 Corinthians 3:13 says this: But each one's work will be shown for what it is; the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire - the fire will test the quality of each one's work.


What is the FIRE revealing about YOUR WORK? HAS ITS QUALITY BEEN TESTED?

Look at the lives of the apostles and prophets... the patriarchs and matriarchs. They were constantly tested. They began on milk and were walked into the maturity and the gifting of their callings as they lived out the process of death. Moving in the gifts, acknowledging the gifts or even walking in the gifts – whatever they may be – are not enough people of God. There must be MATURITY AND FULLNESS in the midst of them….