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GROWING UP SPIRITUALLY!       Maria #238       DO 2952       10/94
By Maria
--"When I became a man, I put away childish things!"--1Cor.13:11.--More on "Breaking Down the Walls!"

        (Following is a letter to Mama from another of our young people, which contains more "food for thought" & covers further aspects of the subject of YA nationals & Family-born YAs.)

       (From M. YA, 9/94:)
       1. I was asked to write down some thoughts I had concerning why some of the young people in the Family have a bit of a condescending way of looking at the EE nationals & new disciples in general. These are a few things I wanted to share about my personal experience & why I think this is.
       2. My personal experience has been that some of the young new disciples were given a lot of responsibility when they first joined, or shortly thereafter. I think a lot of Shepherds felt that the new disciples were more mature in some areas than Family-born YAs. Although they didn't have a foundation & heritage in the Lord & the Word like a lot of us young people have who were born in the Family, I think because they didn't have it their whole lives & suddenly found the Truth & the Lord, they really appreciated the value of it. They were a lot more hungry for the Word, knew they had a lot to learn & thus even had a closer relationship with the Lord & more spiritual depth, in the sense that they followed the Word more closely than some of the Family young people. I think this was a source of envy for a lot of born-in-the-Family young people--at least it was for me.
       3. I think too that sometimes young people raised in the Family can feel inferior to new disciples in the sense that we haven't forsaken all to join the Family, & in some ways (especially in the "worldly wise" sense) the new disciples have had a lot more experiences in their lives & have sort of learned by trial & error. Of course, you can't compare our lives being reared in the Family with those in the World because there's a night-&-day difference; but we have been a lot more sheltered. So in some ways our new disciples are more experienced & knowledgeable & can have a more mature way of looking at things. In some cases they are even more dedicated & sold out to the Lord because they've known what it's like to live without knowing Him.
       4. Please understand, I'm not trying to make a blanket statement & say all new disciples are like this, all YAs are like that; or trying to relate the way we were raised in the Family to the way kids are raised in the System, because there really is no comparison. My past personal experience has been that in some situations new disciples were trusted with more than the senior teens & YAs because the Shepherds felt they were more mature, had more of a connection with the Lord, hunger for the Word & a more desperate & serious attitude about their service for the Lord.--All qualities you need if you're going to be in a position of responsibility. I think our Family-born young people see that & can be envious, so they tend to criticise the nationals & in some cases demean them, their length of time in the Family, etc., because they feel inferior in some ways.
       5. My personal experience along these lines happened when I was 17. We had several adult Teen Shepherds, but then a newer disciple moved into the Home, & he was given the responsibility of co-teen shepherding. This really broke my bottle & I was quite resistant to having someone close to my age being my Shepherd & reading my OHRs, etc. He was only about 20 years old & had been in the Family only about 2-3 years. (I realise this isn't a babe, but is still quite young in the Family.) I felt like I had the edge on him in a way & that he wasn't long enough in the Family to shepherd me. I had the attitude of "Jesus I know & Paul I know, but who are you?" (Acts 19:15), & it was very hard for me to submit & yield to things he said because he was much younger in the Lord than I was. It was very difficult for me to see the Lord in him because I was looking at things so much in the carnal.
       6. I feel sometimes we can take our heritage & years growing up in the Family, the training we've received, & all the prophecies & things the Lord has said in the Word about our new generation for granted. We can get tempted to be lifted up thinking "we are the people" if we're not on guard. The verse, "What hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now, if thou didst receive it; why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" (1Cor.4:7) has really helped me. Everything we have & know has been poured into us by our parents, teachers & Shepherds, & it's not something that we can personally take the glory for or pride ourselves in, as we haven't really done anything to receive it. Well, I hope this can be a help. I love you!
       Love, M.

       {\b \i (Mama's response to M.:)}
       7. Thank you, M., for your good Spirit-led comments. I believe you've touched on another very important reason why there has often been friction between our Family-born YAs & our new disciples who are in a similar age bracket.--Whether they be Eastern European nationals, Western European nationals, or nationals from North America, South America, the Pacific or Asia. Thank you for sharing your personal experience, which could, I imagine, be a common occurrence in the Family, & I'm sure many of our young people can relate to it. It's wonderful how the Lord has shown you so clearly this aspect of the problem, & has helped you to gain victories over jealousy, envy & pride.
       8. What you are saying would seem to indicate that some of our Family-raised young people are still somewhat immature & shallow. Although they have been born & raised in the Family & fed the Word for so long, it hasn't seemed to have taken root in their lives. Familiarity with it has resulted in lack of appreciation of its value & power to transform & work wonders in them & others.
       9. Some of our young people have a tendency to feel that just because they were born & raised in the Family, they have it all down pat, so to speak, & know all the ropes, & are just naturally more spiritual & have a greater concept of the Word & spiritual things than those who have been born outside of the Family & have only recently joined.--Whereas the sad fact of the matter is that what some of our young people have is more like "a form of Godliness, without the power thereof."--2Tim.3:5.
       10. Just because someone has had the Word all his life, it doesn't automatically mean that he is living it, or has a close link with the Lord, which comes through prayer & obedience & yieldedness to Him. Maybe a solution for our young people with this problem is to take a new & fresh look at the Word, pretending they've never known it before, & asking the Lord to help them see it with new eyes so they can find the deep & wonderful "strange truths" therein that they've never realised before.
       11. It seems, M., that this was what happened with you. In an additional testimony you wrote up about how you got the victory over unyieldedness, which I just read, you said that your pride had such a hold on you, you didn't feel you could change. However, you knew in your heart you wanted to, & when you earnestly prayed to be yielded, the Lord came through & gave you a real deliverance from that awful pride & self-righteousness that had bound you previously. You also prayed for the Lord to cause you to grow & mature, & then you were able to start seeing the Word in a new way & how it applied in your own life.
       12. Instead of just continuing in your jealousy, resentment & critical spirit, you decided to go to the Word & get the victory over these problems, & the Lord was faithful, & even showed you why you had been having these negative feelings. From what we hear, the Lord has given you beautiful victories, & as a result, the way was cleared for you to grow in depth & maturity, & become a strong young woman who can take on the same responsibilities that you once envied others for.
       13. Thank the Lord, many of our YAs, like yourself, do have a great deal of spiritual depth & a close link to the Lord now, & a love for & dependence upon His Word. But there are others who seem to be trying to sort of coast along or claim their anointing simply because they were born in the Family, rather than really learning the spiritual principles the Lord has been trying to teach them, & truly growing up spiritually. For such people, jealousy, pride & envy will of course be a problem, since they are tempted to feel cheated or left out when they see their peers or those just a few years older than they are who have come from the outside & only been in the Family a few years getting positions of responsibility or being entrusted with certain ministries before they are.
       14. And as you mentioned, some of them also feel they are a bit handicapped because they have been so sheltered, having grown up in the Family & not having had worldly experiences nor the feeling of being fed up with them. Unlike young people who join the Family from outside, those who have been born & raised in the Family haven't eaten & sickened of the husks of the System & wallowed in its mire, which brings no satisfaction, & therefore causes outsiders who join us to become desperate for the Truth & therefore spiritually hungry & receptive.
       15. Of course, having been born & raised in the Family doesn't have to be a handicap or hindrance in any way, & shouldn't be! Your case illustrates, M., that our young people can be hungry & receptive, dedicated & trustworthy. As soon as you recognised your problems & got help & prayer & started earnestly going to the Word, you paved the way to quickly become mature & reliable & entrusted with very big responsibilities.

Just Give Yourself to Jesus
       16. The same can happen to any of you young people--and older Family Members, for that matter--who determine that you will lay aside the weights & sins that so easily beset you, & that you will stop looking at others with envy, but will instead look to Jesus, the Author & Finisher of your faith.--The One Who is able to give you the desires of your heart, but Who has also told us that we are going to have to work out our own Salvation with fear & trembling, & that we must give account of ourselves to God, & that it is going to be just between Him & us. (Phil.2:12; Rom.14:12.)
       17. No matter how wonderful our parents may be, or how much the Lord loves them or the Family, when we stand before God He is just going to be seeing us--not our background, not our heritage, not our parents, but He is going to ask each individual to give an account of himself. It won't matter if I was raised in the Family, it won't matter who my parents are. It won't matter how much Word I've had all my life. If I am mentally or verbally boasting of my advantages & privileges instead of using them to make me a stronger soldier for the Lord, they're not going to do me any good. And if I've buried my talents instead of doing what I can to wisely invest them in the Lord's Work, I am going to be ashamed.
       18. I can't say, "Look, Lord, here's my Family background & here are my good Godly parents, & here's all the Word I've had." Because He is going to say, "But what did you do with all those advantages I gave you?--Did you learn from them?--Where is your love for your brothers & sisters? Where is your love for the lost? Where is your love for your elders? Where is your love for My Word? Where is your faith in My promises? Where is your obedience & your yieldedness? Where is your sacrificial spirit?"
       19. Of course, you don't have to wait until the Judgement Seat of Christ to make these commitments. He wants you to come to Him right now, stripped of anything else but your heart & desire to do all you can to love Him & His Word, with no excuses, with no justifications, with no props, but just as you are, to come to Him. He calls, "Come unto Me!"--Mat. 11:28. And unless you can do this, you're never going to become the strong disciple that the Lord & the Family can truly depend on. You'll always be weak & double-minded & blaming your troubles on others; always jealous & envious of others' positions & accomplishments but never willing to do what it takes to be entrusted with such responsibilities yourself. But if you are willing to lay aside all these hindrances & concerns for outward appearances, & just give yourself to Jesus, as weak & sinful as you may be--just as this young woman & others of you have done--you will be able to truly progress spiritually, & become the man or woman of God that He wants you to be.
       20. It is possible, & you can make up for that lost time. You can pray for the Lord to grow & mature you by taking away your pride & your stubbornness which are holding you back. If you really mean it, He will work the miracle you need in your life.
       21. Don't be content to wallow in the mire of envy, jealousy, pride & a hard & unloving critical spirit, but put off that old man & ask the Lord to renew you & give you His joy & His power & His Spirit! "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, & put on the new man! Be renewed in the spirit of your mind!"--Eph.4:22-24. Then you can go forth into battle unencumbered by personal jealousies & rivalries & comparisons & competitions, & you'll be able to look outward at the great needs of others instead of looking inward at your petty selfish desires.
       22. I pray that all of you young people can benefit from M.'s testimony & the experiences she has gone through & the beautiful lessons she learned. I hope that the Lord will use her testimony to speak to your heart & encourage you that you too can find the victory, strength, joy, peace & conviction you long for as you fully commit yourself to the Lord, giving your all to Jesus. I love you & am praying for you!
       Love, Mama
       (Please see more of M.'s personal testimony in a soon-coming Hope.)

* * *

More thoughts & verses on Family-born young people envying or looking down on their peers who join from outside.--Sent in by Apollos.

       23. (From Apollos:) I felt that some of Paul's chidings to the Jewish disciples, who were jealous of the Gentile disciples, could be quite appropriate. Our own born-in-the-Family young people are, in a sense, like the flesh Jews, who were born into their religion; whereas the new converts from the System, who drop out & join us fulltime, are a little bit like the Gentile converts of the Early Church. They were another kettle of fish; having tasted--& in many cases, revelled in--the pagan world, they were way ahead of the home-grown Jewish converts when it came to relating to the rest of the non-Jewish world. And we know that some of the Jews had big trials about these upstart Gentiles who were given a lot of responsibility & eventually took over the Early Church as it spread throughout the World. So here are some verses on this subject:

       24. 1.) This first verse shows that the Revolution & being a real revolutionary for Jesus has got to be a spiritual thing, of the heart, & not something that you earn or inherit by birth or because you're so knowledgeable of the Word, or because you know all the rules & the traditions, the "ropes," as you call it in your letter to M. God looks on the heart!
       25. "Behold, thou art called a Jew, & restest in the law, & makest thy boast of God, & knowest His Will, & approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; & art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge & of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? ... Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? ... Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter & circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; & circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, & not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."--Rom.2:17-29.

       26. 2.) In this next passage, Paul is again getting on the Hebrews' case, saying that though they ought to be leaders & teachers, they need someone to teach them & help them get back to the basics!
       27. "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; & are become such as have need of milk, & not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good & evil."--Heb.5:12-14.
       28. 3.) This next one is good in that it shows that knowledge isn't what counts with the Lord, but rather it's the love you have for Him & others. This one has always convicted me!
       29. "We all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (love) edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of Him."--1Cor.8:1-3.

       30. 4.) This next little verse is a good reminder that God can raise up whom He will. I'm sure He wants to & will use our own young people to lead this army in the days to come. But if they're not willing to jump in wholeheartedly, He's able to bring in unlearned "Gentiles" if He so chooses!
       31. "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, & begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."--Luke 3:8.

       32. 5.) Paul made it clear that the difference between the real men & women of God & the mere babes was not their age in the Lord, but their attitude towards others. If they were envious & contentious, always comparing, they were babes. The idea was to work together, with our eyes on Jesus, not on Man:
       33. "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, & not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, & strife, & divisions, are ye not carnal, & walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; & another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, & who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth & he that watereth are one: & every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building."--1Cor.3:1-9.

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