Each of us is in a different point in our journey. Some of us are babies, just learning how to rely on the Lord and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Some of us have been walking with the Lord quite a while but still have so much to learn. Then, there are those of us that have been walking with the Lord for many years, or at least long enough to understand how this process works and guide others on it as an elder. Some of us just surrendered their life and are still in a refining process. Those may not have gotten their water baptism yet much less the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire. Some of us are done with that season. There are those that have already received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit that come with it as listed in 1 Corinthians 12. The elders of us have their gifts, know good and well how to use them,and are even attaining more as they go. They are laying hands on the sick and casting out demons and carrying out the great commission Jesus has given us.
No matter where you are in your walk, please realize several things.
- You will grow in Christ at the pace He wants you to and not a bit faster or slower
- Everyone's walk progresses at the pace that is right for them according to the what God has planned for you
- If the Holy Spirit wants to give you a crash course- Great!
- If you don't get a crash course, there is nothing wrong with that!
- Whether or not you are where you need to be does not depend on where someone else is in their walk
- Your relationship with Christ is dependent upon His timing and how much time you spend with Him- without a prayer life and regular study of God's Word you will not grow
- While He is teaching you, there will be tests- The Teacher is always quiet during the test, that doesn't mean He left you
- Don't let anyone tell you that because it didn't happen to them then it isn't supposed to happen- everyone's walk is different- The only question you need to address is does it line up with God's Word
- As you grow you will be attacked by the devil and his demons because he wants you back and doesn't want you to share God's Word and love- If you never get attacked ever, then examine your walk
- Do not question your walk with Christ based on what you see in other Christians
- Your walk will not grow to what God intends it to be until you obey all the commands He gave you in Acts 2:38- Repent and confess your sins; water baptism; receive the gift (baptism) of the Holy Ghost
So many in the body of Christ feel compelled to compare their relationship and walk with Christ to other people. When they do, the devil fires another dart to attack. He will fire one of two darts in this situation. He will either condemn you into feeling like giving up on God because someone else is much further along with the dart of condemnation and doubt, or he will fire the dart of pride. This dart will puff your ego up and lead you to believe that you are better than another believer. Either way you just opened a door up and gave the devil place, and it leads to sin. Never compare yourself to other Christians and their walk. Compare yourself to Jesus and how He walked. This is what you want to strive to be like. You will never feel condemned because though we strive to walk as Jesus did we don't expect ourselves to be perfect as He is from the beginning. We will never let pride get a hold of us because we all know Jesus is better than us.
You may look to others for guidance. Feel free to ask questions and sharpen irons with other believers and fellowship. We are supposed to do those things, but never ask yourself why you aren't where Jane is. Never wonder why John has the gift of wisdom and you don't. Don't subject yourself to asking question like "Why can't I heal or have great faith?" Be inspired by their walk but don't compare it to yours. You aren't just comparing apples and oranges. You are comparing apples and dinosaurs. They are even in the same area.
God knows what each of us need to be prepared for and what job He will call us to. Therefore He knows exactly which strengths you need to develop first and which ones can wait. He doesn't want to overwhelm us either. He knows exactly how much we can handle and still retain the lesson. One person may get a crash course to the point in two years they are walking like they have been doing it for thirty years. Another person may have been saved for thirty years and still be a baby for many reasons. Don't beat yourself up and certainly don't let the devil do it. If you are concerned take it to God. Tell the Father, Lord I want more of You. If you have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit ask Him for a gift you may want. Sometimes the answer is no, but if it is His will the answer will be yes. Be patient until it comes. God does not have to work on our time schedule. He works on His clock.
In short, don't spend your time trying to walk like other saints or comparing your relationship with God to theirs. The only comparison that should be made with your walk is between it and Jesus. We aren't here to follow other believers. We are here to follow Christ. So take up your cross (not everyone else's) and follow Christ the way the Bible says to do it. Don't rely on your preacher, your mother, your boss, or anyone else. No one else will stand next to you on judgment day. It will just be you and the Word of God made flesh in Jesus. I love you and Jesus loves you more. God bless you and may Jesus keep you.