Growing Up by Obedience – Dr. Wayne C. Gwilliam

It is so sad to see that so many who are born into the Kingdom never progress past the age of infancy to go onto become a young man or young woman in Christ in the way that First John 2:13-14 declares that they should:


I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the work of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one..


John is simply explaining, in these two verses of Scripture, that there are three stages of growth for the Christian: children, young men and fathers. First, he declares that children have an emotional relationship with the Father.


Next, Paul goes on to mention that young men are those who have set themselves aside to learn to allow the Word of God to dwell in their hearts richly. He refers to these young men as those that have overcome the devil. In other words, they do not have to wake up every morning and make a vain attempt to beat the devil off just so that they can make the ends of their finances meet. These young men are those who are destroying the works of the devil wherever they find them — plundering hell, to establish the rule of God once again in the realm of the spirit upon the earth.


Lastly, Paul mentions fathers, those who have actual life-experience in walking in total victory for a lengthy period of time before they take on the responsibility of instructing others. You see, it is virtually an impossibility to get afflicted people to realize, especially when they have been deformed in their spiritual growth that their sicknesses, and not just their sins, were dealt with at Calvary. They have never been taught, from infancy, that just as their sins have been forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, so has He purchased for them healing with the thirty-nine stripes He bore in His own body.


The writer of the book of Hebrews is referring to these types of Christians in chapter 5:12a when he says,

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.


Relationship Leaves You Starved


The true fact of the matter is, that in many cases, these Christians have been spiritually starved. They are the product of some ignorant mentor who has convinced them that it is the will of God for sickness to come upon them– for the purifying of their souls and the development of their Christian walk. Sadly, they go to the grave believing that their sickness was sent by

God to perfect their relationship with Jesus. When a person has been convinced that God is behind their sickness, there is nothing that anyone can do for them. This doctrine, which they so dearly cleave to, leaves the person with no deliverer, because there is no one more powerful than God. It is truly a shame when the afflicted never come to the truth that they already have a perfect relationship with Jesus because of His shed blood, not because of some .dead works doctrine..

This understanding would be the only adjustment that would have to be made within the heart of these precious saints so they could receive their healing and go on to run their race. But for many, it is like the old saying. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks..

Jesus put it this way, .You can’t put new wine into old wineskins…


I have also seen Christians, who function under this same type of emotional love, end up in bankruptcy court. Again, this is because some mentor has never taken the time to expound on the fact that Jesus became poverty so that they may be freed from the curse of poverty. Second

Corinthians 8:9 clarifies this:

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich…


There is no doubt in my heart that these people had a child-like love for Jesus, but this type of relationship will never bring about healing or prosperity.


-breaking the curse of poverty