In our article last week, we saw that Godliness is profitable unto all things: temporal and eternal. The more godly you are, the more successful you will be in all things.
Now, to become godly or like God, you need to have a spiritual education: firstly, spiritual literacy and secondly, training in the revelation knowledge of the Christ life.
This week, we will examine a time-line for our spiritual education using the Lord Jesus as our pattern (Rom. 8.29) and Joseph, David and Paul as types.
Like the Lord Jesus, we need to get a spiritual education:
Now, Jesus grew in perfection from what we can call training (not cleansing because He had no sin nature in Him but had to keep it out from entering into Him from air (Eph. 2.2) through the physical senses) perfection into manifesting perfection in 18 years: from 12 years (Lk. 2.42) to 30 years (Lk. 3.23).
He entered into permanent perfection (where His will became permanently fixed in the will of God, before then His will could be moved by temptation, though, He always submitted to the will of God (Heb. 4.15)) after the prayer at Gethsemane just before going to the cross: so it took 3 years: 30-33 years to enter into permanent perfection after manifesting perfection.
So, from cleansing perfection into permanent perfection will take us no less than 21 years. Furthermore, because we have the sin nature in our souls and bodies even after we have been born-again we first need to enter into cleansing perfection before we begin our growth in perfection into manifesting and then ultimately permanent perfection.
So, assuming we get born-again as children and start our spiritual education at the age of 12, using the Lord Jesus as a pattern and Joseph, David and Paul as types for a guide a time-line for our spiritual education would be as follows:
1. From about 12-16 years—- Getting spiritually literate: reading and so obtaining a mental understanding of the scriptures between the ages of 12-16: read the whole bible through twice: firstly in one year and then secondly over 3 years.
2. About 16-17 years—- Getting the spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph. 1.18-23) of the purpose of God for our lives: the hope of our calling: Christ in us the hope of glory (Col 1.27), the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and the exceeding greatness of the resurrection power wrought in Christ when He was raised from the dead. This experience is typified by Joseph’s coat of many colours (Gen. 37.3) given to him by his father: a mantle of God’s favour that causes us to get revelation knowledge (2 Cor. 4.6)-this can be likened to natural’O’ levels: general ordinary level of education.
3. About 17-18 years—Getting a revelation and spiritual understanding (Col 1.9-11) of the perfection principles: the fear of the Lord, praying with all kinds of prayer in the Spirit, binding the devil, confession of the Word, meditation of the Word, practice of the Word, fasting and living a fasted life. This can be likened to natural’A’ levels: advanced level of education.
4. About 18-21 years—Practicing the perfection principles to come into the experience of cleansing perfection. This is typified by David killing the bear, the lion and ultimately Goliath types of the sin nature in the soul: will, mind and emotions and physical body. This can be likened in the natural to getting a first degree: a bachelors in the university.
5. About 21-35 years—14 years of growing in perfection to maturity (Gal. 2.1) using Paul as a type; typified also by Joseph between about 17-30 years from being sold into slavery and getting to the throne (Gen. 37.2; 41.46) of Egypt. We see this also in David from the killing of Goliath to the becoming King in Hebron (2 Sam. 5.4). This can be likened in the natural to getting a Masters degree.
6. About 35-40 years-about 3 years of operating in manifesting perfection to experiencing permanent perfection. This can be likened in the natural to getting a doctorate.
Please note that this time-line is just a guide to motivate us into getting a spiritual education as quickly as possible. We should use this time-line to find out where we are now at our present physical and spiritual age in our spiritual education and begin earnestly as it were an accelerated spiritual education program so we can become more godly by this spiritual education and so profit in all things and fulfill our spiritual destiny.
Now, during your time of spiritual education and growth you will not be idle: you will be able to operate the power of God using a borrowed anointing under covering like the 12 Apostles (Lk. 9.1) and seventy disciples (Lk. 10.1) did under the Lord Jesus until you inherit your own full anointing at manifesting perfection.
We see now why we should get born-again as early as possible:
Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”;
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Now, many of us do not even get born-again that early and even when we do, we do not start getting a spiritual education as early as we should, many times because of ignorance and proper guidance.
We do not make getting a spiritual education a top priority in our lives like we do a natural education or a business or trade. We know that if we are not skilled in one thing or another in this life, we will not be able to make a decent living so we put in the necessary time, effort and resources to gain some natural education and skills.
Now, God is asking us to recognize that we will not have a profitable life without a spiritual education in godliness, so we are to take getting a spiritual education as seriously, yea more, as we take getting a natural education.
The good news is that no matter how old you are physically or how long you have been born-again if you decide, like Enoch did at the age of 65 (Gen.5.21-24), Abraham at 75 (Gen.12.4) and Moses at 80 (Ex.7.7) to walk with God and get a spiritual education. God will restore to you the years the cankerworm has eaten that you may seem to have lost:
Joel 2:25 I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.
Job 36:11 if they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
So, let us arise and like the Lord Jesus be about our Father’s business (Lk 2.49): get a spiritual education to become godly and so profit in all things both in this life and in the life to come!