Be Mature Like Daniel: Part 2

January 18, 2002 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

This week on Tuesday evening we spoke about the maturity of Daniel. We spoke about the maturity that Daniel had as a man of God. And tonight we’re going to have part two of the message of maturity. Amen?

We’re going to come from the book of Daniel chapter six, once again. Beginning with verse one. It says,

1. It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;

2. And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.

3. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; (Let me say that again. Because an excellent spirit was in him;) and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

4. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, once again as we, the sheep of Your pasture that come before You with thanksgiving in our hearts. Thanking and praising You for another night that we can receive Your Word, Lord God.

Lord, hide Your servant behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. Let them hear You tonight, oh Father, and not me. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

The Bible said in verse four that there was no fault found in Daniel. In other words, we stated that Daniel was a mature man. Who are mature people? Mature people are those who have overcome or are seeking to overcome their character flaws.

When we look at Daniel (glory to God) he was smart enough, he was mature enough to allow God to work out anything in him that was not like Him. Glory to God.

Who are the mature people in the house of God? Mature people are those that have allowed God to deal with their manhood. They are mature people that have allowed God to deal with their womanhood.

In First Corinthians thirteen and verse eleven, in the NIV version, it says, “When I was a child, I talked like a child. I thought like a child. I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I put the childish things behind me.” Glory to God.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a man. Glory to God. I put the childish things behind me. In Jesus’ Name. Give God a handclap of praise in this house.

I put selfishness, I put possessiveness, and I put the desire to have attention behind me. Let me say that again. I put selfishness behind me. I put possessiveness behind me. And I put the desire to have attention from man behind me.

According to Ephesians four and verse fourteen, also in the NIV version, I’m not tossed back and forth any more by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of doctrine or teacher, and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.

Let me tell you something. When you reach a place of maturity, you have spirit of discernment about you. You’re able to discern the good from the evil. You’re able to discern the right from the wrong. You’re able to discern those that come into your presence.

Tonight we’re putting on maturity. I don’t know about you, but I’m going on to perfection. I’m ready for Him to perfect everything that concerns me. I don’t want my pacifier no more. I don’t want my bottle no more. I don’t want to wear my diapers no more. I’m going on to perfection in Jesus’ Name.

He will perfect you if you allow Him. It’s time out for temper tantrums. Hello, somebody.

According to Hebrews five and twelve, also in the NIV version, I’ve gone on and beyond elementary teachings to teachings of righteousness, that is solid food for the mature.

Look at your neighbor tonight and say, “I’m working on my character.”

The body of Christ, we as a whole need to continue to work on our character. Because we still have the notion that it’s all about us. Baby, it ain’t all about you. Oh, you don’t hear me tonight. I can be anywhere in the house of God in any position and still give God glory right where I am.

Saints of God, maturity in the house of God is a must. We need to begin to take on the character of Jesus Christ. We need to leave our character flaws behind. When you that there’s something about you that you need to change, you need to work on it. Don’t let nobody else have to tell you to work on it. You work on it yourself.

It’s by spending time with the Holy Ghost. Even though Saul’s name was changed to Paul, he still had the revelation that, “I still got some stuff about me that needs to change. So I need to go off by myself for a little while until He can work it out of me. I can’t lead nobody with all this mess in me.”

Come on, give God a handclap of praise in this house.

Maturity in the house of God. Get out of the “he say, she say.” Get out of the “them and they say.” Step into the Spirit of Christ. Be changed and conformed to His image. Then you don’t have to worry about what they say. Because you know what He said. And what He said (glory to God) is the last word. Glory to God in this house.

I’m going on to perfection. Perfect me, Jesus, in the house of the Lord.

When Paul was telling the Romans about God’s ultimate intention for us, he did not talk about their position. He did not talk about their ministry.

Let me tell you something. Sometime when you begin to tell people about their ministry, you start to cripple it. Open up your ears tonight. Because all it’ll take is a little bit, and they think they got it. But as soon as the winds start blowing a little bit, soon as the waves start to come up over their head, they’re headed back to shore.

The deep calleth to the deep. If I’m deep, I’m going to stay in the deep. I’m not coming back to the shallow no more. He done called me out there, and that’s where I’m going to stay. I’ve gone on from the elementary teachings, and I’m eating solid food now.

Look at your neighbor and say, “It’s tight, but it’s right.” Come on, give God another handclap of praise in this house.

Maturity in the house of God is a must. Paul talked about their character. That’s what he talked about. Because that’s the main thing that I need to work on, is my character.

I don’t need to work on how to get a door opened for me. I need to work on my... Oh, you don’t hear me tonight. Who am I preaching to? Oh, I need to work on my character. My gift is going to make room for me anyhow. I don’t have to worry about a door opening. He’ll open a door that no man can shut.

According to Romans eight and twenty eight, our transformation into Christ’s image is primarily what God is after. So whatever happens to us is working together for our good. Whatever happens to you is working to help build character in you, not any old character, but His character.

The Bible even said in Hebrews ten and two... I mean... Excuse me. Two and verse ten, that Jesus was made perfect through suffering. In other words, He reached that level of maturity through the things that He suffered, to go on to die on the cross for us.

That thing that you’re going through, as hard a place as you may be in, it’s all working together for your good. Now let God deal with you right where you are, and stop trying to get away from it. Because He’s going to pull you back. I don’t care how far you try to run, God’s going to have his way anyway.

The things that I’m going through are there to strengthen my inner man. I know a lot of you don’t want to hear that, because you’re in a place right now where you’d rather not be in.

But baby, let me tell you something. When it’s all over, you’re going to have a testimony. And as soon as you get that testimony, demons are going to have to flee. Yokes are going to be destroyed in the Name of Jesus.

It’s only there to make you stronger. Believe that. He said He’d never leave you nor forsake you. He’s right there in the midst of the fire with you. But will you bow your knee?

Maturity in the house of God. We don’t expect anything less for us, do we? Since Jesus suffered to become perfect, do you expect anything less? Oh somebody, a bell is going off in somebody’s head tonight.

You’re trying to get honey out of a rock. But you don’t seem to be able to get any. Stay where you are a little while longer. He’s going to perfect you, and everything that concerns you. Do you believe that tonight? He will do it if He promised it. He will do it if He said it.

Jesus spent thirty years preparing for only three and a half year of ministry. And we’ve been saved for five. Hello, somebody. And we can operate in the apostle, prophet, evangelist, and the teacher.

Thirty years being worked on, for three and a half years of ministry. That’s a powerful thing to me. We should not be surprised if a large portion of our lives is spent on Him building our man or womanhood. We should not be surprised.

We should not be surprised of the things that happen in our lives. You shouldn’t be surprised. Why are you surprised? Why are you looking with a surprised look on your face like, “How could this happen to me?” (Tongues.) It’s building character. But it hurts. It’s building character. I’m frustrated. But it’s building character.

Launching into what He has called me requires so much maturity on my part. You want to know why saints of God are shipwrecked, and they don’t want to do it no more? Because when they tried to step out into it, they were immature.

If I’m a man and I try to step out into marriage and I’m immature, it’s not going to work. If I’m a woman and I try to step into marriage, and I’m not mature, and I’m immature, it’s not going to work. That’s why the divorce rate is so high.

Maturity is what we need in all things. In all things. If we could get out of the place where we try to please this flesh so much, it would get us out of a world of trouble. We hold this flesh so high, this shell. Because the real us is on the inside.

Maturity in the house of God. When a person is mature speaking about ministry, they understand and know how to not... Listen. Listen. They understand and know how to not cause someone else to stumble.

No matter how immature that person may be, the person that’s walking in maturity knows how to not put a stumbling block in their way. Because he or she knows that the Lord will deal with them right where they are. How much the more should we not deal with them right where they are?

We cause them to abort the missions that God has put them on, when God has placed us there to be a help to them. Maturity.

In the NIV version of Second Corinthians six and three, Paul said, “We have put no stumbling block in any one’s path, so that our ministry may not be discredited.”

They endured broken-ness. They endured (glory to God) opposition. They endured slander, and hard work. Yet through all that they went through, no one could genuinely come against their work.

Just like Daniel, with all that he went through, there was not a fault that they could find with him. Do you think he was just born with that type of character? I don’t think so.

Maturity. Where are you in the land of maturity? When a mature person doesn’t know something, they’re willing to learn. Being mature doesn’t mean that you know all things.

Being mature also means that you have a teachable spirit, that in the midst of you not knowing something, even for the risk of losing your reputation, as the Bible scholar that you are... Being mature means being able to say, “I don’t know.”

In Matthew chapter twenty-five... Go there with me tonight. We have a parable in this book. In verse fourteen, it says,

14. For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

15. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

16. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

17. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

18. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

19. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

20. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21. His Lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

We can see that faithfulness is of most importance in the quality of maturity. Jesus did not say, “Well done, oh powerful prophet miracle working servant.” But all He said was, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

He was concerned (glory to God) with his books that he had written. You don’t hear me tonight. He wasn’t concerned that he was prophet, doctor. You don’t hear me tonight. But he said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Well done. Enter into the joy of the Lord.”

He’s not concerned with the things that we’re concerned with. He’s concerned with our faithfulness.

When I get before the throne of God, I want Him to be able to say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Well done. Enter in.”

I don’t want the Lord to turn me around, and I have this under my belt and that under my belt and the other under my belt that I did. I don’t want to be a work of iniquity, where He can say, “Depart from Me. I don’t even know you.”

We’re not in this that men might know our names. We’re not in this that we could be of reputation. When I understand that, I’m on my way to maturity.

And even when men want to pat you on the back, you still keep the same demeanor. Nothing changes about you. You’re always the same. Just like He’s always the same, you’re always the same. Your head doesn’t swell. You don’t allow people to put you on a pedestal. You don’t allow yourself to be what they call “an untouchable.”

Maturity understands that I must be faithful over the little bit that He’s given me. I need to say that again. I need to be faithful over the little bit. And then He that sees that I’m faithful over that little bit, He’s the one that’s going to give me much more. No man, no woman, no boy no girl. Promotion comes from the Lord.

So tonight, people of God, where are we in our level of maturity? He’s only impressed with our faithfulness. That’s what He’s impressed with. Faithful to the cause of Christ.

He already knows you got bills to pay. He already knows. He already knows you’re lonely. He already knows that your heart has been broken. But in the midst of all of that He’s building character in you. Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Give God a handclap of praise tonight.

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