by Joel Comiskey, Living in Victory: 9 Spiritual Truths for Transformation and Renewal, Spring 2022
The famous J.I. Packer died on July 17, 2020, at the age of 93. Packer was a modern-day hero of the faith and is probably most remembered for his best-selling book, Knowing God.
One thing I appreciated about J.I. Packer was that he never stopped growing in his faith. At the age of 89, he was no longer able to read, travel, or speak because of his failing eyesight, yet at that time he said in an interview,
God knows what he is doing, and some good, something for his glory, is going to come out of it. I find it more possible to concentrate on God himself and his plans, purposes, and performance than I used to do. I suppose that all these things have rooted themselves more deeply in my mind and heart. And I trust there’s less superficiality than there used to be.
Like J.I. Packer, God wants all believers to continually grow in their faith and trust him in every circumstance. Leadership, in fact, is an overflow of the spiritual journey with Christ.
Cell churches encourage each believer to attend cell and celebration. The next step is the equipping track which might last from 4 months to one year. Being part of a leadership cell team is another important step in the process of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. Receiving someone else’s coaching is also essential in the growth process.
But becoming like Jesus doesn’t stop there! Like J.I. Packer, cell leaders, like all believers need to continually grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We respond to the Holy Spirit daily until, like J.I. Packer, he takes us home.
I’ve been a believer for almost 49 years, but every day I become a little more like Jesus and a little less like the old Joel Comiskey. Just this morning, for example, Jesus convicted me of legalism and a controlling spirit. I repented and will continually be responding to the Holy Spirit until he takes me home. Perfection will only take place after departing from this life.
If you are a cell group leader, remember that you are on a journey. You have not arrived. I urge you to spend time with God daily (Matthew 6:5-6), allowing the Holy Spirit to fill you and guide you. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) and remember to listen to God’s prompting throughout the day.
In my book Living in Victory I lay out some of the prominent spiritual themes in my own journey with Christ.
J.I. Packer is now in glory, enjoying the presence of God and in perfect bliss. May we be encouraged by his life and ministry to continually grow closer to Jesus Christ until he takes us home.