As a Christian in ministry for over 30 years I have become an astute observer of human nature and behavior. The older and more mature I become, the more I understand the scripture in John 2:23-25:
The way of life we are called to live in order to live a life Jesus can bless
The Sermon on the Mount of Jesus (Matthew 5:1-12) is perhaps the greatest exposition ever written regarding godly character and attitude. In this section of scripture, Jesus is seen as the new Moses, speaking from a mountain after going through the waters of baptism (a type of the Red Sea) and being in the wilderness. He is presenting a new way of kingdom life; with this sermon many scholars believe Jesus is giving the real interpretation of the law of God (Exodus 20). Often the ten attributes mentioned here are overlooked because, in our performance-based culture, inward holiness is not as important as outward fruit. However, being transformed into the image and character of Christ is a prerequisite before we can walk in the ministry and power of Christ.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
As a believer with a Pentecostal experience since 1978, I have seen many genuine moves of God as well as many counterfeit works of the flesh. Unfortunately, many believers lack the discernment to tell the difference between what is of God and what originates with man.
The Word of God teaches us that salvation involves God initiating a relationship with us by choosing us in the beginning (Ephesians 1:4 says “before the foundation of the world”) which is summarily manifested when we actually believe the truth. Understanding this will release faith in our lives as we realize God has already laid out a course for our success that leads to a full manifestation of His glory.
(This based on a teaching I have given in a bible study )
Text Philippians 2:12,13
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 
Business does not always mean productivity! I.E. You can practice golf all day and not get better if you never had the right technique to begin with! Business makes people feel important –like there is a purpose to their life, but if they do not work on their inner man of the heart and just fill up their day with activities, then they will not be ready in a time of crisis!
By “rites of passage” I am referring to a person’s transition from one status or phase to another. In the church we have various ceremonies that mark different phases of spiritual and biological maturity like baptism, first communion, confirmation, etc. However, in the context of this article, a rite of passage is more of a test that is part of a process God uses to bring believers into another stage of maturity, before assigning them to another level of kingdom service.
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