Over the past few years I have heard it mentioned several times by others that God has led them through many churches and experiences, refining the truths of God through this process. I even struggled through this same process, I must admit, but never quite came to the conclusion that God had purposely led me through these various levels of spirituality.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:12-18)
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:7-11)
In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death. (Prov. 12:28)
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:3)
This last verse speaks volumns.
God does not lead us into partial truth, for he is completely incapable of it. God does not lead us to travel through the "bowels" of mixed truth and partial, or complete deception, in order to build us up in the faith gradually.
This is just another example of the sin of pride. As I personally wrestled through questioning God why he brought me through these different stages of truth I realized that this attitude was soley based on the sinfulness of my carnal pride, and of this I needed to repent.
God does not lead us into partial truth, mixed with doctrines of men or the foolish cares and lust of the world, but rather it is our own lusts that lead us to find places of religious comfort, even if it is closer to the real thing. God does not need to waste years of our lives to prepare us for his "perfect" truth ... there are no degrees of his truth.
One of the greatest stumbling blocks we have as believers is our rebellious nature that is not willing to confess that we have sinned. Without this confession we are unable to seek forgiveness through humble repentance.
Blaming God for this is the height of arrogance. God may have met us where we were at and endeavored to lift us out of our sin and unrighteous ways in our carnal journey of religious pursuit, but he never and will never lead us into partial truths that still keep us in spiritual darkness or bondage. When we reason this way we nullify the redemptive work of the cross.
In summary, God does not lead us through various levels of church associations and experiences to bring us to the truth, but rather we are lead astray by the lust of our flesh. Reasoning that these experiences have slowly opened our eyes to greater truth allows us to avoid repenting of our disobedience and disbelief. I have many times exused my past rebellion against God as "just part of the process", but today I am greatful to know that I can take him at his word, knowing he does not give a stone when I ask for bread. Amen!