We Are To Mature, Not To Stay Babes In Christ!
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
The word of God is full of the spiritual meat. It provides guidance for every aspect of life, in every situation. And while the word of God does not specifically say, “I want you, <Your Name Here>, to go to such and such a city and get such and such a job and do such and such a ministry…”, it does provide guidance for every area of our lives.
Psalm 119:105 says that the word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path. There is just enough light to see the cliff, or where to put our next foot. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit through faithful and fervent prayer to God to get anything close to a longer-term indication of what we should be doing (further than our next footstep).
In the word of God, as we mature, we begin to understand the deeper truths of walking in step with God in our spiritual life. God reveals wonderful nuggets of truth that help to transform our lives from merely adoring children into prepared adults, making mature decisions, walking confidently in His guidance and being resources to those who are still maturing in Christ.
Everyone who has been walking with God for more than five years (and for many, perhaps even fewer years…) should begin to mature in Christ. Paul says something very interesting here. He gently scolds the Hebrews (and us!) for their passivity in failing to pursue a more complete understanding and comprehension of the spiritual truths of God, and even says, they are no longer even trying.
Many people believe simply that since they are saved, God will take care of their spiritual feeding through divine revelation through the Holy Spirit. But God says to seek Him with ALL of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. God greatly desires that we mature, just as parents everywhere, wish that their teenagers WOULD JUST GROW UP ALREADY…
There is a great frustration among parents when they watch their 18, 19, 20, 30 year old children act exactly like that – CHILDREN. There is an expectation that their children would mature, and then do something productive with their lives, not live in their parent’s basement until they are 50 only eating junk-food, watching TV, and playing video games all night with their friends. In the same way, God desires that His children mature, stand strong, and do the works that He has prepared for them to do since before the foundation of the world.
The good news is that as we mature, we have a veritable feast available to us to feed upon. As a child, we grow and develop feeding on the rich milk of our mothers. But there comes a time when we need additional nourishment in order to grow our bodies. ONLY drinking milk (or not eating or drinking anything else at all…) will eventually cause malnourishment in our bodies.
In the same way, by feeding upon the “meat of the word”, we become nourished, strong, and able to do the work that we need to do. Those of God’s people who are not seriously seeking him through prayer, reading his word, and seeking out an understanding of his word (its meaning and application in our lives, as well as implementing it as part of our daily routines) are on the path to spiritual malnourishment, as well as being weakened for the enemy of our souls, to pounce upon us, overpower us, and devour us.
As we feed upon the word of God and pray, we grow strong. There is an amazing cornucopia of delights as we delve deeper into the word, and our lives are transformed by its principles and guidance. Cheetos and milk duds may taste good for a snack, but what is better than a ten course meal with all of the trimmings to satisfy your hunger? The word of God is like a good Amish buffet – wholesome, tasty, satisfying food, always with new varieties, to fill us, tantalize us, and give us strength as it satisfies our hunger.
Those who truly are babes in Christ should feed on milk until they begin to mature, being able to distinguish the difference between what is good and what is evil in the sight of the Lord. Just as adults don’t exclusively drink milk, we don’t feed steak to a baby that has no teeth! As we train ourselves, though the transforming and renewing of our minds in the word of God, we are better equipped to understand and implement the deeper truths of the word of God.
We should all seek to want to feed upon the meat of the word, so that God would be able to use us in a greater capacity. God is able to use anyone in Him in any way that He chooses. He, however, is more easily able to use those who are mature in greater ways than the infants.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I as mature as I should be for the length of time that I have spent as a child of God?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, Thank You for your patience, mercy and grace. Give me a heart that constantly seeks after You, and greatly desires to grow and mature towards holiness. Help me to get out of any spiritual ruts that I may be in, and to pursue You as the cheetah pursues its prey. Provide me with strength, guidance, resources, and good mentors so that I can become who You desire me to be. Help me to overcome any strongholds in my mind that may be keeping me from seeking to grow. Help me to turn my eyes more fully upon Jesus, and look full in His wonder face so that the things of this world will grow strangely dim. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.