Today I am focusing on two passages…one by the Apostle Peter and one by the Apostle Paul…
Peter says: “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord”. 1 Peter 2:2
and 1 Corinthians 3:2 where Paul says: “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly”.
Jesus tells us in John 3:3 that unless we are born again we cannot see the kingdom of God… but should we stay as babies forever?
It’s not just new Christians who need to worry about achieving spiritual maturity. It is easy to stay a ‘baby Christian’ for much longer than we should and some have been Christians for a long time but are still ‘babies’. Are you growing up? Are you ready for solid food yet? Being ready for “Solid food’ means moving away from relying on other people to feed your soul spiritually, to beginning to feed on the things of the Spirit by yourself. Just like a baby moving into the toddler stage, you stop waiting with your spiritual mouth wide open waiting to be fed by your pastor or church or indeed waiting for other people to clean up the mess we make when we turn away from the source of our life and wallow in sin.
I believe beginning to grow spiritually means:
1. Beginning to dine on a solid diet of the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), Drinking daily from the fountain of living water that is Jesus – John 4:13-14. Jesus tells us in John 6:53 to ‘eat his body and drink his blood” for eternal life. Many listening were shocked but we now know that His body is the Word (John 1) and his blood the promise of forgiveness. What is your diet like? Are you still waiting to be fed by your pastor or church?
2. We must learn to take our first steps and walk forward unaided by man but led by the Holy Spirit….We have not been given a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) and His word and love provides a lamp unto our feet (Psalm119:105). We have new shoes made from the gospel of peace. (Eph 6:15). Like babies our first steps are unsure but practice makes perfect!
3. We must learn to answer the name we have been given…(Psalm 43:1). I have a new kingdom identity. He knows my name and I am His, He has called me daughter (1 John 3:1). It is the only name on my Kingdom birth certificate. I will not answer to any other name the enemy once called me!
4. I am learning to seek wisdom. My Father provided me with two private and personal teachers – Wisdom (Proverbs 8) and the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). Together they are great teachers available 24/7 and I learn so much in this ‘school’.
5. I am learning to pick up my weapons and defend myself when I need to…as a baby, it was ok to cry out when I saw the enemy approach but as I grow I know that He has given me weapons to fight the enemy with, to demolish every stronghold (2 Corinthians 10:4) and He expects that in faith I will pick them up and use them. My Father loves seeing me fully dressed in the clothes/armour He has made for me (Ephesians 6:10)
6. I am learning to recognize my brothers and sisters, knowing that my Father expects me to love them as He loves me, to work with them to look after His house and the prepare the Kingdom for His Son…my Big Brother Jesus!!!! (John15:12)
7. I am learning to talk (pray). I know it’s good to pray for others and to sometimes ask others to pray for and with me but mainly, I am learning to talk directly to my Father, to ask when I am in need, to thank Him for His gifts and to talk to Him about the things that concern me. (Hebrews 4:16) (Psalm 138:8)
Yes, I think I am dining on solid food, I am growing up by His grace and power not by my strength but by His but I am learning to put aside childish things, I don’t want be an infant in Christ for ever !!! What about you…are you growing too?