Who doesn’t love babies? They are so adorable with their gurgles and coos. We enjoy watching them sleep, smile, laugh, really, pretty much everything about them. Yet, as much as we love them, we don’t want them to stay tiny forever. We want them to thrive.
As they grow, we look forward to seeing them learning how to crawl, walk, talk, play with others, ride a bicycle, go to school, drive a car, graduate, get married, have their own children… No one was made to stay as babies forever.
When we first come to Jesus, we are new-born baby Christians. We waddle around trying to find our way through this new life of ours. Some learn the basics of growing up in Christ whilst others are just thrown into the deep end, made a member of the church, and given a leadership role (that may or may not be suited to them). For those who are fortunate enough to learn about growing in Christ, you learnt the basics of reading and studying the Bible, going to church, praying, and serving the Lord. As we follow these “steps” we begin to grow into maturity.
Our Christian journey is a continual journey of growth. Just as babies are to grow from just drinking milk to eating solid food, we too should be growing. “Like newborn infants, long for the spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation- if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2-3 ESV).
Sadly, many Christians are not moving forward. There are people who declare themselves as Christians, who at 65 years of age, have been saved as long as they can remember, have no idea about basic Bible stories or where certain books of the Bible or passages of scripture can be found. They are still being spoon fed and believing this is enough for them.
Paul mentions this problem in 1 Corinthians 1:1-3a: “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not ready for you are still of the flesh.”
How can we move onto solid food if we are still wanting to be spoon fed by our ministers and Bible Study leaders? We cannot grow by listening to one or more sermons a week and expect that to fill us?
When we don’t spend time with God, we risk apostasy, a total desertion or departure from God. The writer of Hebrews mentions about apostasy. “About this, we have much to say, and it is hard to explain since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:11-14 ESV)
Ouch! We become dull of hearing and still need to be treated as infants when we don’t have our own personal time with God. We cannot distinguish right from wrong and think the ways of the world are okay. We can’t understand holiness and the reason why we need to be set apart for God’s purposes. We become deserted from God.
Oh, my friends, we must be intentional in our spiritual growth. We have to decide whether or not we want a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ.
There is hope. We can move forward in our relationship with God whether we just got saved or have been saved for many years and have been stuck waddling around in our nappies/diapers.
*Be intentional in having a daily quiet time with God.
*Find a Bible (preferably one that is not on your phone or computer and in a version, you can understand)
*Find a good devotional book or two
*Study God’s Word daily
*Memorise verses (have some index cards or post-it notes to write verses on and put them around your house where you can see them)
*Pray, simply talk to God (Use the Lord’s prayer or the Psalms to start off with)
*Listen to and sing hymns or worship music
*Join an Alpha Course, if there isn’t one in your area, ask your minister to host one
*Find a trusted mentor who you can be accountable to
*Be involved in your church
These are just a few things that will help you greatly in your journey with the Lord. I pray God will enable us all to grow in unity and in love.
Prayer: Father, I want to grow up in you. I am not satisfied just being a baby forever expecting to be spoon fed my meals. (Please forgive me for not moving forward despite being a Christian ______ years.) I want to be intentional in my growth. I desire a real and deepening relationship with Jesus. Please help me as I cannot do this on my own. Amen.