My wife is pregnant and our son, Lord willing, will be born on or before July 29th. His name is “James Jakob Worley.” He will be born and will begin to immediately take in all the stimuli the world has to offer and begin learning from what he sees, hears, smells, and experiences. It’s an amazing process. Children are sponges! They take in whatever they come in contact with and process it according to how they involuntarily choose and how they see those around them processing it.
Good thing they get past formula and baby food. Could you imagine eating baby food and formula daily at your age!? LOL! Nasty! We don’t do that for a couple of reasons, first one being that it tastes like canned dog food (if you ask me). And secondly, our bodies need something more nutritious and solid. We couldn’t survive and thrive healthily if our diet consisted of formula and Gerber. Yuck! Why would I choose to have that diet when I could have steak from the RoadHouse or a nice salad from Olive Garden,…or…LaCareta’s chips & salsa or Chinese Happiness’ everything?
Or what about movies? Could you imagine choosing to only view the movies children enjoy. Now some of them are good, but I’m not sure I could digest Barney, the Teletubbies, Pooh & the gang, or the Wiggles every day for the rest of my movie viewing life. Could you? (My 3-year old loves this one here) Or could you imagine being born and growing-up to about the age of eight or nine and then intentionally stop growing mentally? Your body continues to grow, but your mind doesn’t because you simply don’t want to or because you have chosen not to for some other reason. Wouldn’t that be weird? I’m not talking about someone with a mental disease, that’s different b/c they can’t help it. I’m talking about a person choosing to quit growing mentally. We would probably survive, but how would we thrive? How would we be the very best that we could be? We couldn’t. It would be like having access to the entire Craftsman tools line, but only choosing to use a hammer and a wrench to fix stuff. What a shame to be so limited when the opportunity to progress is right in front of you.
All of these examples would render a person unfulfilled, virtually ineffective, and stagnant in every way. When it comes to our spiritual lives, the life that really matters here on earth and eternally, many of us choose to quit growing in our relationship with Jesus Christ. For whatever reason, we accept the grace and forgiveness Jesus offers, but refuse the obedience He requires…refuse the growth He wants for us…for our own good…for our own effectiveness for His Kingdom.
The author of Hebrews in the 5th & 6th chapter addresses those believers who have chosen to quit growing spiritually and this is what the Scriptures say:
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.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.
1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (NIV)
God wants us to learn the basics of our faith, remain in-touch with them-but not to only hang-on to them. These basics are the first principles that are placed on our foundation of knowing Jesus Christ. But God intends for us to keep building. No builder lays the foundation and then puts up the structure of the home and then quits building so he can now live in it. That’s not what was intended and one’s life would be highly limited living in a home like that. And spiritually, we aren’t designed to live in a faith with simply foundational principles as there is only so much you can do, so much you can be, and so much you can thrive spiritually with the foundational principles alone.
So how do we grow? Look at chapter 5, verse 14. “Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Unless we apply all of Scripture to our lives (the foundational principles do not tells us how to live on a daily basis) and practice being obedient to God, we will not grow beyond the basics of a spiritual life. We will render ourselves frequently fruitless and rob ourselves of wisdom, character, knowledge, love, patience, kindness, and our example to others will never display the growth only influenced by God.
Are you growing today? Are you growing beyond yourself? Are you spiritually dry today? Do you feel like you’re in a spiritual “rut”? Do you feel like you haven’t grown spiritually for quite some time? If that’s you, I’d like to challenge you to look at two things in your life. First, I’d like you to look at your calendar or datebook/organizer. Where does time with God fit into your day? Or does He get the leftovers or do you fit Him in “when you have time”? Do you make time for a Sabbath? Do you read God’s Word daily? Do you pray daily?; getting alone and taking the time to focus on Him one-on-one?
Secondly, I’d like you to look at your checkbook. Where does your money go? If God were to see your checkbook, where would He say your devotion and commitment, financially, lie? Do you obediently, or “by constant use,” tithe at least the minimum of 10% to the church? Or do you give what’s left, if any, at the end of the month?
How can spiritual growth occur if God is not first in your life? How can spiritual growth occur if we don’t takes steps of faith in areas such as giving of our resources & money and areas such as the sacrifice of personal time with God and service time with God? If you’re still drinking spiritual formula and baby food, you must understand that you weren’t meant to, you don’t have to, but you’re allowed to as long as you choose to do so. Decide today to grow-up spiritually and get your checkbook and organizer in order today. Make God, God in your life today once again.
“Heavenly Father, help us to put you first in our lives. Remind us of what you saved us from and what you saved us for. Help us to appreciate it more and more each and every day. Thank You for loving us so much. Give us the strength and courage to step out today in faith and we pray that you would help us to grow-up in our walk with you. Forgive us for walking as spiritual infants for so long; we want to grow. Help us to know you will take care of us as we walk and step-out in faith in the areas of money & resources and the giving of our time for Your Kingdom. We bless you with our life today and thank You alone for the mercy & grace we have in You. Amen.