Over the years as I have examined my relationship with my Heavenly Father. During those times, I am reminded that as a child, I always sought to please my earthly parents. I do not know about you, but I loved hearing, “I love you.” I would do things that pleased my parents or just made them smile. My siblings and I would dance or perform something that we had learned just to amuse them. I would try to cheer my parents up when they were sad, especially, if I or my siblings had caused their angst. Parents love their children; children then reciprocate that love. I loved those hugs and kisses from my mom or dad! That positive reinforcement was a tangible demonstration of their love for me. I never had to be concerned about my needs—they were met even before I knew I had them!
As I grew older, I began to realize just how important it was to observe my parents ways and actions, along with their guidance and direction. That is what helped me to mature. I did not do everything right, but I knew when I followed their instructions, I would succeed. Parents want their children to do well and when they err, parents are forgiving and help them to course correct.
When I became a Christian, I, like everyone else, was so excited about my brand new relationship with my Abba Father. After all, he loved me so much that he sent his son to die for my transgressions. His Son, Jesus, demonstrated his unconditional love for me by dying a sacrificial death on the cross for my sins.
Like all newly born Christians, I prayed, sang praises to and worshipped my God. It was awesome knowing that God loved me so much! I was giddy, basking in the love and divine protection I felt. My life revolved around praising, worshiping and telling others about my God. I also enjoyed those newborn “spiritual pats on the head.”
Well, my friends, I used my childhood and born-again experience to provide an analogy between growth and maturity under our earthly parents and our Heavenly Father. I did this to show that there are stages of development and maturity in our Christian walk just as there were in our earthly development. God forbid that we continue to act like little children all of our natural lives. It is the same in our Christian walk—we cannot remain “Baby Christians” all of our lives.
I write this because some believers remain in the giddy infant stage throughout their Christian journey. They become stuck, unable to break out of this infant pattern of doing things and it becomes a lifelong habit. They continue to drink milk and are unable to mature. (1 Corinthians 3:2) Those who remain in infancy are unable to absolve the meatier things of God; solid food is for the mature. (Hebrew 5:4) When you eat solid foods, you are delving into the deeper things of God. Those who attempt to venture into a more mature step may revert back to the things that have always done after one failure or misstep. They yearn for that newborn “spiritual pat on the head or back.”
Growing up is never an easy process. It was not so under the tutelage of our earthly parents and it is definitely not so in the kingdom of God, under the guidance and direction of Holy Spirit. Growing up means moving beyond the repentance and salvation experience. Hebrews 6:1 puts it this way:
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God.
God created you for kingdom purposes. When you become born-again believers, you are no longer just God’s creative beings. Malachi 2:5 says that you become godly offspring. How awesome is that! As born-again godly offspring, you must seek the Lord for your divine destiny. That means moving beyond the basics. Paul states in Romans 12:2, that we can no longer be conformed to this world’s system and that we must renew our minds so that we can discern the will (destiny) of God for our lives. In 2 Corinthians 4:16, he goes on to discuss the maturing of believers as the perishing of the outward man (the flesh) and the renewing of the inward man ( the spirit). He reiterates the renewing of the mine message in Ephesians 4:23.
So, beloved, how do you renew your mind as you seek the deeper things of God?
Continue in dynamic praise and worship, for it moves you into that deeper relationship with God. It moves you into communion and prayer. Priorities must be in the right order. Communion with the Lord in his presence is your top priority. When you commune with God, you pray and talk with him about the things that are on your heart. There are times when you just need to sit silently in the presence of your Abba Father. Remember in Luke 10:39-42 where Martha complained about Mary not helping her serve. Jesus mildly rebuked Martha when he said that Mary was doing the better thing. Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus in the posture of a disciple while Martha was distracted with the cares of the world. As you remain in the presence of the Lord, you learn his ways. You begin to see yourself, others and the world around you in a different dimension. You also begin to trust God more and the shackles and cares of the world begin to fall away. You begin to develop the mind of Christ. (1Corinthians 2:16)
You must also listen as God speaks to you—communion is a two-way street. God communes in different ways—a still small voice, an impression on your heart or a scripture verse. God may confirm what he wants you to know through someone else, something or some situation.
Make reading and studying of God’s Word your sustenance and source! God’s Word is a believer’s spiritual food. It is the manual, blueprint and playbook for your life. The Bible will sustain you throughout your life’s journey because it is:
1. a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. (Psalm 119:105)
2. breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for
training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16).
3. living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and
of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
4. proven to be true. (John 17:17); ( Proverbs 30:5); (Psalm 119:160); (Psalm 18:30)
Yes, it is all of the above and much, much more!
Find a bonafide Bible-believing church that teaches the Word (Bible) uncompromisingly. Make sure that the pastor/spiritual leader is a God-fearing man or woman of God. Then, start attending a small group or Bible study group in your church for fellowship and growth. In addition, enroll in any available Bible classes on foundational doctrines, the spiritual gifts, the five-fold ministries and discipleship.
As you seek the face of God, through prayer and communion, reading and studying God’s Word in a church that strictly adheres to the Bible, you will grow.
Even if you have setbacks, do not revert back to the baby stage; keep moving ahead.
I am excited about what God is going to do in your lives!
Be blessed my friends.