Has anybody ever told you “Oh, Grow Up!”? Or maybe you’ve heard that you need to “put on your big girl panties”… You’ve heard these statements when others feel like you are being immature or whining about something. Whenever we want to stomp our feet and pitch a fit, you see it in their eyes, they really want to tell us “you really need to grow up”.
We’ve all been there! And we’ve all probably told someone else the same thing. What if we put that in a spiritual context? Are you still a spiritual baby when you should be mature? Have you put the time into spiritual growth and maturity as you should have?
I truly believe God is telling His children the very same thing! Okay, maybe not in those exact words…but still, He wants His children to grow up, spiritually speaking so that we can do the work that He’s called us to do. We can’t evangelize the world while we are still spiritual children. It is time to “Grow Up”. I am quoting from the book “Holy Spirit Made Me Do It” to put a little light on the subject. We not only need to make a decision for spiritual growth but we need to encourage our brothers and sisters to “Grow Up”!
Every Christian is operating on some level of spiritual maturity. We all, as do natural children, grow and mature as we learn new information and skills. In the natural, when a baby is born he has basic instincts to eat, sleep, and bond with his mother. From that moment forth, he begins learning from his environment. The same thing happens when we are born again. We have a natural desire to partake of the Word and bond with our Father and then we, also, begin to learn from our environment—the environment of God’s family.
What happens if we are not properly cared for in the family? What happens when we hunger and no one feeds us? We have a body of believers who are starving for the meat of the Word, wandering aimlessly through life looking for direction and not finding anyone to properly guide them. The result is a church body that operates out of man’s knowledge, lacking proper spiritual order and the leading of Holy Spirit.How is it that we grow spiritually? First, you must partake of the Word. 1Peter 2:2 says, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” As you partake of the Word, you mature in knowledge. It nourishes you. But as a baby continues to grow, he begins to need more nourishment than milk can provide. He soon needs solid food in order to properly grow. The same occurs with the milk of the Word.Soon, we must dig a little deeper and seek more from God’s Word. We must progress to solid food. You must first introduce new foods to a baby to see if he is able to digest them. By trying them, you put the baby’s digestive system to the test. As we move in new knowledge and revelation, we are putting our spiritual digestive systems to the test. James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” By “doing” the Word we are preparing our bodies for a progressive diet until we are ready for the meat of the Word.Knowledge in and of itself profits us nothing. In fact the Word says in 1 Corinthians 8:1 that knowledge puffs up. That means that knowledge not put into action causes one to become prideful. When someone puts more emphasis on pure head knowledge than walking in that knowledge, they no longer grow and mature but become spiritually stagnant.“For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age [mature], that is, those who by reason of use [practice] have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” —Hebrews 5:13–14Maturity comes through hearing and acting on the Word. To become skilled, one must practice. A characteristic of one who is spiritually mature is one who is skilled in the Word by reason of practice. Philippians 3:15–16 says, “Therefore, let us, as many as are mature, have this mind . . . to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule [degree] . . . ” We must walk in the knowledge that we have already attained. By doing so, we are able to progress in the Word.“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” —Romans 8:14–17Romans 8:14–17 shows a distinction between two sets of people—those who are mature and those who are not. How does a mature Christian operate? He is led by the Spirit. The Greek word for sons in verse 14 is huios, meaning “mature son, one who can be identified as a son because he displays the character of a parent.” The Greek word for children (verses 16–17) is teknon, meaning “immature son, one who is a son by mere fact of birth.” When we are born again we become the teknon of God, by mere fact of birth. But as we grow and mature, and take on God’s characteristics, we become the huios or mature son of God. How is it in verse 14 that a mature son operates? By the leading of Holy Spirit. So, in our ability to mature, we must partake of the milk of the Word and progress to the solid food of the Word until we are able to eat the meat of the Word. We can then operate as mature sons by being led by Holy Spirit.
We must put forth the effort to study the word of God and to walk it out in our daily lives. We need to grow and mature. Just as in physical growth, there should be a progression. We should not still be in diapers. We shouldn’t need someone to spoon feed us. We should be walking and not crawling. But in order to grow, we have to put in the effort. We must make a decision that we are going to be spiritual adults!
Do you want to be deemed useless in the body of Christ?
If not, then put on your spiritual big girl panties and let’s go!