The rapture of the Church is fast approaching.
Hebrews 5:12-14 says, “At a time when you should be teaching others, you need teachers yourselves to repeat to you the ABC of God’s Revelation to men. You have become people who need a milk diet and cannot face solid food! For anyone who continues to live on “milk” is obviously immature—he simply has not grown up. “Solid food” is only for the adult, that is, for the man who has developed by experience his power to discriminate between what is good and bad for him” (J.B.Phillips). I recently wrote a post called ‘Wake Up‘, which talked of how the rapture of the Church is fast approaching and of our need to wake up and do whatever God is calling us to do. For the same reason if you are still on spiritual milk it is time you grew up. If you have been a Christian for a while, you should have moved past the milk stage. In other words, you should have moved beyond the basics.
Milk does not form the main part of an adult’s diet.
Not that you never remind yourself of the basics, it is certainly good to be reminded of the basics of Christianity. Children & adults alike still drink milk. Drinking milk does not stop once you move onto solid food. But milk does not form the main part of an adult’s diet. They are way past the stage of only drinking milk and require much more to sustain them. Physically growing is a natural process and provided a child receives adequate food, they will grow. It is the same spiritually, but a lot of Christians are not receiving adequate food. Even when they do receive more ‘solid food’, from reading the Bible or hearing a sermon for example, they cannot – or will not – accept it and instead spit it out, as a weaning baby may spit out their food.
Everything needs to be checked out against what the Bible actually says.
Let’s look at some signs of spiritual immaturity, so that we can recognise them if they show up in our lives and deal with them accordingly. For example how do you react when you hear a teaching which is different to what you’ve always believed? Do you immediately reject it? Now, I am not saying that we should accept every new teaching we hear – that in itself is a sign of spiritual immaturity. But we should also not reject every new teaching either. Everything needs to be checked out against what the Bible actually says. A good teacher / pastor or whatever will use Bible verses, which you should always check out for yourself. If a teaching disagrees with your long held beliefs, check out what the Bible says about those beliefs. Make sure they are founded on the Word of God and not on the religion of Man.
It is not wrong to have non-Christian friends, but the higher percentage of our time should be spent with other believers.
What other signs should we be on the look out for? One sign of spiritual immaturity is viewing God only as a God of Love and ignoring the fact that He is also a God of Justice So often this is used to argue that Christians should be tolerant “like Jesus” – don’t fall for the lie that God’s love overrides His holiness, His justice etc. If you think that God is tolerant and will just let things slide because of His love for Mankind, then you have very clearly not read very much of the Bible and if you have, you were not paying attention. Another area you need to watch concerns your friends and the people you spend time with. Are they Christian or non-Christian? Of course it is not wrong to have non-Christian friends, but the higher percentage of our time should be spent with other believers.
We cannot keep getting into arguments.
1 Corinthians 3:3 in the New King James Version says, “For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?“. This can be a tough one, but it is something we need to deal with if we are to leave spiritual immaturity behind. We cannot keep getting into arguments. It doesn’t matter whether other people accept our side of things or not. It doesn’t matter whether or not we are right. What matters is being mature enough to recognise strife as the dangerous tactic of Satan that it is and avoid it at all cost. James 3:16, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work“. This has been an extremely effective tactic for Satan, but it is time to wise up and guard against this form of attack. What is it that makes this tactic so effective? The answer is pride. The need to prove ourselves, the need to be right. Let’s take authority over pride and render this tactic ineffective.
In reality their lives are not far removed from those in the world.
A lot of Christians are not very different from the world. Sure, they go to church and there are certain things that they don’t do, but in reality their lives are not far removed from those in the world. Again, this is a sign of spiritual immaturity – we are not supposed to be like the world, we are supposed to be different. Romans 12:2 in the Contemporary English Version says, “Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think“. There are, of course, many other signs of spiritual immaturity, such as getting offended when I (or someone else) mention something that touches a nerve. For most, its as simple as analysing the difference between how children act and how adults act, and applying this spiritually. Although, admittedly for many adults it can be hard to tell the difference and there are certainly children who are more mature than a lot of adults. Changing from being a spiritual baby when you are born again, to a mature believer is a growing process, just as it is in the natural. What’s important is that you are growing and not stuck at one stage. Always be willing for God to take you further on the path to spiritual maturity.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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