Are you growing and maturing in your faith? Or are you a baby bottle Christian, stalled out and immature in your faith? How can you tell? What does God have to say about this? You might be surprised by the answer…
Scripture equates your spiritual life to a growing child. In other words, when you become a Christian, you are like a newborn baby that needs to be growing and maturing over time. Anything less would be viewed as dysfunctional. Let’s face it, if a child is drinking from a baby bottle at 10 years old, there would be concern. The same is true when it comes to your spiritual life. It would be a dysfunctional picture to be 10 years old in the Lord and still drinking from a spiritual baby bottle. So what’s the solution? How can you prevent this from happening to you?
1. Study God’s Word
Hebrews 5:13-14 – Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
The Hebrew writer equates spiritual growth to the diet of a growing child. In the beginning, infants drink milk, but as they grow and mature, they graduate to more solid food. From a spiritual perspective, Christians begin their spiritual life with very simple principles and truths about Jesus (i.e. spiritual milk), but over time, if they are maturing, they will graduate to more solid food (i.e. teaching about righteousness).
In order to do this, it means we are to be dining on God’s word on a regular basis.We should be growing in our study of the Bible, learning and digesting more and more about Jesus and how He wants us to walk with Him. This is how personal spiritual growth takes place. Yes, going to church is good, but unless you have a regular diet of studying God’s word on your own, you will always be a baby bottle Christian looking for someone else to feed you. This approach will also keep you immature in your faith, unstable, and struggling in areas where you should be strong.
2. Apply God’s Word
Hebrews 5:14 – …But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
The Hebrew writer also highlights that as you study God’s word and become acquainted with the teachings of righteousness, you are to be “trained” by it. In other words, you must grow in what you know. As you read and study God’s word, you must move beyond an intellectual experience into application. God has given us His word is to change our lives, not simply to change our minds (see my blog post, Why I Don’t Read the Bible). Without this application piece, we can actually fool ourselves into thinking we are maturing and growing while still being immature and stunted. In order to avoid this trap, it takes effort, intentionality, and new steps of faith and obedience. Digesting “solid” food always takes more effort than drinking from a baby bottle but the long-term results will bring God’s strength and blessing to our lives.
So how do you measure up on the spiritual growth curve? Is it time to spiritually grow up and be more committed to the study and application of God’s word? If so, don’t wait, put down the baby bottle and start growing in your own personal walk with Jesus today!
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