Friday, July 27, 2012

From Infancy to Adulthood

My grandson was born eleven weeks early. He was so tiny. He needed extra care.

In the beginning, the contact was minimal. A couple of hours per day were all he could handle. In his covered isolette, his little body would continue to grow and develop without outside interference.

Eventually, feedings were introduced and slowly he started to gain weight. Slowly the progress was made from isolette to crib.

Finally after 65 days and nearly three pounds of growth, my grandson was placed in a car seat…a much-too-large-for-this-tiny-baby car seat. He was ready to go home. He had matured enough to leave the shelter and comfort of the hospital to go to his own home.

He was growing up.

There are a few passages in Scripture that speak to maturing with an infant as the example. Let’s see what God has to say.

A division in the church at Corinth led Paul to speak these words to them. “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3a – NIV)

This passage shows us that when we allow certain sin to fester within the church and our lives, we are unable to grow spiritually. We remain as infants in Christ. The solution? The sin must be removed and replaced with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

The writer of Hebrews shares concern about spiritual growth as well. In Hebrews 5:11-14 (NIV) we see these words. “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 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! Anyone who lives on milk, being sill 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.”

Are you still learning the elementary truths of God’s Word? We see from this passage that we must move from infancy to maturity in our spiritual walk. The only way we can do so is by learning God’s Word and put it into practice. Then we will know the difference between good and evil.

Again we see the comparison between infancy and immature Christianity in 2 Peter 2:1-3 (NIV). “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Again in this passage we see that sin is the culprit to immaturity. Getting rid of this sin is the only way we can move in our spiritual walk.

The spiritual youth of our infancy is a good thing, as long as it leads to growth. If we allow ourselves to remain as infants, we will never know the goodness of our God. We will never have the pleasure of maturity. Isn’t it time to grow up in your salvation?

What are the steps you need to take to move from infancy to Christian maturity? Are you in a weekly Bible study that draws you into God’s Word to learn more about God? Are you attending worship services on a regular basis? Do you have a spiritual mentor who can assist when you have a spiritual question? Do you crave being with God daily?

These are questions that need to be answered in order to know the direction of your spiritual walk. If you answered these questions with “no,” this is where you need to begin. Spending time with God, learning His Word, worshiping Him, and having a spiritual guide will put you on the right path to maturity. Keep working at it. Maturity is inevitable.

Today my grandson is a healthy, thriving 17 month old little boy. He now runs when being chased by his older sister. He enjoys the same foods that we enjoy. He laughs and “sings” when he hears “Ring around the Rosie.” He moves his little trucks and says, “vroom, vroom.” And he yodels when he says, “doggie-odel-edel-o.”

But he didn’t get to this point without work, effort, and lots of prayer. He is growing up. And for that I am thankful. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for him throughout his life.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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