Toddlers are cute when they are silly and immature. It is okay to be a baby– when you are a baby. But, when you act childishly as an adult, people want you to grow up! Certainly, God wants his children to grow up spiritually.
The Bible tells us frequently of our need to grow deeper in our faith. Hebrews 5:12 says, “Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles…” Hebrews 6:1 urges us to “go on to maturity”. You are a spiritual newborn when you trust Christ for salvation. But you are to learn, mature and deepen. You are to grow up.
Note a couple of keys to growing deeper in your faith and maturing in your spiritual life.
1. Growing up takes effort. Effort is involved in any kind of growth. Do you want to get in shape? It will take some effort. Want to get out of debt? Effort is required. Want to succeed academically? That’s right– effort is critical.
The enemy of effort is laziness. The writer of Hebrews notes the reason for spiritual infancy is “you have become too lazy to understand.” (Heb. 5:11)
Spiritual growth requires effort instead of laziness. It is much easier not to have a devotional life than it is to get up early to read God’s word. It is much easier to say a rote prayer at a meal than to earnestly pour out your heart in travailing prayer. It is easier to sleep in than attend church.
Effort is required to serve, to forgive and to love. Effort is necessary to minister, witness and worship. Spiritual growth comes from spiritual discipline. Laziness stunts growth; effort fertilizes growth.
I ran two marathons in my life. They required a great deal of effort. I trained for weeks and weeks. That first step of each day of training was the hardest.
Want to grow up spiritually? It will mean you have to take a step and give some effort.
2. Growing up takes endurance. Endurance involves willingness to put forth effort day after day and year after year. The first training run does not leave the runner prepared for the marathon. It takes frequent and consistent training runs. It takes endurance.
Effort means we have a devotional time today. Endurance means we have a devotional time daily.
Endurance means we stay faithful even when circumstances are hard or challenging. Endurance overcomes apathy, failure and opposition. Endurance doesn’t quit when things are difficult.
Discipleship has been called a long walk in the same direction. Growing up means we start on the right path and then stay on that path for the long haul. We choose to endure.
A child doesn’t grow up overnight. There are falls to overcome and lessons to learn. In a similar way, spiritual growth takes some time. Endurance is the method by which we learn those lessons and get up from those falls.
God saves us to grow. He wants us to mature and to deepen our faith. He doesn’t want us to remain spiritual infants who are ignorant of his word and immature in our attitude. He wants our effort and he wants our endurance.
So, don’t be an immature follower of Christ. Grow up!