Fresh Hope – 18th May 2018

How wrong would it be if you saw a grown man wearing a nappy, drinking from a milk bottle and acting like a baby? You would be totally weirded out. Why? Because humans grow. You are a baby for a season of your life and then you develop into an adult. You move from being told what to do, to making choices for yourself. You grow from crying all through the night, to managing your problems. You go from simply sleeping, eating and pooing all the time, to fully adulting by managing a job, bills, a family, a social life, and a host of other commitments and responsibilities. You move from being feed only milk, to eating a steak you cooked!

Our spiritual life is much the same. We start as babies in the faith (regardless of age), and we should be growing in maturity. However, this isn’t always the case. There are many Christians still crawling around in nappies, and drinking milk, decade after decade.

Hebrews 5:11-12 says, ‘We have much to say about this (Jesus as our high priest), 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!’. The writer of Hebrews wanted to go deeper and further in the teachings of God, but he recognised that the people were not ready. They were Christians, but they were still spiritual babies. They were not growing.

Is milk bad? Not at all. Milk refers to basic truths of scripture. So of course, the basics of faith are vital, but there is so much more.  The basics of faith serve for a season, but we should then be going deeper. There are greater degrees and depths to our relationship with God that are to be explored and actioned. Hence why in Hebrews we read, Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…’(Hebrews 6:1-2).

Like a baby who only drinks milk, a spiritual baby only feeds off the same thing. They only ever crave the simple, they aren’t looking to be challenged and stretched. Drinking only milk will stunt your growth. Not being proactive in feeding on “fresh words” from God, and seeking to be challenged and pushed to new places in your relationship with God will stunt your growth.

Spiritual babies are slow to learn deeper truths and articulate their faith. Like a baby who grows in speech, so you can articulate your faith and relationship with God better as you grow in spiritual maturity.

A spiritual baby struggles to discern that which is right and wrong. A spiritually mature person is done with their worldly ways and can apply that which they have been taught. A baby still needs heavy coaching and rearing. Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness’ (Hebrews 5:13-14)As we grow, so does our capacity to use wisdom, and take on greater responsibilities for God.

So how can we grow up? For a healthy human to grow, they need feeding…constantly and regularly. No Christian can grow up by feeding on one 30-minute sermon once a week. It isn’t enough. Imagine trying to develop properly on one meal a week? You would die. A baby starts out unable to feed itself, and eventually learns to feed its own body. As Christians, we should not be reliant on being spoon fed by others constantly, we need to know how to nurture our faith ourselves. Regardless of how amazing your pastor is, their teaching should never replace our need to hear God for ourselves in our private life.

Are you challenging yourself spiritually? Are you feeding yourself every day? Are you actively digger deeper in your relationship with Christ? Are you tuning in to the voice of God daily? Don’t become lazy. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you, for this is His job. There is more than milk. There are so many amazing foods and flavours in God to be explored as we go further, deeper and higher in Him! Regardless of how old you are in the faith, there is more!

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.