For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. Hebrews 5: 12;
The expectation of God on our lives as believers is to grow steadily in understanding of His ways, will, purpose and plans. This is the only way we can expect to please Him and be all that He has destined us to be. Unfortunately, a lot of believers do not show much interest in their spiritual growth and progress. Although they have spent so many years as church members and followers of Christ, they still remain babes and infants since they have refused to progress in the knowledge of God.
Spiritual growth is necessarily not a function of how long a person has been in Christ; it is a result of a conscious and diligent daily pursuit after God. The reason so many believers are not growing is that, since they gave their lives to Christ, their major interest has been in the things God could do for them and not in developing a steady relationship with Him. They are satisfied just having their needs met and are never willing to assume any responsibility beyond that of a receiver in the kingdom.
One of the symptoms of retarded spiritual growth is shallow understanding. Babes and infants, despite their many years in Christ, are known by their inability to understand the will of God. They usually follow the crowd and have no clear direction or revelation of the purpose of God for their lives. Godís purpose and plans for our lives can only be discovered in the place of intimate relationship with Him. So, since babes and infants rarely place any importance on developing and maintaining personal relationship with God, they remain confused and always find it difficult to understand the deep things of God.
Another symptom of retarded spiritual growth is inability to assume responsibility in the things of the kingdom. Babes and infants are satisfied in their comfort zones and are not willing to go all the way in their commitment to Christ. They have spent so many years attending church and following Christ, but have not added value to Godís kingdom in any meaningful way. God cannot depend on them for exploits since they have not attained the stature of a man strong enough to stand for God.
One pitiable thing about babes and infants who have refused to grow in Christ is that, they are always learning the same thing over and over again. When they are supposed to be teachers, directing others in the way of righteousness by their lives pattern and conduct, they find it difficult to sustain themselves let alone supporting others spiritually.
The truth is that God will not always bear with those who have refused to grow spiritually. While it is true that God is rich in love and mercy towards all, however, He is not well pleased with believers that have remained babes when they are supposed to have grown to full stature in Christ. God is constantly in search of full statured men on whom He can depend in this generation. Consequently, spiritual babes and infants will find it difficult to find a place in the program of God.
Dearly beloved, the only way we can be what God has destined us to be is to continue to grow steadily in our knowledge of Him. That is the only way we can justify all the investments of Christ in our lives. A believer who is suffering from retarded growth cannot be productive. We must place premium on our spiritual growth by constant communion with God rather than placing undue attention on the mundane things of this world. The more we grow, the more Godís grace is released on us.
(c) Ezekiel Olukolajo
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