If You’re Not Growing You’re Dying

I Wept

My heart is heavy and sorrowful with feeling both the sadness of the people in affliction and the mind of God concerning it. I wept for the victory of my brothers and sisters. “Lord, why isn’t the Word working in their lives? You are no respecter of persons.” I pressed in and inquired that and more. Then the tears flowed and God answered in that still small voice.

For years, I have wept for my children who are stubborn as mules and refuse by their own choice to mature in the faith. They are settled in keeping vigil at eating meat that’s ground up and milk that’s fresh. They have no patience, no stamina for the waiting of God’s plan or purpose. If it’s not happening now they’re moving on. They have forsaken treasure for fool’s gold. They have given way to the culture’s idea of success and freedom and forfeited their rights as sons and daughters of the Most High God. They have decided to live as beggars instead of living as they should be in prayer, fasting and dependent on God. They have traded in royalty for beggar’s clothes—and beg they shall.

In all the world, you find few who know how to enter and be patient for the miracles and wonders my Kingdom can bring, but those that do find that the journey of holding out is worthy, are far better off. They have peace that surpasses all understanding and they have the Word to comfort them in the meanwhile.

Tell them, my love and my Word are sufficient for them.

Jeremiah 8:18-22
Jeremiah 14:17
Jeremiah 9:1

I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able. 1 Corinthians 3:2

Life Application Study Bible: Paul called the Corinthians infants in the Christian life because they were no yet spiritually healthy and mature. The proof was that they quarreled like children, allowing divisions to distract them. Immature Christians are “carnal,” controlled by their own desires; mature believers are in tune with God’s desires. How much influence do your desires have on your life? Your goals should be to let God’s desires be yours. Being controlled by your own desires will stunt your growth. 

Spiritual Immaturity
Hebrews 5
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. 

Life Application Study Bible: In order to grow from infant Christians to mature Christians, we must learn discernment. We must train our consciences, our senses, our minds, and our bodies to distinguish good from evil. Can you recognize temptation before it traps you? Can you tell the difference between a correct use of Scripture and a mistaken one? 

Our capacity to feast on deeper knowledge of God (“solid food”) is determined by our spiritual growth. Too often we want God’s banquet before we are spiritually capable of digesting it. As you grow in the Lord and put into practice what you have learned, your capacity to understand will grow. 

The Peril of Not Progressing
Hebrews 6
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame

7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. 

Life Application Study Bible: To go on to maturity in our understanding, we need to move beyond (but not away from) the elementary teachings to a more complete understanding of the faith. Mature Christians should be teaching new Christians the basics. The, acting on what they know, the mature will learn even more from God’s Word. 

These Christians need to move beyond the basics of their faith. They needed to depend on Christ and live effectively for him. 

As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:2-3 

Life Application Study Bible: One characteristic all children share is that they want to grow up – to be like big brother or sister or be like their parents. When we are born again, we become spiritual newborn babies. If we are healthy, we will yearn to grow. The need for milk is a natural instinct for baby, and it signals the desire for nourishment that will lead to growth. Once we see our need for God’s Word and begin to find nourishment in Christ, our spiritual appetite will increase, and we will start to mature. How strong is your desire for God’s Word?

Grow Up! 

Grow in the knowledge of Christ because if you’re not growing you’re dying. What does that look like? You’ll be weak, helpless and without armor. If you were in a crisis you couldn’t stand on the Word of God because it’s not in you. You lack spiritual discernment between good and evil. Your content with being on breast milk instead of eating solid food. You’re a weakling in the spirit and the devil is circling and he’s getting ready to devour you. It’s true.

Challenge: Buy two healthy small plants and water one and starve the other. Note the changes in both and what that might be like in comparison with your spirit-man that has been deprived of studying the Word daily. Devotions or reading a book scripturally based are not part of your daily study time. Truthfully, it’s a mid-morning snack. You can’t run this race on snacking. You need the Word of God in its fullness. Why? Because we know that the scripture says, “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:26-27) 

Life Application Study Bible: Christ’s death sanctifies and cleanses the church. He cleanses us from the old ways of sin and sets us apart for his special sacred service. Christ cleansed the church by the “washing of baptism.” Through baptism we are prepared for entrance into the church just as ancient Near Eastern brides were prepared for marriage by a ceremonial bath. It is God’s Word that cleanses us (John 17:17; Titus 3:5). 

God answered my heartfelt cry. Believers are not receiving victory because they refuse to grow up – feeding on the Word of God to progress. Therefore, they cannot be discerners of good and evil. They are content to drink milk – always learning and never gaining in the knowledge of the truth. Being taught and never able to teach.

Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:7

I believe there is still hope for those who are babes in Christ yet they have received the Good News many years prior. Let this be your first step as the Spirit of the Lord revealed to me:

Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
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