Growth is development or improvement toward a goal called “maturity”. When one is “born again” as a child of God, he is spiritually immature though blessed with all and complete in Him. As time passes, he should develop the qualities or abilities which the Bible says characterizes as the mature. Many Scriptures describe the need to grow and mature spiritually: Ephesians 4:14-15 says “Be no longer children, but grow up in Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18 – says “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” And 2 Thessalonians 1:3 says The Thessalonians grew exceedingly in faith.
Many problems result when we fail to grow: some “go back to the world”; others cause strife because of ignorance or become stumbling blocks because of irregular attendance, worldliness, or indifference. This is the main cause of carnality or worldliness in the body of Christ. This also gives the devil a chance to cheat us from all the promises of God and our inheritance as heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. Just as a baby needs to do certain things to grow physically, so Christians need certain kinds of activities to grow spiritually.
The first thing needed is a desire or a thirst. King David puts it this way in psalm 42: 1 and 2 “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…”
We need to desire it. We must want it more than anything. It must burn in our hearts to want to grow and be ready to do the necessary prerequisites to growing as a Christian. In 1 Peter 2:2 peter writing says “… Desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” Emphasis here is on desire. Some seem to like being spiritual babies. They don’t want to grow. It’s easy to be a baby – no responsibility. Others feed you, clothe you, change your diapers. But being a baby is not the goal of life. We are born babies so we can grow up and be productive and useful. Likewise, we are born again, so we can become mature Christians, actively serving the Lord.
Also, a child cannot grow physically without proper food. Likewise spiritually we cannot grow without feeding on God’s Word. 2 Peter 3:18 –says we should Grow in the grace and KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The bible says in 1 Peter 2:2 – “As new born babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” The word of God is to us as Christian’s spiritual food. Matthew 4:4 expressly provides that Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We must ‘eat’ the word daily for proper growth as Christians. We must also learn to allow the food go through the process of digestion which is called meditation. It is through proper meditation of the word that allows the Word eaten to have its good work in us. Psalm 1:1,2 – admonishes us to Meditate on God’s word day and night, likewise does Joshua 1:8
As humans, we need physical food regularly. We almost cannot go a day without eating natural human food and we get very upset without it. In fact we do almost everything possible to get it. But as Christians, we are often content to go for days without feeding on God’s word. Closely akin is attending church services. The Bible expressly provides in Hebrews 10: 25 that we should “not give up meeting together”. It is not just going to lecture halls but also doing personal study in the hostel, as both usually makes a better student.
Which do you nourish the best: your spirit or your body? Are you feeding your mind on God’s word or pleasures?
Grace and Peace