by Feb 19, 2024

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes.

We have been talking in our series Hunger and Thirst, Increasing our appetite for the things of God, as the Bible speaks of our spiritual growth in terms we can easily understand. We can say that just as we grow in what we can eat, we must also grow in our walk with God, moving from just drinking milk to eating solid food.

I have three grandchildren, Emily who is 4 years old, Mattías who is 9 months old, and Liam, who is only 3 days old today. What a thrill, they will help me represent how their diet changes as they grow. Liam at this moment depends entirely on breast milk, Mattias has already started his transition to eating more solid foods, and of course, Emily can already eat all kinds of food.

WE MUST STRIVE TO ACHIEVE MATURITY. Similarly, those who are spiritually immature can only deal with simpler spiritual matters; this is not a bad thing when a person is a new convert. However, if a person remains in this state of spiritual infancy when they should have grown enough to handle their own more solid spiritual “food,” then they can only blame themselves (Ephesians 4:11–15). According to the writer of Hebrews, the audience that was going to receive that letter was going to miss some of the deeper topics he was sharing with them (Hebrews 5:11), as he considered them “slow.” In this context, that “slowness” refers to laziness and apathy, not intelligence.

Just as a child has to be trained to eat solid foods, the spiritual maturity of the Christian must also grow through effort and experience. The previous verse used the term apeiros to describe these spiritual babies, a term that means they are inexperienced or lack certain skills. Spiritual maturity has nothing to do with age, as it is possible to remain an immature Christian for a long, long time. Rather, maturity involves developing the ability to put our faith into practice.

A basic characteristic of maturity is responsibility, which means that person will be busy, punctual, using their time well, and not just seeking to be entertained. The mature person is one who plans, is effective and efficient in what they undertake, among other things. Spiritual maturity means leaving behind the mind, behavior, needs, and whims of a child.

THE TRUE BELIEVER MUST GROW AND BEAR FRUIT. You cannot continue to act as you did in the world before without the fear of God; there must be a change in growth, we speak of maturing, our way of acting will change, our way of reacting to things must be permeated, saturated rather with the presence of God, with the guidance of His Holy Spirit.

As for bearing fruit, we can see it from at least two points. One, in the personal area, fruits worthy of repentance, has to do with our daily conduct, maintaining a good testimony now that we are believers, the formation of character, etc. And on the other hand, bearing fruit for the glory of God, winning souls, sharing the gospel wherever we go, helping others, serving in the congregation, etc., among other things. Psalm 1 gives us a fantastic figure and compares the Christian to a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and whose leaf does not wither. It refers to the mature Christian, the one who has been exercising their spiritual senses, to be formed into the image of Christ. Of course, we will never be 100% like the Lord, but it is expected that as time goes by, the Christian will grow in knowledge, grace, and wisdom, and that this will be reflected in the lifestyle they lead.

SPIRITUAL MATURITY DEPENDS ON AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. The salvation that is realized through the Holy Spirit is only the beginning of a life of communion with the Lord. We cannot expect to stay there; we must cultivate a “personal” relationship with our good God. I always recommend to my congregation that they start the day with Jesus, that they dedicate the first minutes of their day, of their week to Him. We have to be intentional if we want to develop an intimate and close relationship. This does not happen automatically; we have to set aside time, we have to make time to come to church on Sunday, yes, to be in midweek discipleship, yes, in the friendship group with the other brothers, also, but that should not replace your time alone with God. Let Him manifest Himself in your life, speak to you through reading, meditation, and study of His Word. Combining the reading of God’s Word with prayer has been an important key in my spiritual life. So I recommend that you do the same, let His beautiful presence flood you every day, and fill you with His love, His incomparable peace, and even if you are going through the valley of the shadow of death, your heart will not fear, because it will be fully confident in the One who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Sincerely, Pastor Guillermo Ayala.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This