People who live on milk are like babies who don’t really know what is right. Solid food is for mature people who have been trained to know right from wrong. We must try to become mature and start thinking about more than just the basic things we were taught about Christ. Hebrews 5:13-6:1 (CEB)
I’ve been experimenting lately with making waffles out of protein powder. So far, the flavor is pretty good, (like Cocoa Puffs) but the consistency is a bit off (very crispy). As I sat crunching on my waffle this morning that’s not really supposed to be crunchy, I thought about the above passage of Scripture.
As Jesus people, I think our flavor is often right, but we lack consistency. Most of us who profess a faith in Christ want to be close to him. We desire to grow in our faith, to become mature believers. However, we often lack consistency in doing the things that get us there. We don’t make time to read Scripture, our prayers are interrupted by work or kids or burning dinner, we forgo weekly worship for sports or brunch or extra sleep. We aren’t maturing in our faith because we’re not consistently practicing it.
I know what you’re going to say, “But I….”
1. …don’t have time to read my Bible
2. …don’t understand the Bible when I try to read it
3. …have to take my kids to sports activities
4. ….only have Sunday mornings to spend with my family
5. …get really bored in worship
6. …don’t feel God speaking to me
7. …get distracted when I try to pray
8. …don’t know if God is really listening
I get it, I truly do. I’ve said many of these same things myself. But here’s the thing…we are called by the One who created us to actually grow in spiritual maturity. God doesn’t want to be a babysitter. God wants to be in a mature relationship with his children! What an amazing honor that is!! However, we can’t have that relationship if we’re not willing to put in the work required to maintain it.
So, what do we need to do in order to become mature Jesus people? My friends, we need consistency…
1. Read the Bible.
Find a translation that speaks to you (a.k.a. that you understand). Go to Bible Gateway and read through various translations to see which one you like. Set aside an extra 10 minutes in your day to read some Scripture. Write verses down that speak to you and post them around your house/office/car. Start small. Read through the book of Philippians, Ruth, or 1 John. And pray. God’s Spirit reveals the Scriptures to us, so ask God for that Spirit while you read.
2. Pray often.
Prayer is a conversation. It doesn’t have to be fancy or poetic. Just talk to God. Thank God for the day, for the coffee, for the warm clothes fresh from the dryer. Thank God for the work you have to do, even if it’s annoying. Tell God what you’re thinking about. He knows, but he also likes to hear it from you. What are you struggling with? What are you worried about? Who are you worried about? Just talk…in the car, while pouring your coffee, while standing at the copy machine, waiting in line, or tossing clothes in the wash. Just talk…
3. Engage in worship.
Go to church. Worship with fellow believers. Maybe you don’t like the music or the sermon or the liturgy…who cares? If you ask God, he’ll show up. So, ask God to speak to you during worship, regardless of the songs that are sung or the message that is delivered. Focus on God. Listen to the words of the hymns. Take time to pray. Pay attention to the message. Praise God for all he has done. And, ask for his presence to guide you in worship and to speak to you.
Let’s grow up, if God is willing, the author of Hebrews writes. I think God is willing…we just need to practice consistency.
Blessings and Peace,