Young children love playing with whatever you give them. Some parents buy awesome toys with many fancy gadgets and mechanisms built in, only to find that the spaghetti pot and lid seem to be just as entertaining. Give a child an old spoon and a sandbox, and you will see a kid entertained for hours as they dig and build. I’ve even seen children playing with ‘grown up toys’, toys that are made for kids but represent adult activities. Items like, easy bake ovens, a toy chainsaw, toy cars, and even toy lawn mowers. One time I witnessed a young boy pushing his ‘plastic mower’ on the already mowed grass while his parent used the real gas powered John Deer. The little boy gleefully yelled out, “look at me, I’m all grow’d up”.
I think many adults who authentically love Jesus have done the same thing as that little boy. They have mimicked what they have seen other believers do, and by doing so they think they are now ‘mature’. I have sad news, it is not the ‘things you do’ that make you mature. It is what you believe and how you allow the power of Christ, who ‘is’ your belief, to live his life out through you. That is maturity.
Going to church, reading the bible, praying every day, giving money, helping a neighbour, doing those things ‘in order to become’ will not ‘make you’ mature. (Please don’t misunderstand me, those things are very important and each have value.) The truth is that you will gladly and with eagerness do those things (and much more) in response to the growing knowledge of Christ in you. They are the supernatural overflowing fruit of an abiding believer. A child mentality may think: “since I don’t ‘have to’ do those things, I won’t then.” That mentality is simply childish and many believers need to grow out of that way of thinking.
The bible talks a lot about ‘growing up,’ or the importance of maturing, a concept that is non-negotiable. Please don’t hear me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having the faith of a child, but we are to grow ‘from’ being a child. Today I want to encourage those whom God is preparing, to move on towards more, or maturity, and yield to the calling of God deep within. Even the Apostle Paul made it clear we are to become more mature:
Galatians 4: 19
- Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. NLT
- Message: Do you know how I feel right now, and will feel until Christ’s life becomes visible in your lives? Like a mother in the pain of childbirth.
- Mirror Bible : 4:19 My darling little children, my jealousy for you compares to a mother over her newly born! I gave birth to you once through my gospel; now I feel those same labor pains all over again. I travail for the full realization of Christ to be 1formed within in you! (The word, 1morpho, means to mold, from meros, form or portion; note the word translated, sin, hameros, to be without form or without your allotted portion; metamorpho, together with form.) [Francois Du Toit. Mirror Bible]
Are you fully developed or is there room for you to grow and become more mature? Have you ‘arrived’ at the full understanding of what it means to be ‘saved’ or is there wiggle room to be teachable and discover even more? Have you arrived at all that you believe and now you will only listen to those who parrot back what you already believe, or are you willing to be stretched and grow deeper and wider in your understanding of what the Gospel really is? Yield yourself fully to Christ in this regard, surrender your need to be in control of all your learning and development. Has he put a desire in you to grow? If so, what will your response be?
Don’t forget to check out tomorrow’s blog as we take one more look at ‘how to know you are still a child’ before we move on an explore the other two stages of growth.
QUESTIONS FOR THE DAY
- Have you, or have you known someone who fell into the trap of ‘doing things’ in order to become?
- What were some of those things (even if they were good) that you did to find acceptance from God?
- Are you beginning to see that the order has been reversed for many, that many ‘do in order to become’ but instead it is when we know who we really are, then we will do much?
- What is wrong with just ‘staying a child’ in our mentality and maturity?
- Where does the desire to want to grow and mature come from?
VERSE FOR THE DAY
1 Corinthians 13:11 It’s like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
1 Cor. 14:20 (MSG) To be perfectly frank, I’m getting exasperated with your infantile thinking. How long before you grow up and use your head—your adult head? It’s all right to have a childlike unfamiliarity with evil; a simple no is all that’s needed there. But there’s far more to saying yes to something. Only mature and well-exercised intelligence can save you from falling into gullibility.
VIDEO FOR THE DAY
Forgiveness Given To ALL Men – Craig Snyder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa8PR6fBt7A
Heavenly Father, thank you for the child like faith you have given me. Since you know me so well, will you search my innermost places and draw out the desires that you have already placed in me. I want to grow up, I want to mature. I desire to see you lived out of me more and more. Again, please be gentle with me in the process.