How does a baby grow to maturity? Only by receiving proper nourishment can a baby grow. And what is the proper nourishment for a baby?
Any mother will tell you — a baby needs milk! Trying to give solid food to an infant will not work, and is even hazardous to the child.
Just as a baby in the natural realm needs milk for nourishment, the same is true in the spiritual realm.
New Believers in Messiah Yahushua [Christ Jesus] require, and earnestly desire, the ‘milk’ of the Word [the Bible], to nourish them, so they may grow to maturity.
Believers who are new to the faith yearn to read the Bible when they first become born-again. The Bible, the Word of Yahuwah [the LORD], is the Believers’ mother’s milk, necessary for spiritual growth. As new Believers, we devour it, and love it! We become well-nourished, and thus we begin to grow.
But if we want to continue growing in a healthy and strong manner, then we must begin to take in the ‘solid food’ of God’s Word.
A Bump in the Road
All Believers desire to grow up spiritually. But when a young Believer hits a ‘bump in the road,’ that is a critical moment, an opportunity to choose to grow and mature, or choose not to grow, and remain immature.
The ‘bump in the road’ may be a difficult challenge to our convictions. Or we may run up against some intense rejection, or perhaps some distasteful persecution.
Whatever the ‘bump in the road’ is, we now need the nourishment that comes from the ‘solid food’ of the Scriptures. At some point in our spiritual growth, we need to have solid, hearty spiritual food. It is the solid food that will help us to mature, as we exercise our spiritual muscles (see Hebrews 5:13,14).
Exercising Our Spiritual Muscles
As we begin to take solid food and exercise our spiritual muscles, we begin to walk by faith!
Because of our consuming love for our Saviour, because of our commitment to follow Him, we will begin to choose the truth of God’s Words, regardless of what our senses tell us.
As we begin to grow, the euphoria of being a newborn in Yahuwah’s kingdom begins to dissolve into the hard reality of learning what it means to grow up. We realize we are being called upon to be a DO-er of God’s Word!
Our maturity will bring us more understanding, as well as more responsibility. Our commitment to follow Him will be tested. But, if we are wise, our growth will result in more self-discipline.
If we are truly committed to growing up in Messiah, then, by Yah’s grace and mercy, we will begin to choose His ways, over our own ways. And, we will begin to take in Yahuwah’s solid spiritual food. That is, we will begin to do what the apostle Peter exhorted — grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Saviour:
Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2Peter 3:18a)
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.(1Peter 2:2,3)
We grow in grace — His enablement to be a DO-er of His Word — when we are doing what His Word says. The more we grow in God’s grace, then the better we come to know our beloved Saviour, and His great love for us! And the more we exercise and grow in the DO-ing of His Word, the more we mature.
As we mature, we begin to display the indicators of our growth and maturity.
Indicators of Growth
What are some indicators of spiritual maturity?
As we mature, we begin to study the Scriptures for ourselves, so that we can detect and confirm what is true, and what is not true. When we are studying the Scriptures for ourselves, Father gives us more understanding of His Word, and of His plans and purposes (Psalms 119:130).
As we mature, we come further along in our obedience to God’s Word, and in spending time in prayer each day, seeking Father’s guidance and strength.
As we mature, we begin to have a better understanding of what it means to walk by faith, as well as obtaining more confidence in Father’s great love for us (Isaiah 30:15; Psalms 30:3; 40:2; 86:13).
As we mature, we gain a greater understanding of Yahuwah’s Words as being our Father’s loving instructions for His children. And as we obey Father’s instructions, we begin to recognize the great importance of knowing His Word! And from the wisdom we gain from obeying Father’s Word, we then learn that His grace is abundantly available for the asking! As a result, we become more thankful for the great goodness and mercy that surrounds us.
If we are maturing, we will be learning the difference between what Father considers holy [according to His instructions], and what Father considers profane, defiled, or abomination! We will be exercising our discernment, learning to choose between doing what is good, from doing what is evil.
Little by little, we will be learning, and practicing, what Abba Father delights in — and avoiding those things that are abomination to Father, the things He hates. We will begin to shed mistaken notions, false practices, idolatry of every form, and man-made doctrines [teachings that are not based on the full and true meaning of the Scriptures]!
As we mature, our desire to walk according to the Scriptures becomes stronger. As a result, we become more willing to make changes — changes in our lifestyle, our behaviour, and even our intimate habits, so that we are more ‘in line’ with the Word of God.
As we mature, we learn to be more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We also become more willing to be a servant to those in our midst, just as Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] was: “I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:27)
The above actions are a few of the indicators that we are taking in the ‘meat,’ and not just the ‘milk’ of Yahuwah’s Word. Little by little, growth and personal change should be happening.
This is what it means to ‘walk by faith, not by sight.’ Each step is a progression toward spiritual maturity!
One of the greatest indicators of our spiritual growth, however, is seen in our words!
One of the most important signs that we are growing up spiritually, is that we are holding tightly to our profession of faith! (1Timothy 6:12; Hebrews 10:23) Holding tightly to our profession [or declaration] of faith, is to make sure that the words we speak , as well as our actions, are in agreement with Yahuwah’s Word!
As we saw in Out of the Abundance of the Heart, our words are an essential part of maintaining good spiritual health! Words can build up our faith or tear down our faith!
We have already discussed at length the great importance of our words, so I will only summarize here by reminding us that the Scriptures exhort us to watch over our words very carefully, and speak only words of excellence, edification, and faithfulness (Ephesians 4:29-32). We must hold tightly to good, edifying words, otherwise our words may become sloppy, and we will lose any gains we have made in our maturity.
When we speak aloud Scripture verses, we are giving ourselves nourishing spiritual, solid food. Scripture verses are words of LIFE that will strengthen our resolve to hold tightly to our profession of faith!
When we, by Father’s grace, begin to prepare and swallow this kind of ‘solid food,’ Father increases our awareness and knowledge of His Word. He gives us an understanding that we are growing up spiritually, and are taking steps toward maturity. And, our attitude becomes more and more grateful and humble for the many blessings that Father pours out on His children.
Knowledge Shall Be Increased
Today there is an abundance of ‘solid food’ of Scriptural truths for Believers to sink their teeth into. The prophet Daniel’s words are coming to pass in our generation:
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Daniel 12:4)
Today, the increase of the knowledge of the WORD of Yahuwah Elohim is astonishing! The understanding of many Scriptural truths within the written Word are being restored today.
Believers who honestly desire to grow up and mature in Messiah, can easily learn the present restoration truths of the Word of God. There is a tidal wave of information readily available today. [See Suggested Links below.]
To learn and grow in the knowledge of Messiah is a choice we must make. Maturity is a goal we need to work at [with Father’s help] by studying all of God’s Word, practicing our discernment, and learning to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. It is not difficult to grow and mature — for those who are truly hungry!
Those who choose not to learn and grow, are those who are hard-hearted, half-hearted, comfortable, or indifferent. Those who choose to learn and grow, are those who are willing to humble themselves, to seek Father’s help.
Seeking Father’s Help
Just as Father told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous,” we too must be courageous if we are going to grow up in Messiah. Let us therefore humble ourselves to seek Father’s grace to grow and mature in the knowledge of Yahuwah, so that we may become brave soldiers for Messiah. Maintaining a humble and grateful attitude is evidence of a mature and brave child of Yahuwah, who is growing up!
Father desires that we grow and mature! But we need to be sensitive to recognize the things that hinder our growth, and then seek Father’s help to overcome these things. We must seek His help to put away the childish words, moodiness, and selfish attitudes and twisted notions that interfere with our growth.
Please keep in mind, that none of us have arrived. We all struggle to grow and mature, but we are all headed toward the same goal. We all need to continue taking in the ‘milk’ of the Word daily, while seeking Father for the ‘meat’ of His Word that comes in exercising our discernment.
With Father’s help, we can become mature sons and daughters, able to discern between the good and the evil.
Below are links to some excellent teachings for born-again Believers who want help in Growing Up in Messiah. Be diligent however, to prove all things with Scripture, and hold fast that which is good!
- 119 Ministries – great teaching videos; a Hebrew Roots resource
- EliYah.com – many excellent articles and teaching videos examining the Hebraic roots from a Biblical persepctive
- The Way Prepared – practical teachings for Believers, exhorting them to ‘choose wisely’ and prepare themselves for the Bridegroom’s soon return
- Seven Biblical Guidelines for Studying the Bible – excellent guidelines for learning how to study the Scriptures for ourselves
- Messiah is Our Example
- Changing From Glory to Glory
- Fight the Good Fight of Faith
- No Discipline Seems Pleasant
- More Precious Than Gold
- The Key to Gaining Understanding
- Eliyah: Making Ready A People Prepared For Messiah
- 4 Keys to Discerning the Guidance of the Holy Spirit