How does a baby grow to maturity? Only by receiving proper nourishment!
And what is the proper nourishment for a baby?
As we all know, a baby needs milk, and only milk! Solid food for an infant will not work, and is even hazardous to the child.
Just as a baby in the natural, physical realm needs milk for nourishment, the same is true in the spiritual realm.
New Believers in Messiah Yahushua [the Hebrew name for Christ Jesus] require the ‘milk’ of the written Word [the Bible], to nourish them, so they may grow to maturity, and thereby be ‘conformed to the image of God’s Son’ (Romans 8:28-29).
Believers who are new to the faith earnestly desire to read the Bible when they first become born-again. The Bible is the Believers’ milk, and is necessary for spiritual growth. As new Believers, we devour it! We love reading it! This is how we become well-nourished, and thus begin to grow up to become mature sons and daughters of the heavenly Father, Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God.
If we want to grow into a healthy and strong child of God, we must begin to take in the ‘solid food’ of Father’s written Word.
A Bump in the Road
All true Believers desire to grow up spiritually. However, if we hit a ‘bump in the road,’ then that is a critical moment. It is an opportunity to choose to grow up and mature, or else choose not to grow up, and thus remain immature.
The ‘bump in the road’ may be a difficult challenge to our convictions. We may ‘bump’ 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 — the ‘bread’ of God’s Word, that will help us to mature (Matthew 4:4).
Little by little, as we exercise our spiritual muscles, we will begin to mature by taking in the ‘meat’ of Yahuwah’s Word (Hebrews 5:13-14).
Exercising Our Spiritual Muscles
When we begin to take in the solid food of God’s Word and exercise our spiritual muscles, we are beginning our journey of walking by faith!
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 that Yahuwah is calling us to mature by becoming a DO-er of God’s Word!
If we are truly committed to loving and following our Saviour, then we will begin to courageously choose the truth of God’s written Words, regardless of the opposition. With Father’s grace and mercy, we should begin choosing His ways, over our own ways. Little by little, by regularly reading/studying God’s written Word, we will begin to do what the apostle Peter exhorted:
Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ]. (2Peter 3:18a)
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby: if so be you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.(1Peter 2:2-3)
How do we ‘grow in grace’? We grow in grace by determining to do what Yah’s Word says! Father gives us His grace, His ‘enablement’, more and more as we choose to obey His Word.
The more we grow in God’s grace, then the better we come to know our beloved Saviour, and His great love for us! The more we exercise our spiritual muscles by DO-ing His Word, the more we mature.
Our maturity will bring us into more understanding, into more responsibility, and … into more testings, as the Word tells us:
Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him. (James 1:12)
Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ]. (1Peter 1:6-7)
These verses remind us that our commitment to follow Messiah Yahushua will be tested. This is part of our growth and maturity. If we are wise, our maturity will result in more self-discipline, more confidence, and more firmness of mind and soul to bravely and patiently endure trials.
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 personal plans and purposes for us (Psalms 119:130).
- As we mature, we come further along in our obedience to God’s written Word, and we begin to spend 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, and we begin to have more confidence in Father’s great love for us (Isaiah 26:3; Psalms 40:2).
- As we mature, we gain a greater understanding of Yahuwah’s Words as truly being Father’s loving instructions for each one of us personally. And we begin to recognize the great importance of knowing His Word!
- 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 written instructions], and what Father considers profane, defiled, or abomination! We will be exercising our discernment, learning to choose between doing what is good, avoiding what Father considers as 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 – the teachings that are not based on the full and true meaning of the Scriptures!
- As we mature, our desire and courage 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 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 indicators that we are taking in the ‘bread’ and ‘meat’ – 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!
But now, let me share one of the greatest indicators of our spiritual growth — 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! (see 1Timothy 6:12 and 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 bravely 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 out loud 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 [His enablement], begin to mature, Father increases our awareness and knowledge of His Word. He gives us an understanding that we are growing up spiritually. Our overall 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 you, 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, learning to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. It is not difficult to grow and mature — for those who are truly hungry!
Only the hard-hearted, half-hearted, the comfortable, and the indifferent will choose not to learn and grow.
Those who are willing to humble themselves, willing to seek Father’s help, will make the choices to learn and grow and overcome the testings.
Seeking Father’s Help
Just as Father told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous,” we too must be strong and courageous if we are going to grow up in Messiah!
Let us therefore humble ourselves, and earnestly seek Father’s strength of character, His fortitude, His grace to grow and mature in the knowledge of Yahuwah. A humble and grateful attitude is evidence of someone who is mature, brave, and is growing up!
Father desires that we grow up and mature! He is constantly at work within us, by His Holy Spirit, seeking to help us mature (Philippians 2:13).
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, the moodiness and selfish attitudes, and the twisted notions that interfere with our obedience.
Please keep in mind, that none of us have arrived. I struggle to grow up and mature just as anyone else! But we are all headed toward the same goal.
Let us all continue to take in the ‘milk’ of God’s Word, while also seeking Father for the ‘bread’ and the ‘meat’ of His Word that comes by exercising our discernment and our obedience.
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 – multiple 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
- Guard Your Heart With All Diligence!