Today I again begin with a text, 1 Cor 13:11:
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
Over the years I have met people, probably far too many and both Christian and not, who just do not want to grow up. They want to remain children because then they do not have to take on too many responsibilities and it is just more fun. This is a problem for the Church because God needs mature, adult leaders and members to lead the flock correctly.
Sadly, far too many people think that being a child of God means that they remain children spiritually and that is misguided thinking. God wants them to grow up, learn their lessons and take part in active spiritual duty yet these people just abdicate their responsibilities by turning them back to God. You may here words like, ‘I will pray for you’ then the person walks away and you are left with no solution to your problem. These type of people do not realize that God has brought certain others in need to their attention so that they can grow in their faith by obeying God’s leading in helping the person in trouble.
How can we see God work, grow in our faith, gain confidence in him if we just walk away and do nothing? How can we develop spiritually and gain courage in our faith if we do nothing to help our courage grow? How can God use people to make an impact for him if they keep dropping the ball? Evil has an army of mature, adult, prepared, informed people ready to do battle against believers and they love it when they encounter those weak, vulnerable people for they are the easiest to destroy.
We know this because so many parents and church leaders lament the loss of faith of their young adults once they enter secular university and come face to face with the enemy.
One of the first lessons a believer needs to learn from God is that they need to study. Not only the word of God but the arguments of their enemies so they know how to refute them without losing their faith. There are a couple of verses to highlight this, and you should do a word study on the words ‘educate’, ‘learn’ and other similar terms
2 Timothy 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.
Ignorance is not an option but unfortunately so many public figures who claim to be Christian use ignorance as a tool for their campaigns and all that does is embarrass God and the Church. They are ill-equipped to handle what faces them and they set a very poor example to our young.
Another lesson is we need to learn the depth of God. How can we do battle if we do not know the capabilities of God and the limitless power he possesses. Relying upon God in helping others, in meeting the opposition and following his instructions provides the confidence we need to shore up our faith and know it is real. We can face anything with getting the right experience with God.
These are just two of the important lessons we need to learn which help us to grow up spiritually. If we do not like that then we keep ourselves primed to be destroyed by evil and make evil’s job very easy. Try putting up an army of children against an army of experienced adults and see what happens to the children’s army. The child’s crusade of 1212 serves as a good example
Yes we have God on our side but that does not mean he does not want us to be trained adult spiritual warriors. he has chosen to work through us and we thwart his efforts because we refuse to grow up spiritually and take our place in the front lines. Now this does not mean that every Christian has refused to grow up but that number is far fewer than those who opt to remain as children and just enjoy the spiritual fun events hoping to escape this world s quickly as possible.
While we need the fun events to give us a break and renew our energy they should not be the main source for our spiritual lives. We need to roll up our sleeves and get serious for God. The enemy is serious and I have had some of them try to derail my faith recently. They failed because I am not a spiritual child. But what about those in our churches who are?
We need to care about them and we need to do that caring biblically. We need to teach their parents the right material correctly and then teach them how to pass it on to their children in order for the children to learn to protect their faith and make an impact for God. But before we can do that, we need our church leaders to fully side with God and his word, obeying it correctly. Sadly, far too many church leaders do not grasp the ramifications that come when they do their spiritual duties badly.
All believers need to learn the lessons that God brings in order for them to make the impact he wants them to make.