Friends one of the good things about being a follower of Christ is the ability to be humble and admit when you’re wrong. The other day while talking to my brother Tony I made a comment to him about how I thought his blogs and some of the things he has written about were on a much higher spiritual level then a lot of people can comprehend. I think the analogy I used was that he was writing on a 4th yr college level while I was reading on a 12th grade level. Now I have a bad habit of not being able to communicate my thoughts well and make sense of them (in case you haven’t noticed) and I think I did the same here with my Brother and I was wrong! Big time! I realized this after I started reading the book “The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment” by Tim Challies (which I highly recommend by the way)
In this book Tim talks about our need for Spiritual Discernment and how the lack of discernment can lead to Spiritual Immaturity, Spiritual Backsliding and Spiritual Death. Now what I want to talk about today is Spiritual Immaturity and Backsliding or falling away as it is called in the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 5:11-14 (NIV) tells us “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
This verse really hit home for me. I have realized that I too have been slow to learn. Sure I have been a Christian for many years and have even taught Sunday school and other bible studies but I was still was living on milk instead of solid food! I have been lazy in my efforts to learn anything else other than the basics we hear every week in Church. Challies writes “We would not consider a child healthy who, at six years of age, still drinks only milk, for that child would be weak and sickly. The same is true in the spiritual realm. A person should pass quickly from spiritual milk to solid foods, from the basics to what is more advanced.”
Tim also talks about how children, especially babies will put anything they see in their mouths without evening thinking about it. I think we as Christians do the same thing. We will follow all kinds of people who we think are cool or hip, and might even pastor a mega church without even discerning what kind of spiritual food they are feeding us. I won’t mention any names but there are some preachers on TV that will only preach messages full of milk and cookies with no Solid foods. You can tell who they are by the way they smile all the time and tell you everything is going to be ok. You will never hear words like sanctification, justification or discernment which according to the Hebrew verse above means to “have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil”. If we ever want to grow spiritually we need to stay away from this kind of baby food and seek something with a lot more substance.
So what’s the take away for me? Simple! Get off the milk and starting eating some real solid spiritual food. For starters I am going to get deeper in the Word and also start reading books from some of the greats in the theologian community. Guys like A.W Tozer, Bonheoffer and C.S Lewis just to name a few. I know a lot of these guys are a hard read but I feel the only way to improve your reading ability and spiritual growth is to challenge yourself and work your way through it. Also pray for God to give you understanding and wisdom along with discerment like Solomon did in 1 Kings 3:9