“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14 (ESV)
Imagine that you are sitting in your church and the pastor starts talking about the spiritual condition of your church. He uses the verse above to describe some in the congregation as spiritual babies, some as spiritual adolescents, and only a few who are spiritual adults. How would you respond?
While it is unusual for a pastor to be that blunt from the pulpit today, we should recognize that this is exactly what the writer of Hebrews is doing here. He is not holding anything back from his readers. He’s admonishing them for their lack of spiritual growth and ignorance regarding even the most basic principles of the Christian faith.
Spiritual growth is important and spiritual stagnation should be challenged!
Just as poor nutrition leads to problems in physical growth, spiritual stagnation eventually leads to spiritual regression.
In the same way that eating solid food requires having teeth, spiritual growth requires certain things from us. Spiritual growth will require that you forgive those who have sinned against you. It will require accepting the things about yourself that you don’t like. It might require accepting circumstances that are not altogether pleasant.
God cares more about our spiritual growth than He cares about our comfort.
Because God cares so deeply about our spiritual growth, He may allow difficulties to enter our lives to help us grow spiritually. We can either choke on them, spitting them back up, or we can patiently chew on them until their work in us is completed.
As believers, it’s helpful to remember that God may allow difficulties to enter our life, not to punish us, but rather to build us spiritually. When He brings you some solid food that is difficult to chew, resist the temptation to spit it out and go back to comfort food.
Prayer: Lord, help me from becoming complacent in my walk with You by giving me the spiritual food I need.