I’m sure you have held an infant, completely helpless, very hungry, in your arms. They depend utterly on you to protect and nourish them. Their intense, desperate delight as they grab the bottle you offer, shows their utter focus on themselves and their complete dependency on you for survival. It’s a precious memory to feed an infant.
Picture an older child, teen, or adult in that same scenario, however, and you get a completely different reaction inside. It’s repulsive. They should be actively engaged, handling a fork and knife (or chop-sticks) as second nature. The expectation is pretty simple – lose the bottle! Grow up!
Growing Up In Christ
God wants you to grow up in spiritual matters, as well as physically. He gives you everything you need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1: 3) as you pursue growing up in Him. Jesus promises what no one else does – or can. First, He gives you the heads-up that you will have troubles in the world. Then, He gives the good news that He has overcome the world. (Jn. 16:33) Additionally, He promises so much more for your daily life:
- Victories over threats.
- Glorious grace.
- Overflowing love.
- Intimate closeness with Himself.
- Immediate availability to Him.
- Highly active power in your daily life.
Jesus is the great God who loves you deeply. There is not a moment of time that He is not already engaged in activity on your behalf to accomplish Father’s agenda.
Who Is Your Teacher?
This is all about Jesus Christ, Son of God, God of Glory, King of the Universe. It is HIS-story. Unfortunately, people, even His own children, make it about themselves. They also don’t believe these amazing things about God. Being riveted on themselves incapacitates them. Functioning as infants, they haven’t yet grown up to know Jesus and what He is capable of doing in their lives. What He is already doing! If they did, their lives would be different.
Have you noticed that people continually look at other people? And at themselves? God tells you to “Fix your thoughts on Jesus . . . “ (Heb. 3:1) This is a radical change from typical human behavior. Yet a tenacious focus on God starts a maturation process causing deep growth. Focusing on Jesus helps you lose the bottle, and graduates you from a diet of milk to a healthy variety of solid food. This is because you are training under Jesus, Himself. The Lord intends to be your Teacher. “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.” (Heb. 8:11) “Therefore I will teach them— this time I will teach them My power and might. Then they will know that My name is the Lord.” (Jer. 16:21)
What About Others?
God brings others along to help you mature, but they are His helpers, not the main focus. You continue to mature all your life. “Seasoned saints” are the first to admit they have a huge learning curve!
Some believers plant seeds in your life. Others help you grow new little seedlings of character into strong, sturdy plants. Still others help poke in your soil and assist in pulling weeds (not always fun). There will be faithful ones to water and fertilize. Some stretch you up to full stature so you can be strong enough to bear fruit. And then some rejoice with you as you produce a bountiful harvest. But the plan is for you and Jesus to share life. It starts with Jesus. He is the start, middle, and end.
Additional Personal Struggles
If you are still sucking from a milk bottle, you may also be dealing with insecurities, jealousy, quarreling, agendas, pride – clinging to people and yourself. Let go of these things. Please. It’s OK. Jesus is right beside you to help. Your only risk is letting go of familiar (unhealthy) patterns and clinging to Jesus. He is an extremely good risk. He will help you grow up in your faith. Eat mature, solid food in your spirit by getting into God’s Word each day. Produce a harvest of godly character. And help others in their life harvest. This is God’s plan!
So, lose the bottle. Pick up your knife and fork. In the face of all that is difficult in your life, resolve to trust your Heavenly Father. Get into His Word. Rejoice in His salvation which is promised to you – in every single scenario you live through!
Say – “Give me Jesus. Bless the Lord, O my soul.”
Worship and thank Him as you let yourself enjoy His love. Breathe a deep sigh of relief because He is already working in and for you, though you may not see it. If you knew His plans, you’d be amazed. (Hab. 1:5)
Article developed from 1 Cor. 3:1-9.
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