Spiritual Immaturity

Having a young daughter helps me understand Hebrews 5:12. God’s word can be considered spiritual food. We need the word to live the life that God has for us. Ignoring His word leaves us starving for His truth.

Much like my daughter learned to drink milk first, there are first principles of God’s word that are key to obtaining spiritual maturity. As my daughter learned to drink milk, she also matured as she learned to eat solid foods – which is not a quick process. She must learn how to chew, use her tongue, swallow and use hand-eye coordination. These are all basic principles of eating.

Hebrews describes spiritual maturity as having the reason to be able to discern both good and evil. Can we recognize God’s righteousness? Knowing the basic principles of God gives us the building blocks for spiritual maturity – being able to think on our own two feet and discern good from evil. I believe that people have a responsibility to learn and to teach others so that spiritual maturity can be passed on from one generation, or one person, to another.

Going back to the hardened heart, our aim must be that we do not become “dull of hearing”, as Hebrews says. For this does not allow spiritual maturity.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:12-14

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Unbelief versus Faithfulness

Hebrews 3 teaches us about the difference between faithfulness and unbelief in God’s kingdom. Moses was considered faithful in God’s eyes. He delivered God’s people out of the hands of Pharoah and was a testimony of events to come in the new testament.

And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward… Hebrews 3:5 NKJV

However, the people were an example of unfaithfullness, or unbelief in what God had spoken. When they faced trials, they hardened their hearts towards God and chose their own way. This is evil in God’s eyes. The consequence was that God determined they could not enter into His rest.

Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; Hebrews 3:8, 10-12 NKJV

I always tell my son, “Who builds homes?”

Of course, he answers “people.” Then, I ask him, “Who built people?”

To which he answers “God.”

I love that Hebrews 3 refers to this. It is this type of reminder that gets our thinking straight. It sounds so simple, but many people do not think or believe this way. They key is listening to God’s word, believing Him and obeying. We must learn to trust Him and align our will with His through that trust.

Hebrews 3 speaks to hardness of the heart. To understand this, I think of children. Their hearts are inquiring, pliable. They have an uncanny ability to believe. Sin is deceitful. The more we are deceived, the more we lose the ability to trust, or believe. I am always on guard of a hardened heart in myself. I want to enter into God’s rest.

Do I trust Him? Do I obey Him? Many times I miss the mark. But, I do believe. I keep my heart open to Him because I love Him, I trust Him. Hebrews 3 gives us great advice to hold steadfast in our confidence that comes from believing in Him.

For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:14-15 NKJV

What happened to those with unbelief? They used their free will to choose unbelief and the consequences were not good.

For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was  it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was  it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:16-19 NKJV