What is wrong with this picture?? Maybe this is normal for some people (I hope there are fewer of you than I am thinking) but where I come from this is strange on so many levels. Usually my brother-in-law is chugging on an energy drink, but he was a good sport and posed for this picture 🙂 and my sister (Jessica Williams) snapped the shot.
Now, this may be a funny pose, haha, we all laugh and carry on…but in Hebrews this was a picture that was painted by the author of the book (whose name is unknown).
“About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 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.”
They should have already been teachers, yet they needed someone to continually teach them the basics. They were stuck on the surface of Christianity and all that God had for them (and HAS for US). It would be like someone going through college to get a degree to teach Calculus, but after months or years of classes and credits, they still needed to be taught Pre-Algebra. But why? They went to class! Yes, but did they dig in and do the homework? Did they practice? No. So there they remained!
We are to dig in, wrestle, grapple, and pin the truths that are tucked between the covers of His word. We should be seeking spiritual maturity. This is a process, to be sure! One that can take months, years, decades or more! We are truly never finished growing until we meet Him face to face. The author is beseeching his readers, “Don’t be sluggish! Don’t be lazy! Exercise your faith! LISTEN UP!” To be mature is to be constantly striving to live a Christian life and follow after God. The immature are “unskilled in the word”. They had apparently been neglecting His word and His ways as the author also describes them as being “dull of hearing”. (Boy, I’ve been there!) As the Francise Chan describes it in his book Forgotten God:
Spiritual maturity “requires continual engagement and wrestling and discovering how to live a Spirit-filled life today.” (Pg. 133)
It’s every day, every hour, every minute. Exhausting you say? Then I will remind you that nothing is ever in our own strength. If you are a believer then the Holy Spirit lives and breathes in you and it is by HIS strength that you (WE) do this. It takes training, constant training, which is why we can’t be lazy. We can’t be “dull of hearing” and “unskilled in the word”. A relationship calls us to walk side by side with God at all times, not just tap Him in when we feel we’ve exhausted our resources.
Now if you are anything like me, then you probably want to go from milk to meat all in one day. I so longed (and still long) for spiritual growth, to be considered “mature” in my faith. But thinking that it can be that instantaneous leaves us with an equally funny looking photo (again courtesy of my sister and her beautiful 9 month old baby Hazel)…
As silly as this is, it’s true…you would never put a bunch of chicken legs on an infant’s plate for dinner. And you can’t do this spiritually either. It’s NEVER a one time thing, we rely on Him with every breath we take. We study so that after months and years of training we can be more mature than we are right now. To go back to the Calculus student, the problem they had was never doing the work. They’d show up to class, but they never did the work it took to be a Calculus teacher! And what can we take from that?…DO THE WORK!