Please take a moment to watch this two-minute video:
I know that it’s funny; I laugh every time I view it, but if I asked you can you relate to this video in your spiritual walk you would probably respond with an emphatic “NO!”. I would not blame you either because nobody wants to be perceived as an immature Christian. However, the last few days revealed a whole lot to me; see I was engaged in a little bit of a debate over a hotly contested spiritual matter, and while I remained an observer for the most part it disturbed my spirit that so many people played follow the leader instead of follow the scriptures…
I remember my salvation experience very well. I knew that there were many people who knew more about Christ than me, and that I could learn from them; so that is what I did, I put my spiritual learning into the hands of other people instead of asking God for revelation of scripture for myself. Was that a bad thing? In theory no, but in practice I can honestly say that it became a terrible thing because a few things happened as a result:
- I became more dependent on others who I believed had more spiritual authority than me to make decisions for me.
- I entrusted others to discern the Word of God for me instead of asking for wisdom to discern for myself.
- I opened myself up to spiritual manipulation and immaturity because of the other two things.
Like the young man in the video I had become a horizontal Christian. I became comfortable where I was, and I depended on a pastor for my spiritual nourishment, never growing in Christ but also believing that I had more knowledge than newer “babes in Christ” because of my longevity or familiarity with the ministry. In short, I was ignorant. Often times there are spiritually abusive pastors out there who prefer their “sheep” to be in the state that I was in because it gives them more control over the flock, but that is not what God desires for us.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5).
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb. 5:12-14).
We all know that babies start off drinking milk, be it from the mother’s breast or from a bottle with “formula” in it, but within six months the parent ought to be mixing some solids in with the milk because the baby’s stomach is becoming stronger and they have built up a tolerance for heavier foods. Eventually the baby will be weaned off of the milk altogether and will begin eating solids only, enabling them to absorb the nutrients, protein and all that is needed to grow up. Likewise the babe in Christ should not be fed the horizontal message for his whole walk, there should be some vertical movement along the way; I have been in Christ for more than twenty years now, if I cannot discern John 3:16 without the help of my pastor now then I can honestly say that I am still on Similac, and most likely spiritually retarded.
Back to the debate that I mentioned earlier; the initiator (Pastor) of the debate had some error in his teaching (online) and when presented with correction of the error from multiple people, instead of addressing it with scriptural relevance they deleted all of the posts! However, that would not have been so bad had his “members” or “followers”, since we are online, agreed with his error and gave him kudos for deleting the “haters” as the people who presented what the bible said were called. See, this I cannot understand, but yet I can understand it because I too was spiritually immature. I told my son the other day that at one time no one could say anything against my pastor or I would go full Rambo on them lol! That is how he had us trained, that he was always right and that anyone who disagreed with him or his ministry were disagreeing with God. It did not matter whether he was teaching heresies or not – which I later found that he was. We become so incensed when people disagree with our man of God that we forget the man who IS God! Why? Because we are spiritually immature.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 1:2).
God wants our soul to be enriched with knowledge of Him and His ways. We have to stop playing the childhood game of “follow the leader” unless the leader is Jesus Christ.
Why? Because we lean and trust man to discern God’s word for us, when we have the full power and authority through Christ to seek understanding for ourselves. When we take off the blinders then we can begin to walk uphill toward the ultimate prize instead of walking in place and wondering why we feel malnourished after each church service or bible study.
Notice at the end of the above video that the young man holds up his crushed juice box and yells out, “Yo teach, can I get another one of these?” He was not only complacent he was lazy; we should strive to be the opposite, voraciously seek understanding about the meat of the Word, and get off of our comfy place (yeah that one) and stop waiting for “teach” to bring understanding to you! Still love me?