“There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.”
Many of us, me included, have spent years claiming to be a Christian. It’s not that I wasn’t, rather, it was more like I was stuck as a newborn Christian. Instead of experiencing growth year after year, I kept experiencing struggles and hardships as a newborn does; weak and powerless and not knowing what to do.
We are all at different stages of understanding, of faith, and of maturity in Christ, so this article isn’t written to point anyone out or say that Christians in general aren’t mature yet. That is between you and God. He knows your true heart and there is no fooling Him.
Instead, this article wants to help explain what a mature Christian believer would look like and what would be expected of them. It’s not what I or any other person who writes or speaks says, but it’s by looking at Jesus Himself and seeing what He was doing and how He walked and talked. A true Christian is one who is a true believer and follower of Christ, the Lord; not simply any religious person who believes they are spiritual.
Sadly, in our corrupt society, the truth of the Gospel has been twisted so far out of shape that it’s difficult to discern what is truth for those who are seeking it. We are hard-pressed to find solid food in this world, even this long after the Word of God was given to us. So, articles like this are a great guide and motivator, but if we want the real truth, the true Word of God, we must actually pick up a bible and seek it from God ourselves.
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Let Jesus be your example
As we go through the points in this article, I will stick as closely as possible to how Jesus lived the life that He is calling us to live. Jesus wasn’t a “Do what I say, not what I do” kind of guy. No, He was a “Let me walk it before I preach it” kind of guy.
Jesus understands that a new, born again believer must start at the beginning and grow from there. However, Jesus expects that new believer to grow. We can get comfortable knowing what we know and doing what we do. We might go to church every Sunday, but never become part of a ministry who shares the Good News.
The danger of a stagnant relationship with Jesus is that we will be weak to the enemy, who is constantly prowling around us waiting for such vulnerability. So, to move on here, let’s see the categories in this article that we can work on with God that will help us to move from infant to maturity.
- Our daily prayer life
- Our daily reading practices
- Building unwavering faith
- Living free from sin
- Becoming engaged in a ministry
- Becoming an example
1. Our daily prayer life
“While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.”
Jesus was a praying man. We can see in many instances where Jesus would get away from the crowds to find solitude with God the Father. Jesus didn’t gather large crowds and yell out eloquent prayers for all to admire. No, He got alone with God in privacy and prayed to the Father.
We too must make time each day to have a moment of solitude with God; just me and God. Although some might say that we must pray this way or that, we are simply told to come before God with a right heart and attitude, in full submission to Him, knowing that He is mighty and powerful and sovereign.
God gave us our voice and He wants us to talk to Him the way He designed us. He wants us to pray about what is heavy on our hearts, and if we are happy and content and not in need, then He wants us to pray for those who aren’t so fortunate.
If you don’t know how to pray, you can certainly get started with the Lord’s Prayer, found in Matthew 6:9-13, and for more information about prayer, read the whole section in Matthew 6 (5-15).
Prayer is our intimate connection directly to God. This is our lifeline and we need this every single day. Where else do we get our strength and direction from?
2. Our daily reading practices
“When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently.”
Jesus used the bible to teach people wherever He went. This verse isn’t telling us that we must read our bibles, but instead, to show that Jesus taught from the Scriptures. Jesus understood that the Word in the bible was the Word of God, and that there was power in that Word.
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
We get knowledge and wisdom and direction from the Lord through the bible. Reading the bible and praying to God is what makes us powerful through Christ. If we don’t do these two things on a daily basis, yes daily, we risk falling prey to the enemy.
We won’t be done learning in this short time we get on earth. We could read God’s Word every day and all day and still not be done learning. The Word of God is the Living Word of God. This means that it has life in the words and as we read, God will expose His Truth through these words. If we aren’t walking with God, the words will seem plain and without deep meaning.
When we sit down to read the bible, a simple prayer and request to God to open our spiritual eyes and give us understanding of His Word will go a long way.
Building unwavering faith
“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”
These two verses show us that faith is necessary as Christians. The whole spiritual world exists around us, yet we cannot see it. However, we are called to believe, even though we can’t see.
Faith can be a struggle for many. It is easy to have confidence in the things all around us. But when it comes to having confidence in something we prayed for and are hoping God will do for us, this can be another story, right?
As we spend time walking with the Lord and reading His Word, we will develop a deeper relationship with Him. As this relationship and our love for Him grows, so will our faith. We walk with God and we pray to know Him more and to be stronger Christians. But for many of us, we feel this backfires on us.
What I mean is, when we pray for patience or faith or contentment, how will these grow? Through trials and times of testing, of course. God is ready and willing to help us grow in these things, but the only real way this can happen is by going through some tough times to see where we stand.
As our faith in God increases, we will trust Him more to carry us through the storms. Likewise, when we go through trials and times of testing, we won’t get overwhelmed with anguish, but instead, we will see that this is God Himself, refining us and growing us in faith and endurance.
We should praise God for this when it happens, just like we are told in James 1:2,3.
Living free from sin
“So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.”
Part of maturing as Christians is learning to go about our days walking with Jesus and not according to the flesh. The enemy is steadily tempting us with this or that, in an attempt to draw our focus away from God and His provision.“When we get a prompting from the Holy Spirit in us that something isn’t right or is downright sinful, we must be obedient and move away from the temptation.” Click To Tweet
We, who believe in Jesus, are given the Holy Spirit as our Helper. This means that at all times and at every moment we have God the Spirit living in us to help us stay out of trouble. We have no excuses.
If we find that temptations are too great, we must pray more and read more and move closer to the Father. As we do this, we will regain strength and our minds will be renewed so that we can see the temptations for what they are and that they are sent directly from Satan himself.
Temptations are all around us. The temptation that comes upon us isn’t sin. Instead, this is a precursor to sin. It becomes sin if we go through with the temptation. However, even if we ponder the temptation for too long, this too can be considered sin. When we get a prompting from the Holy Spirit in us that something isn’t right or is downright sinful, we must be obedient and move away from the temptation. Pondering it is like we are saying, “Yeah, I hear you God, but…”
Consider how you spend your days; are you living fully surrendered and sold out to Christ or are you focused on the lavish things in this world?
In most instances, from what we can see now and from times past in the Old Testament, God wants us to have abundance in our life. Some of the things that might be a temptation, such as a new car, might be exactly what God wants us to have. But first, He wants us to seek it through Him in His timing. In this case, giving into the temptation when the money isn’t there will likely mean financing the loan and incurring debt.
Temptations are not from God. Peace and joy are from God. Avoid falling prey to temptations and walk free from sin.
Becoming engaged in a ministry
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
We would never have believed in Jesus if we never heard of him, right? Thanks to those who matured in their faith and went out and shared the Good News to us. Now that we have been introduced to Jesus and have spent some time learning the basics, we too should be finding ways to share our faith with others who don’t know.
Not everyone is called to be a Pastor in a church; not everyone is called to travel overseas as a missionary. We are all called, however, to share our faith and to be of service to God at all times. The Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19 tells us that, we believers, need to go out and make more believers who can go out and make more believers. This is how the Kingdom grows. If we all stop trying to spread the Good News, it is sure to fade out, just like dead religions do.
But the Kingdom of God is not a dead religion, and the Spirit of God in us in not a dead spirit. We can wake up in the morning and immediately, with thanks and appreciation, go before the Lord in prayer and ask Him what He would have us do with our day; ask Him how we can be a blessing to someone somewhere throughout our daily travels and activities.
You better believe that God will jump on this and put an opportunity before you for you to do a good deed and to be a light in this dark world for someone.
God will extend His grace through us if we let Him.
Becoming an example
“I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”
In this section of scripture, Jesus literally washed His disciple’s feet. He did this to set an example for us to follow. The example shows that regardless of hierarchy or position of authority, we aren’t too good to help others.
Jesus gave us a command in the New Testament to love others as He did. As a mature believer, we will be helpful to God when we are walking in His Way and showing His love and kindness to others. We can’t say, “Well, I just don’t feel like it today,” or, “today I don’t have the strength or energy.”
Galatians 5:22, 23 tells us about the Fruit of the Spirit. These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When we receive Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit in us. These 9 characteristics are those found in the Spirit, who is found in us; at all times.
If we don’t feel like we have the strength to get out and help someone who clearly needs it or who is asking, we must ask the Holy Spirit for strength to do His work.
God is faithful to give us anything that will advance His Kingdom here on earth. He won’t hold back. We must be willing to seek Him out each day for strength and wisdom and we must also be ready to put ourselves aside to help others less fortunate in whatever way God is calling us to do it in.
The best leaders are those who can lead by example and accomplish the work efficiently and effectively while minimizing loss and while creating more leaders.
This article is calling out all Christians to do the work of the Lord. Becoming a mature believer in Christ means that we start doing what Jesus and His Apostles were doing. Not being the ones to be spoon-fed, but instead, to be the ones doing the feeding.
We all have gifts and talents and certain abilities where we shine the most. These are gifts from God, and God can use these if we let him. Whatever your talent, consider in what way God can use you and be sure to ask Him each day; “Lord, how can I be of service to you today?”
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.