According to Hebrews 5:13-14, “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
Anything that is spiritual is not of this world. It is divine, heavenly and supernatural. Maturity is a word which has nothing to do with age; rather it has everything to do with growth and ongoing development. We can conclude that spiritual maturity is a process. One is not born with it, but one has to grow into it. To that end, we can say that spiritual maturity is ongoing and it begins when one accepts Jesus Christ first as his Savior and then lives by following the examples of Jesus Christ.
Spiritual maturity is not automatic. Just like a baby grows and develops physically, we do the same spiritually. Like natural maturity, spiritual maturity takes time. A person cannot become a believer one day and reach spiritual maturity the next day. As a new believer, it is quite all right to be milk fed, but something is wrong if a person continues to be fed from a bottle and uses a pacifier. Instead, God expects us to put those things aside in the spirit just as we did in the natural. We are expected to chew on the meat of God’s word.
When we study the lives of biblical people we can clearly see how they matured. At 17, Joseph was not ready to become second in command of Egypt, but through his trials of being put down in the pit, sold into slavery and ended up in Egypt where he spent several years in Potiphar’s jail, Joseph matured into the capable position of being second in command over Egypt. Even though this happened when he was 30, it was not his age that made him mature.
Paul summed up spiritual maturity this way: “When I was a child, I
talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I
became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) Spiritual
maturity is putting away the bottle, the pacifiers, the bibs and the
blankets. Spiritual maturity is knowing what is right and doing what is right.
Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”
When you are not spiritually mature, you will do foolish things. Jonah was sent by God to go to Nineveh, but he did a foolish thing. He went in the opposite direction and ended up in the belly of a big fish. Spiritual maturity is more than quoting scriptures. The devil can quote scriptures. Spiritual maturity is more than reading your Bible. Spiritual maturity comes when you do what the Bible says.
The ultimate display of spiritual maturity came from Mary the mother of
Jesus and from Jesus Himself. When the angel Gabriel told Mary she was
with child, she did not understand it, but she said, “Be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38) Then Jesus said something similar in the Garden of Gethsemane when He talked to His Father about going to the cross. He said, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Spiritual maturity is realizing that spiritual things are different from natural things. In other words, spiritual maturity is not what you BELIEVE but how you BEHAVE! However, your beliefs should result in your behavior.
- Read the Word of God on a daily basis. The Bible is God’s diary. It consists of what’s in His heart and on His mind.
- Pray without ceasing. Never stop communicating with God.
- Praise God by telling Him how majestic He is and how holy He is.
- Meditate. Reflect on and mull on the things of God.
- Evangelize. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” Likewise, you cannot share Jesus Christ with others without falling in love with Him all over again and getting more of Him into your own heart.
Put away those childish things, and grow up spiritually in Jesus name!