#4: This Matters
There’s something special about a relationship with your child. In my case, I have a son named Joshua. He is almost 2 years old. His vocabulary is diverse. Half of his words I understand. The other half is for his own enjoyment. It has improved a lot over the past year. He's growing up. This language barrier made life interesting in our home. Joshua was (and still is) ALWAYS getting into something he shouldn’t. He’s acting, well, like a child. By now you may be wondering why I started a blog post like this and whether you actually want to keep reading. Here’s your transition: is it possible that many in our church membership are born again children of God, but never stop acting like children? I think so.
Check this out:
“ 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.” (Hebrews 5.11-13; ESV)
The writer of Hebrews seems to know what I’m talking about. In a culture where we have lifted the value of emotions over reason, the importance of truth has fallen to the wayside. Unfortunately that also means that the stature of Scripture has been diminished. When this happens we also lose any sense of standard. Many things—even things that seem to be obviously objective—have become relative. I mean, there are literally people in the world who identify as dogs, cats, aliens, etc. If that’s not childish—living in a make-believe world—I don’t know what is. In a less intense version compared to my previous example, this way of viewing the world has rushed into the church over time leaving confusion and division in its wake. So I find that it is of the utmost importance to say, “The children of God need to grow up”.
As Joshua gets older, he begins to understand more and more about who we—his parents—are, and who he is. He begins to adopt our behaviors and habits (both good and bad). In other words, he matures. New, born again believers must mature into full grown disciples—followers of Jesus. We have to look to the example of Christ and the character of God that is found in His Word. (And as a side-note: we don't get to transform the God of the Bible into the God of our imagination. We have to submit to who He is and believe in Him for who He has revealed Himself to be. No exceptions).
How do you grow? First and foremost I believe that the growth of a believer is fueled by God (Philippians 1.6). That leads to the question, “what are the tools?”. God’s Word—the Bible—is the source from which we gather what we need to mature into the likeness of Christ (1 Peter 2.2). The Bible is where we see who God is and what He is calling His people to be. God’s people—the Church—is where we find encouragement and accountability (Hebrews 10.24-25). We need the love and support of other believers as we strive to be like Christ in a world that doesn't want Him at all. Prayer is the conversation through which we humble ourselves to the will of God and express our gratitude for His grace and mercy. Through prayer we cast our cares on the One who cares for us. Take care of these things. Trust the Lord and seek to glorify Him with your life—every part of it. This matters.