Jun 19, 2015

Arrested Spiritual Development ~ What's YOUR Plan?

...cruising Hebrews 5:11 to 6:20

"Arrested Spiritual Development" or The Race to Maturity as this passage can be called (or perhaps we could call it "It's now June...whatever became of my 2015 New Year's Resolution?")

Andrea and I hadn't meant to be too-long-gone-away from the mini-van.  We thought we'd leave all four kids alone for just a brief time while we dashed away to look at a potential home.  The sight was horrific when we returned a few minutes later.  RJ had taken Josh's bottle and began to squirt milk all over the minivan....ceiling, walls, windows and his siblings too.  He didn't miss...he got it all!  Just another day in a parent's life....but what a mess!
As I watch my kids grow up in front of my eyes, what an absolute thrill it is to watch the growth process.  At one point they weren't able to eat anything but strained vegetables, and of course ...suck the milk bottle. I'll save you all the messy details in between (I'm still trying to forget), but somehow believe it or not, they later they progressed to tiny pieces of meat.  
Around perhaps age 8, they began to ask questions of what they were eating, ... was it chicken, pork or beef.  Questions like, "...what is pork?", "...Is fish meat?" ... were often entertained around the supper table.  Learning dictated that their food be considered and categorized as they sorted out their taste buds.  
I remember grilling BBQ chicken with chipotle sauce and my youngest son Jeffrey loudly declaring, "Dad this is the best meat I've ever eaten - it's my absolute favourite!"  Then the same with burgers.  ...and then a few years later announced he'd again changed his favourite. "Dad, I think I like steak-meat the best of all!".
This is normal progressive development, from "only-strained-vegetables" to "steak".  Wouldn't it be incredibly odd, if my teenagers hit a plateau somewhere along the way and couldn't get past strained vegetables ??

One of the most common things that afflict the church is ....arrested spiritual development.  Watch out for that in YOUR life!  After coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, a person plateaus.  When you talk to someone who has reached a plateau....they talk about the same spiritual things they talked about 25 years ago.  This is "arrested spiritual development" ....that person is no farther along in maturity than they were 25 years ago ???  They are still drinking their bottles of milk, looking for entertainment in their church.  They can't take the strong meat!  
  • God's plan for us is to progress to maturity!  
  • P.S. ~ Once you've developed a taste for stronger, tastier meat, you'll NEVER touch the bottle again!
·         V1 - "Let's grow up; let's go on to maturity"  ~Hebrews 6
·         "build on the foundation of faith"
·         Peter Snell, former Olympic gold medalist, said that the only way to win a race is to "get in front and go flat out." Prior to that, he said, it takes a whole lot of hard training and self-discipline. 

·         V14 -The mature Christian is like a person who can eat solid food. This means that he can understand the things of the spirit.  He studies the word of God and prays. He learns how to see in each situation what is good and what is bad and what God wants him to do. As he does this, he grows strong in his belief. This is not just the use of the mind. It is the use of both the mind and the spirit. Then he does what is right and not what is evil. In this way he learns to grow in the Christian life.  You need to plan your maturity...maturity is a choice!

  • OK, Let's cut to the chase!  ...What is YOUR plan to prevent "ASD" - Arrested Spiritual Development?

  • The only plan God has for you to GROW and "spiritually develop" (whether you choose to accept this mission or not) is to 
...get into the WORD!

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