Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Back to Basics

Knowledge - being in the know about things and understanding them - is all too important in today's society. In May of this year, I will be graduating from North Carolina State University with my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences. Although it's a great field with a great prospective outcome, with social medial being so prominent, connections to the right people are more than ever important in finding a decent job after graduating. Knowledge is great, but without the desire to learn, without any experience - tests trials and victories to solidify and confirm without a doubt one's knowledge, one's learning of information is all in vain.

In the same way we can get stuck in our head knowledge of things that can physically take a hold over us, we can also become spiritually stuck in a rut. As mentioned a few posts ago, at the time I had a really huge desire to write more and share more about what God had been showing me, but I was feeling a disconnect between reading the Bible and actually hearing the voice of God. I really wanted to hear and understand, but in the midst of life's murkiness, I couldn't hear God's voice too clearly. One thing I realized for me is that although I can know a ton about the Bible and God, if that knowledge isn't connected to a constant flow of communication in both directions, I begin to feel overwhelmed, confused, and become complacent in my relationship with God.

For instance, I mentioned briefly in My Testimony about my upbringing, but to go a little deeper, my dad is a Christian educator and Sunday School teacher, I have an uncle that's a pastor, another uncle that's a deacon, and countless other adopted spiritual parents, grandparents, and siblings that have taken time to pour into me over the years. I'm not saying that this isn't great, because it actually is, and I'm thankful for every bit of knowledge that was shared with me about God's truth that has allowed me to grow. However, even with some of the greatest knowledge and information available, one can still become complacent, and that's what happened to me.

In Hebrews 5 near its end, the last few verses offers a strong warning and rebuke. The author of the book of Hebrews seemed visibly frustrated by its readers' lack of understanding. Well, it wasn't that they couldn't understand- it was the fact that they weren't even striving to grow in spiritual maturity. If I had been explaining the same information over and over again to the same group of people who wasn't even making an effort to change, I would also be frustrated and upset.

In Hebrews 5:12-14, the author of the book was frustrated at its audience that they weren't understanding the foundational principles of the Good News - the Gospel of Christ. Instead of being spiritually fit to train others, they were in need of being trained themselves! Instead of continued growth, they had become stagnant in their walks with Good, leading to their spiritual immaturity and inability to discern and teach the Gospel- salvation by faith alone through grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Sometimes we just need to go back to the basics! Going back to the basic, yet fundamental truths of the nature of God is humbling and rewarding because  spiritual immaturity can hinder our ability to serve God. Going back to the foundational truths of who God is, the purpose of Jesus' ministry, death and resurrection, and the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives will give us the spiritual knowledge and maturity needed over time to stop relying on milk as food, being unskilled in the word of righteousness (Hebrews 5:13), but move to solid food, being able to discern good from evil. Spiritual immaturity isn't a place that any Christian should wasn't too stay, and just because you may have gotten saved over ten years ago doesn't mean you've truly cultivated an intimate relationship with Jesus. It doesn't mean you're not saved or don't know Him, but it does mean that there is room for growth. Quantity of years saved doesn't equate quality in intimacy with Jesus. 

HOWEVER, just because you may be in this situation spiritually doesn't mean you have to stay this way. God is gracious and merciful to walk with us during this time, so He can use us for His glory. Continue to seek Him with all you have and depend on Him. 

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