Hebrews 5:12, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat”
The man from the gas company wasn’t very happy with my neighbor. It seems that my neighbor had called to report a gas smell and a malfunctioning stove. It was early evening, and the repairman from the gas company had to drive a considerable distance in order to reach my neighbor’s house. After the repairman looked inside the stove, he wasn’t very pleasant and cheery at all when he stood up, looked my neighbor very coldly, and said, “All you had to do was light the pilot light.” Even after the repairman fired up the oven, his words left the neighbor feeling quite cold. He was upset because he had to show my neighbor something so elementary. If you have read the book of Hebrews … that sounds similar to what the author was talking about in chapters 5 and 6. He was concerned for the Jewish converts he was writing to because they hadn’t advanced in their knowledge. He even had to review the basics they should have known (5:12). They had been Christians long enough that they should have been teaching others. Yet, the author couldn’t tell them what he wanted to tell them because they couldn’t get it. He couldn’t give them solid food; because they were still on a milk diet.
While writing this post my thoughts were of the time I lived in Washington, DC … looking at the map of the Washington, DC area, I knew I could do it. The boarding house I was staying in was centrally located off Thomas Circle in downtown DC. I wanted to see the Capital Building which was approximately twelve blocks from the boarding house. A nice walk on a sunny Saturday morning would be good for me. I could have taken a cab or bus, but if I really wanted to see the DC area, I knew walking was the way to go and so I did. Hearing the sounds, smelling the smells of the various pastry shops, studying the people, watching the traffic and visiting the shops along the way, I really felt like a part of Washington, DC. Although, it took some time and effort, it was well worth both. You might be asking what this has to do with the above story. Well, as we travel this journey we call the Christian life, we face a similar choice. We can take the easy route, depending on others to give us all our instructions, shortcutting our way past a good prayer-life, or speed-reading a passage of Scripture and calling it “devotions.” Or we can make the effort and take the time to get into the Word and closer to God. Why not take a long walk with God today, tomorrow and the next day? As you map out your course, choose to “seek Him with your whole heart”, study His Word, and obey what He says, because such a walk through His precious Word will be a most delightful experience!
For the believer in Christ, you started out with faith in Him, after recognizing your sinfulness and a need for a Savior, when you asked God to forgive your sins. You were a baby in Christ; however, you don’t stop there! No one who has put their faith in Christ can afford to let spiritual growth and maturity start and stop with only one act of spiritual surrender. Your salvation must be followed by spiritual growth wherein you are weaned off the “milk of the Word” and start enjoying the “meat of the Word”. My friend, keep your heart and mind open to the Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit, be receptive and obedient to it, and above all as the Scriptures tell us, “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. I’m afraid there are too many who should be on the front lines in their spiritual growth but are still in basic training. I will close with these questions:
(1) Could the repairman be talking about you?
(2) Are you stuck in elementary school in your knowledge of God because you haven’t learned what you ought to know?
(3) Are your waiting for someone to “light the pilot,” when you should know how to get the fire going yourself?