Testing our Spiritual Maturity
As Christ’s followers, we are not unfamiliar with tests and fully understand that this is one of the Lord’s processes for our spiritual & character growth. One of the ways God tests us is if we have taken His Word from being mere theory to becoming our experience through faith in Christ.
Hebrews 5 tells us that when we put God’s Word to ‘use’, we grow in discerning what is good and evil. We are admonished not to be satisfied with milk and being taught by others, but be ones who indulge in the solid Word, so we become teachers. We are warned that to remain unskilled in the knowledge of the Word, is a dangerous place to be;
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
There is another test that proves who we trust. In Jeremiah 17, God reveals who is who through cursing and blessing. God curses those who put their trust in mankind and their capabilities and serves us as believers, as a Word of warning. While we read the passages below, let us ask ourselves: Where is our trust? What motivates our decisions?
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited. Jer 17:5-6
For all who put their trust in the Lord will be:
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jer 5:7-8
We must be careful as the Word tells us that our hearts can deceive us and is wicked.
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it? Jer 17:9
Only God can see what is true-
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings. Jer 17:10
One of the ways we know God blesses us is living waters will flow in, through, and out of us – which is His Holy Spirit; John 7:37-39. His Word is our source for truth, which is our daily (Good) NEWS and where Fear will not overcome us.
Those who put trust, not in God face the very thing they fear-
Let them be dismayed,
But do not let me be dismayed.
Bring on them the day of doom,
And destroy them with double destruction! Jer 17:18b
Believers in Christ, if we do not discern good and evil, we will be ones who are easily led by fear. Why? Because we are yet immature in the Word and will be those who will not see good come. What is good? Jesus Christ. He is not of this world and only those who are beyond babes will know to seek the things of this world. We know He is the way truth and life and is the only way we will get through the day and hour upon us.
Do not be deceived into thinking men and their remedies have the answer.