As we grow and mature we begin to take on those roles ourselves. We transition from being carried or strolled everywhere to crawling, pulling up on things, to eventually walking and running. At some point we become aware of our bodily functions and become, much to our care givers' collective delight, "potty" trained. Consumption of food moves from the breast or bottle to being spoon fed from jars and ultimately to "table" food.
Yes, growing up means gradually assuming greater responsibility for all areas of life: including our spirituality. When we are babes in the Christian faith there is a certain amount of spoon feeding that has to occur simply because we have not developed the where-with-all to seek and search for the saving knowledge of Christ. But as we grown in our understanding and are more fully able to discern the will of God we have to also take ownership of our spiritual walk. We have to move from the milk of our early Christian experience to the meat of deeper theological truths.
However, too many of us fail to learn to walk spiritually. Why? Is it because we are incompetent and do not have the mental faculties to embrace deeper truth? It is because the things of God are so deep and complicated that they can be likened to spiritual calculus that only the religious elite can solve? No and no. I feel that at least part of the problem for a lack of deep spiritual maturity among God's children is that we simply do not take hold of the reins and invest in our own spiritual walk. We choose to lean on pastors and evangelists to show us what we need to do and think when really God's clergy are there to introduce us to Jesus, challenge us to a deeper relationship with Him, and, yes, teach us to walk on our own with God.
As a pastor I do not desire for a single person to follow me. I want only for people to follow and commit their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ to the point that they might be prepared as citizens of heaven and the New Jerusalem that the Lord is preparing for His people. In order for that to happen we have to take ownership in our own spiritual walk and not relegate it to the pastor or any other church leader. We have to invest in our daily walk through prayer, communicating with God on a moment by moment basis, and being lead in every decision by the Holy Spirit.
We have to read God's word and pray for wisdom to understand. Yes, it's alright for us to study together in groups or in a corporate worship setting, but let's not settle for only those moments. Our love for Christ should motivate us to seek Him each second of every day just as our thoughts become lost in one whom we long for in an earthly love scenario.
So where are you today? Are you lost or caught up in seeking Jesus or are you lost in the world? Do you search the Scriptures looking for the meat of a deeper relationship with Christ or are you content with the milk of an immature and possibly lukewarm spiritual experience?
It is my prayer today that each of us, including me, will have our hearts filled with the desire to know Christ more deeply with each passing day. It is my prayer that none of us will ever get lured or lulled into being satisfied with a spoon-fed approach to Christianity. It is my prayer that we will take ownership of our spirituality to the point that we seek the Lord daily while He may yet be found (Isa. 55:6). If there was every anything that each of us needed to grasp hold of, it is this.
Thank You for allowing us the opportunity to grow into what You desire for us to be. Please forgive our lax approach to seeking You and please forgive us for leaving our spiritual well-being to others. Help us to never let others take the reigns of what You desire for us to take ownership of, and may we all lean wholly on You for our strength in all areas of life. We pray now in Jesus's name, Amen.