Have you ever fed a child baby food and thought, “Ewww, this stuff is gross!” If you have then you know you can’t wait until that baby grows up and can eat ‘real’ solid food. Our spiritual maturity is like that child. 1 Peter 2:2 tells us to be ‘Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation’. We start out desiring the milk as babies do, and it would be easy to just stay there. Just like we can’t wait for our children to grow and start eating ‘normal foods’, our Father can’t wait for us to grow and mature spiritually.
Why do we need to concern ourselves with growing spiritually? Hebrews 5:13-14 explains that ‘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 full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.’ As Christians, it is important for us to be able to discern good and evil and guard our hearts and minds against evil. Hebrews clearly tells us the way to do this is to graduate to ‘solid food’. Staying stagnant in our faith is not what the Lord intended for us. He intended us to grow and learn more about Him and become closer to Him. Is that what you strive for in your life, the ability to partake in solid food? If not, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your spiritual goals and set some with the intention of graduating from milk to solid food.
How do we graduate then? For us to graduate to solid foods and mature spiritually, Hebrews tells us ‘exercise our senses’. The word exercise in this passage can also be translated to practice (NASB) or constant practice (ESV). So, the bible is telling us to practice! Just like an athlete practices constantly – often every day to improve at their sport – we too should practice, every day. God has given us a very powerful tool to use as we ‘exercise’ and one that sets the standard for us to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). It’s the Bible!
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, (Hebrews 6:1).