I remember months ago when we were weaning our baby. It was one of the not so simple things to do. They looked simple when read through the books or the apps, but practically, it’s all about grace!
Johnny was so excited to introduce some solids to her. I was too. We all know expressing at 2 am, 4 am, 6 am is not a walk in the park.
We were well prepared, but we soon found out that introducing another taste to her, other than breast-milk, was one big curve ball!
We finally succeeded after trying and sometimes I deliberately missing in house so that she feeds. It’s still an ongoing journey though, but we finally weaned her.
Weaning is a hard thing for a baby who is used to just suckle, feeling the comfort at her mother’s bosom when held and rocked. Lullabies filling the air and all sounding so soothing – it’s the real deal for any baby.
But as time progresses, so do their needs too. Breast milk with all its nutritional value becomes not so sufficient to meet the growing needs of a growing baby. Weaning therefore becomes inevitable.
Weaning is not a comfortable place to be in for most infants. It’s hard being made to chew up some food on already sore gums! It’s not easy for their digestive system too. If babies had an option, then they would suckle all their life!
As I meditated on this verse, it occurred to me that our spiritual walk is not any different. We don’t like being spiritually weaned. We don’t like spiritual solid foods. We would rather have it easy!
We would rather remain as infants being comforted, never confronted, never questioned, always having our diapers changed, always being propped, followed and watched.
We don’t like to get off the breast-milk.
But sadly, as days pass, so does our spirit crave for more. The more we trudge along this journey of faith and life, the more our spirits crave for more nourishment from the word of the Lord, not just spiritual milk. We long to know what can keep us going. We long to cling onto something larger than us.
Our child cannot be on milk alone. Her bones need calcium, her brain functionality needs Omega 3, her skin needs riboflavin and all a myriad of elements for her to function optimally.
She needs solid food. We too as we grow in our walk of faith, we do need spiritual meals, let alone milk. We need foods that will push us a little further without needing a refill after every 20 minutes. I mean, you cannot survive on milk the whole day unless one is fasting.
Being a spiritual infant does a lot of disservice to you.
One cannot be trusted with responsibilities.
One cannot grow.
The tides of life easily knock one down.
You can be easily swayed away by false doctrines.
Truly speaking, a toddler cannot be trusted with a matchbox or a car. They will hurt themselves. That’s the truth about a spiritual infant. You might want to lead praise and worship, a cell group, a ministry but if you aren’t grounded, chances of failure are almost a bull’s eye!
You will lack the patience that comes with ministry. You will lack forbearance that is needed when dealing with human beings. You will fret when hard times hit. You will sink low when faced with opposition. You will simply be too ineffective or easily trodden down.
Now, my greatest point about all is this, is discernment.
Spiritual infants lack discernment.
The Bible says in Hebrews 5:11-12
Concerning this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull and sluggish in [your spiritual] hearing and disinclined to listen.
For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food.
But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.
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What is discernment?
According to the dictionary, it’s is being able to distinguish a right from a wrong.
In the spiritual walk, spiritual discernment is always asking the Holy Spirit to lead, and when he guides your path, you do as God wills.
You move in his purposes and direction. He leads in everything. If it’s not God, then it’s not worth it. The Holy Spirit shows you what to do.
You rely not on your own understanding, but the Lord helps you distinguish His will from your persuasiveness. He talks to you before you commit to something or someone. He reveals to you what a common eye cannot see. He helps you know what is right and wrong.
He helps you uncover intents and actions.
He helps you know your gifts.
He helps you discard your permissive will for His perfect will.
Discernment therefore, is more than just a skill set. It’s a gift from God to them that desire spiritual maturity and are walking that path of growth! It is for them that are ingesting spiritual solid foods!
Spiritual infants the bible says are dull in hearing the word of the Lord. In other words, they are simply like the Parable of the sower that Jesus talked about.
Jesus tells of a sower who scattered his seeds on four different types of soil.
The first type of ground was hard and the seeds could not sprout and we’re choked up instantly.
The second type of ground was very stony. The seeds were planted and began to grow, but they really had a weak root system. Because of that, the sun caused them to wither and they dried.
The third type of ground was filled with thorns and although the seeds planted could grow, the thorns overshadowed them. They did not thrive.
The fourth ground was the best. The seeds had the optimum condition of thriving. The seeds planted grew, had a good root system and they yielded fruit.
The gospel is still active and living and very relevant to us too today. How is the condition of your heart in response to the word?
Are you a spiritual infant? That you have a weak root system. You need to be propped and shielded against the tides of life?
Are you a spiritual infant that your ears are so dull and the word of God doesn’t pummel you? Your heart is hard and calloused and it has no regards of God whatsoever!
Are you a spiritual infant that the storms of life easy drown you? You cannot wait patiently on the promises of God. You spirit is turbulent, and unstable and as soon as it gets hard, the easiest way out is always your route. You easily curve out idols out of anything that would seem to answer you faster.
In that you cease to grow!
Or are you one who desires to be weaned, to be on spiritual solids, to be grounded and to grow? Are you one who is deeply rooted in Christ and are not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation!
As you grow, and put into practice the word of the Lord constantly, you are able to be spiritually attuned to what is around you. The Lord gifts you the spirit of discernment.
Everything gets to revolve around the Lord and His approval. From what you eat, to where, whom you interact with and how, what you wear and why. Where you visit and what you should involve yourself in.
You find yourself asking, “Lord, do I do this?” All flows from a love of Christ deeply entrenched in you.
It’s not just something that falls on you, but it develops by having an intimacy with the Lord through prayer and reading His word. The buck stops with the Lord.
Desire to be weaned and to grow.
Desire the spiritual solid foods that your walk in the Lord will be deeper and grounded.
Then the tides, distractions and the waves of life will not carry you easily and his blessings will not overshadow the God of the blessings – that you make some gods out of them!
Proverbs 9:10 says,
The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshipping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.
Desire for spiritual solids!