Lollipop Christianity: Growing in Spiritual Stature

Are you experiencing arrested development in your Christian walk? If so, you can do something about that.


“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” -- 1 Corinthians 13:11, NIV


It is a big mistake for any of us to think we have arrived in our growth as Christians. Growing to the full stature in Christ is to walk and move with spiritual understanding and knowledge. Do you feel that your growth is stunted? Are you just skimming the surface of what God has for you and wants from you? Putting it boldly--it's time to grow up.



A Mature Christian DIGS BENEATH THE SURFACE.


Writing to the Christian Jews, the apostle says, “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:11-13, NIV)


Many people today are satisfied with the milk of the Word – the easy-to-swallow parts that make them feel good. The spiritual nutrients we need to strengthen us and keep our thoughts in order is found in the meat of the Word of God. Those morsels of substance that take some chewing on before they can be digested.



A Mature Christian is CONSISTENT.


Have you witnessed a small child throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store? Mom probably said “No” to some request and the kid had a meltdown. To quiet the child, Mama offered candy. As the child puts the treat in his mouth, his bellowing is reduced to a whimper and another parent’s sanity is saved. It is sad to think how similar we sometimes are to toddlers.


For children, and many Christ-followers, waiting is nearly impossible; a denial of a desire will break them down completely. Then, like flipping a switch, the distraught darlings are quickly diverted by not much better than sugar on a stick. I call this level of stunted growth Lollipop Christianity – old enough in the Lord to know better, but still easily distracted by just about anything.


Mature believers do not make lollipop decisions. We want to make choices founded upon the solid Word of God. We desire our influences to be connected to our Heavenly Father. Paul made this same point about spiritual growth when he wrote to the church at Colossae.


“And in Him you have been made complete [achieving spiritual stature through Christ], and He is the head over all rule and authority [of every angelic and earthly power].” Colossians 2:10, AMP



A Mature Christian has DISCERNMENT.


The person who has discernment knows what is from God and what is not from God. It sounds simple, but the enemy has made sure to complicate things; he waters down the message and twists the truth. Without a mature sensitivity to the spirit, you will accept almost anything as truth.


If you cannot determine between what is evil and what is from the light; what is not from God and what is His will, you will accept the lesser blessing. God has something more in store for you. Are you strong enough to carry the bigger blessing?





To develop past the Lollipop Stage of spiritual maturity, we must be fully in; not living on the line between casual and committed.


A Mature Christian is SPIRITUALLY EAGER.


The newer Christian has not built up the spiritual muscle and endurance for the kind of high-impact prayer, faith, and persistence that comes only through fervently seeking the things of the Kingdom. Growing in full stature is not a casual endeavor. The things of God are not to be taken lightly.


I'm not talking about some fanatical, abstract experience. I'm talking about a genuine material, walk with God.



A Mature Christian SPEAKS WITH AUTHORITY.


Growing to full stature begins in your understanding then proven in your words. When you discern the plan of God and develop a deeper relationship, you will speak with authority in faith. You will have confidence and you will speak with certainty and clarity.



A Mature Christian ABANDONS THE OLD LIFE.


Healthy Christian growth continues until we see Jesus face to face in the same way a child goes through developmental stages from birth to adulthood. Paul tells us to abandon the thinking, believing, and behaving we had in our infancy.


Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”


As we grow, we no longer fully rely on someone else to feed us. We won’t need a baby walker to keep from falling. Our spiritual legs grow stronger and more stable as we continue to feed on the Word and exercise our faith.


There is a story of a little boy who fell out of bed. When asked what happened, he answered, “I don’t know. I guess I stayed too close to the getting’ in place.”


Are you experiencing arrested development in your Christian walk? If so, you can do something about that.


To keep from falling, and to develop past the Lollipop Stage of spiritual maturity, we must be fully in; not living on the line between CASUAL and COMMITTED. God has destined you to move on to higher ground, always growing toward "full stature" in Christ.


Heavenly Father,


Fill me with the knowledge of Your will that I can speak the truth in love with confidence. Help me be on my guard so that I am not easily distracted and thrown off course. I claim your blessing on my life as I rely on Your grace to transform me through the renewing of my mind. Until the day I see you face to face, I will keep pressing forward, exercising my spiritual muscles my whole life long.


In Jesus' matchless Name, Amen.





Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square