Growing Up In Christ

The Bible compares developing Christians to babies, and children, and God as our father. Babies cry out to their parents when they need something that will help them grow, and be healthy. Following the analogy of being in babes in Christ let’s look at some lessons we can learn from babies to help us grow up in Christ.

1. They’re Hungry
Babies have a tremendous appetite for food, and when they are hungry they have a habit of crying out for food. 1 Peter 2:2 tells us, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. The word of God is a key element for us to grow up in God, and become strong Christians. If you do not have a daily hunger for the word then cry to God for him to make you hungry, and to show you things from the Bible that “feed” you.

Babies that are not hungry are said to have a failure to thrive, and yet I think many Christians have this failure, and that is why we are so fleshly. The word of God is:

  • A bath that cleans us up (Eph. 5:25-33 John 17:19)
  • A mirror that show us to ourselves (James 1:22-25)
  • A fire that melts our hardened heart (Jeremiah 23:29)
  • A surgical knife that divides our soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12)

2. They’re Hurt
Another things that makes babies cry for their parents is when they hurts themselves. Just about 100 times a day a baby goes somewhere he should not, or climbs on something he shouldn’t , and hurts himself. A baby has no problem letting you know he’s hurt.

Unfortunately American Christians have been trained not to cry out when were hurt. From John Wayne telling us to be a tough cowboy to preachers telling us just to forget our past we have Christians everywhere with open festering emotional wounds denying that anything is wrong. God didn’t just come to take you to heaven he came that you might have an abundant life there is nothing particularly abundant about Christians who are wounded, mean, and addicted to prescription drugs.

Jesus Christ is The Light and The Balm as the Light he reveals the pain as the Balm he heals but as long as we cover our wounds with the superficial bandaid of forgetting or ignoring he can’t reveal, and he can’t heal. We must cry out and ask his help to heal. Below is a multistep process for involving Jesus in your emotional healing process.

The first step is to ACKNOWLEDGE the need for healing. For us to receive the healing of emotional wounds, we must first acknowledge that we are hurting (Matthew 9:10-13, Revelation 3:17). Many of us have lied to ourselves as well as to others. We have said, “I’m really O.K.” or “It really doesn’t matter that much.”

The second step is to LOCATE the cause of the pain. In the physical realm, we may have a pain in our legs, but the cause may be a pinched nerve in the spine. To operate on the legs would be the wrong procedure. A youth may have severe problems getting along with his peers at school, when the real source of the pain is from an abusive stepparent at home. A wife may feel enormous pain every time her husband disciplines one of the children. However, the pain she feels may originate from her own emotional wounds as a child.

We may unconsciously associate one hurt with another. Furthermore, time itself, does not heal hurts. Only God does! Therefore, with each new conflict, we pick up additional baggage. It is therefore important that we locate and separate each painful experience. This is the work of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 139:23-24).

The third step is to CLEANSE the wound. If you received a deep wound in your hand and you left the wound open, it would sooner or later get contaminated and infected. The same is true in the emotional area. Emotional hurts are an open wound for unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, depression, and anxiety to enter. The Bible implies that we may “give place to the devil” when we are angry longer than one day (Ephesians 4:26-31). Therefore, these critters may be more than just harmful emotions, they may also be evil spirits (Matthew 18:34).

For cleansing to occur, (1) we must forgive those who have offended us, (2) ask God for to forgive and cleanse us (I John 1:9) for our unforgiveness, (3) yield that area unto the Lord, (4) request that God restore our soul (Psalm 23:3) in the area yielded to the enemy, and (5) use the name of Jesus to drive out the enemy.

The fourth step is to Accept HEALING of the hurt. God gives us two distinct pictures of healing in Scripture. One picture is that of God calling off the enemy (Deuteronomy. 7:15). This picture relates to the cleansing of the wound. The other picture is one of mending the net (Exodus 15:26).

After the physician cleanses the victim’s wound, he sews it up so that it will not become contaminated again. Forgiveness opens the door to freedom, but forgiveness is not healing. Without our receiving healing, the wound again becomes contaminated. However, when God mends the wound, He also heals the wound.

We may receive healing by (1) understanding that Jesus suffered all kinds of emotional hurts (Isaiah 53:3) and that he became a hurt substitute (Isaiah 53:4) for us , and (2) believing that Jesus was sent to heal the broken hearted (Luke 4:18), and (3) asking in faith for that healing. When God heals the wound, we may recall the experience without being flooded by the pain.

The fifth step is to STRENGTHEN the weak area. Again, in the physical, the area around the wound may remain weak even after the healing occurs. This is also true of emotional wounds. The enemy will try to get us to focus our thoughts (II Corinthians 10:4-5) on the event that brought the hurt. If this occurs, we may mentally pick at the area until we have opened a new wound.

Therefore, it is critical that we strengthen that area by applying the Word of God. (1) We need to see that God had a purpose in allowing us to be wounded (Genesis. 50:20). (2) We need to see that God can work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). (3) We need to come to rejoice in the Lord over the experience (Philippians. 4:4). (4) We need to develop and share our testimony with others (Revelation 12:11).

Another time a bay cries is when he has a dirty diaper. This is a good illustration for our fellowship with Christ we to can get dirty with sin, and hinder our fellowship. But you ask how does a believer made righteous by Christ, and actually having Christ righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21) ever sever fellowship with God? The answer is that Positionally you are always in Christ, always righteous, always seated in the heavenlies etc, but practically you are every moment yielding to one of two positions that of being IN Christ or in the flesh. IN Christ whats true of Jesus is true of you, in the flesh whats true of the man in Romans 3 is true of you, and you can’t please God.

In Christ we have perfect fellowship with the Father just like Jesus has (John 10:30). However in the flesh we have no fellowship with God because we have entered into an adulterous relationship with another lover. Imagine that you called your spouse from another lovers house and said “I would like to have fellowship with you spouse.” Now most likely the other spouse will look at the caller id, and start swearing, or hangup. But assuming that they are forgiving as God is forgiving, and long for a relationship with you as God longs for a relationship with you they are still not going to just say, “ok, lets fellowship.”

There is still the small matter that you are abiding or in the position of the adulterous lover’s house (the flesh). So the spouse will say, “we can have fellowship if you choose to break this adulterous relationship, and ask forgiveness.” Then and only then can the spouses have fellowship, and abide in the same house (IN Christ). So that brings us back to a baby, he will not allow himself to remain in a position of filth, but inevitably will takes the steps of action to be clean. God to has given us the means to maintain unbroken fellowship with Him. 1 John 1:7-9 says, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

These verses outline two steps for unbroken fellowship number one in verse seven is a willful decision to walk in the light, or in another words abide(live) in the same house with my true lover Christ the Light. Number two in verse nine should I find myself in the arms of another (the flesh) I will immediately confess my sin, and receive the restoration of fellowship from God. Keep short accounts with God, ask for help if you get dirty.