But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. ~Hebrews 5:14
ecently, someone I know had to have oral surgery. The surgery involved a couple of tooth extractions and has affected their eating. Their food has to be cut or made into smaller, manageable bite sizes. Whereas before the surgery, they could eat harder, crunchy, and very chewy foods, they currently have to eat modified-sized foods. Paul uses the term “strong meat” to describe food that someone with a good set of teeth and digestive system can eat and digest. It is an understandable term to describe a Christian who is spiritually mature.
We see the development.
We are commanded to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Newborn Christians are to desire the sincere milk of the Word. Just like a baby’s development, all believers start out with the simple, understandable things of the spiritual life. We start by building upon a solid foundation. We progress from there to the point where we are able to eat and digest the meat of the Word. Spiritual growth is incremental and step-by-step. Successful spiritual development requires an appetite, accountability, and attention in order for us to get to the meat level.
We see the destination.
Paul said. “When for the time ye ought to be teachers….” The intended target for spiritual maturity is to have a strong grasp on the doctrines and duties of the Christian life and a walk in the Spirit, so that we can be a good example through our teaching to others. A teacher is able to explain things by his instruction and his imitation. We must set our target for spiritual growth on Biblical character, competency, and consecration.
We see the discernment.
Not only is being a spiritual teacher a goal, but it is also having spiritual discernment. Discernment is when, by reason of use, we are able to discern between good and evil. Discernment is being able to refuse the evil and choose the good (Isaiah 7:15). It is when your conscience is pricked regarding sin, evil, and wrong. It is having spiritual senses that are alert and not being deceived or ensnared.
We see the deficiency.
Some believers don’t grow up. They are ignorant concerning the things of God, they are unskillful in the Word of righteousness, and they do not know right from wrong. They cannot discern trends that are worldly and sinful. They are emotional and are double-minded. They won’t make the time to build their spiritual lives upon the most holy faith. They are continuously spoon-fed when they need to study to show themselves approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of God. Milk-fed Christians are weak, unstable, and prone to failure.
We see the directive.
Paul said that we must leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ and go on to perfection. This means that our goal is to become conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Perfection is adding to our “faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” The pathway to spiritual maturity requires a solid diet of strong meat. Don’t live on the baby bottle and infant formula: make the strong meat of discipleship your desire.
Have a hungering God Morning!
Bible Reading: John 1-2