“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 5:11-14 (NIV)
In Hebrews 5:11-14, a strong warning to the “spiritually stagnated” is issued. Verse 12, makes it clear that these Believers are not Babes in Christ. They have had the opportunity to learn, grow, and mature, yet, they struggle with applying the basics to their daily lives; therefore, needing to be taught these fundamentals again. At this juncture, they should be teaching and mentoring to Babes in Christ but are unable to do so. Why? They failed to pursue transformation. They held on to old traditions and mindsets. They did not seek to go beyond the fundamentals. They were lacking discernment (the ability to decide between what is true and false or right and wrong).
We must train our minds, bodies, and souls to develop our ability to discern. This Scripture give us the keys to understanding the difference between the spiritually mature and immature. If they were spiritually mature they would…
- seek spiritual challenges without the desiring to be entertained
- be confident rather than fearful
- possess active faith rather than cautious apathy and doubt
- pursue unity versus sowing discord
- perform self-evaluation and not self-criticism
The maturity of the stagnated is compared with an infant’s ability to digest solid food. Milk represents basic knowledge or fundamentals. Solid food signifies the more advanced teachings of God. Infants begin to show signs that they are ready to be weaned off of milk and exploring solid foods. However, showing the signs and actually being able to ingest the solid foods are two different things.
Far too often we seek to feast upon God’s banquet before we are spiritually capable. As we developed in our relationship with God and in the knowledge of His Word we must implement what we are learning. We should reflect upon our own spiritual condition. Are we still pursuing to grow spiritually? Are we daily developing our relationship with God by saying “Yes” to His will and His way? Is our growth reflected in our daily walk? Are we still drinking milk or are we ready for solid food?