BECOMING A BABY IN THE LORD........And believing the scriptures with all your heart

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Matthew 18:3 and Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you change and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Believers start their walk of faith as spiritual babes in the Lord.  This is seen from the excitement and joy that greets peoples salvation. With salvation, the spirit is changed according to the nature of God, but the flesh - the soul and the body will change gradually.  The soul and body will be transformed by the Word of the Lord.

When one is "born again" as a child of God, he is spiritually immature. As time passes, he should develop the qualities or abilities which the Bible says characterize the mature. 

Babies are immature physically and mentally, but we expect them to develop. If they don't, there is a problem. People understand the concept of growth in the physical development of humans, and we know why it is important.

Just as a baby needs to do certain things to grow physically, so Christians need the Word of God to grow spiritually and they need to reject sin, and lay aside all malice, and all guile and hypocrisies, and envies and all evil speakings - attitudes that hinder spiritual growth.  Apostle Peter advised new converts in the Lord to desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby 1 Peter 2:1-2.  The purpose of this write up is share the steps to spiritual growth.

Nature and Character of children:

Adults have a tendency to become cynical with age, while a child has yet to be touched by the concerns of the world.  But, God seeks a childlike submissiveness and meekness, a gleeful childlike heart … and a childlike faith.
We should be able to come to him fully trusting, without a doubt, that He loves us and cares for us.  Of course, God wants us to come before Him as children, because children are innocent, and trust with a pure, uncorrupted heart.

Children are ObedientObedience is an important virtue for a christian to cultivate.  For those who wish to go far with the Lord, obedience is almost like a command and from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible kept emphasizing on obedience to the word and voice of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 sums it up like this: "Obey and you will be blessed. Disobey and you will be cursed." In the New Testament, we learn through the example of Jesus Christ that believers are called to a life of obedience.

The general concept of obedience both in the Old and New Testament relates to hearing or hearkening to the voice of God. Obedience is the easiest thing for children to do because they depend on their parents for practically everything. Any child of God, who depend on Him for his existence will have no problem obeying the Word of God.

It is the same with born again Christians, when they encounter the word of God, instructions from God, they are inspired and without wasting time, they obey. 
The Lord Comforts obedient children and Jesus said their angel is continually before God Almighty. As it is for children, so it is for adult sons and daughters of God. Obedience establishes your inheritance in Christ.
Importance of Obedience

Christ was obedient

In Jesus Christ we find the perfect model of obedience. As his disciples, we follow Christ's example as well as his commands. Our motivation for obedience is love. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15

Obedience leads to worship

While the Bible places strong emphasis on obedience, it's critical to remember that believers are not justified (made righteous) by our obedience, but by faith in the Lord. Salvation is a free gift of God, and we can do nothing to merit it. True Christian obedience flows from a heart of gratitude for the grace we have received from the Lord:

Obedience to God Proves Our Love
The books of 1 John and 2 John clearly explain that obedience to God demonstrates love for God. Loving God implies following his commands:
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. (1 John 5:2–3)

Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, in the household of faith and do same to our neighbours.

Obedience to God affirms our faith in Him

When we obey God, we affirm our faith and trust in Him And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God's word show their love for Him.

God values Obedience better Than Sacrifice

The phrase "obedience is better than sacrifice," can be explained within the old Testament perspective.  The law required the Israelite people to offer sacrifices to God, but those sacrifices and offerings were never intended to take the place of obedience.

That was why Samuel replied King Saul saying: "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice?.  Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king." 1 Samuel 15:22–23.

What Qualities does children have?
  • A child is innocent and honest -  The Lord want you to be the same!.
  • A child is trusting.
  • A child believes without complication.
  • A child is humble.
  • A child is content in the little things.
  • A child has the faith to move mountains.
  • A child takes to heart God’s Word in all its simplicity.
  • A child forgives and remembers not to refer to the error again.
  • A child has no alternative to his/her parents
Children, full of innocence, come to their loving father and mother, trusting them to completely take care of them, to protect them, to provide for them, to correct them when they are wrong, and to love and cherish them.
Jesus is telling us that we need to have this type of trust and faith in the Father. After all, we are His children. Adults have a tendency to become cynical with age, while a child has yet to be touched by the concerns of the world.
God seeks a childlike submissiveness and meekness, a gleeful childlike heart … and a childlike faith. Like a child, let us submit ourselves to God, hiding nothing from Him and openly let Him know your problems and needs.

You must become a child for your kingdom joy to be full.  God wants us to come before Him as children, because children are innocent, and trust with a pure, corrupted heart.  Let us come to him fully trusting, without a doubt, that He loves us and cares for us. 
What does it take to grow up spiritually? 
1. Desire to grow spiritually
2. Spiritual nourishment
3. Exercising your faith 

Desire to Grow Spiritually
In secular world, it is normal to see your children desiring to grow in life and in the things of life. The desire to grow is a desire to acquire knowledge about life and the things of life.  It is the same thing in the spirit.  A new believer should desire to grow in the spirit and then pursue that dream before you can notice any meaningful growth in his/her life.

Growing in the spirit is where the power is.  When a believer has the Word of God in his heart, his choices change, his speech changes as well. When a believer regular in studying and meditating on the Word, he begins to find solution to many personal questions in the word. But some seem to like being spiritual babies. They don't want to grow. It's easy to be a baby - no responsibility. Others feed you, clothe you, change your diaper. In the church, you don't have to teach, or do much work. It's a free ride!

But spiritual stagnancy or being a baby is not the goal of life. We are born babies so we can grow up and be productive and useful. Likewise, we are born again, to grow into matured Christians, who are able to handle higher responsibilities at home and in the church.  A matured christian is better placed to do things in the house of God better, whether it is soul winning, teaching and preaching etc.

When a person decided to grow in the things of God, he is also deciding to reject sin and the world, and all the lust and pride that is in the world. You  must determine to turn from sin and serve God in truth and spirit, No double-standards, No lying and no cheating etc.  All iniquity must be turned away from and the person depending on the power of God and praying for mercies of God.  

It will occasion falls, into sin and other evil works as the  believer struggle with the 'old man' inside of him.  But he/she must quickly repent and continue and determine never to go back to such sin again.  Even if he does again, the believer is expected to resist the temptations of the devil, relying on the strength of the Almighty God and not his/her person.

One of the main reasons Christians are not growing in the spirit is that they do not see the need for growing. They do not know what they are missing in their relationship with the Lord. The bible says you are born again by the Word of God, and to that extend, they lack the word of God in their heart and so, cannot do much in the kingdom.

Growth Process - Nourishment

The first sign of a problem in the life of a born again christian is noticed when he/she is not growing in the spirit.  If you are not growing, then you are either stagnated or backsliding slowly. Many problems result when a child of God is not growing in the spirit.  For some, they go back to the world, others cause strife because of ignorance or become stumbling block to others because of irregular church attendance, worldliness etc.

Feeding on the Word - spiritually we cannot grow without feeding on God's Word.  As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby. Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ 2 Peter 3:18 

Jesus Christ says Matthew 4:4 that "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" To grow in the spirit, we must study and meditate on the word of god daily.   Paul admonished the Christians desire the sincere milk of the Word of God, so they can grow thereby.  

He rebuked Christians for not growing as they should have, because they had not studied. Time and again members fall away or are spiritual midgets because they do not eat properly. The bible says that we should meditate on God's word day and night. Children and adults need physical food regularly, and so for spiritual food.

Exercise and walk of faith

Faith without work is dead.  So, we are to practise what we learn from the work immediately.  Simultaneously practice what you preach, what you have discovered in the Word of God and not to postpone it.  Faith is brought alive by our practice of what we discover in the scriptures.

The Word gives instruction unto holiness and to exercise unto godliness.  To understand the bible, you should study it again and again, talk to others, drill yourself, memorize. Get in and dig through the word, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal His word to you.

To learn to pray, do it over and over. Learn to pray and pray daily.

Maturity is a process - Some new-born Christians want to know everything and do everything right away. They start with their human knowledge and gradually as they become Word filled re-arrange their thought and approaches.

Maturity is a gradual process that is only meaningful when you are maturing in the Word and practice of the Word.  When you are living by faith, God, His way and faith in the finished works of Christ comes alive in your heart. Remember that people who may be mature today did not get that way overnight. 

Don't Become Discouraged by Mistakes and Rebukes - Children make many mistakes and must often be told they are wrong. How often does a child fall while learning to walk? They fall again and again, gathering bumps and bruises. Remember that as parents are continually correcting, instructing, and punishing children to correct them, so the Lord corrects the new believer until he matures in the Word and in the Lord.


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