Ezekiel 8:1-9:11; Hebrews 5:12-14; Psalms 104:31-35; Proverbs 22:22-23
NT: “We have a great deal to say about this, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature — for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:11-14 CSB)
The writer of Hebrews had much more to say about Christ’s heavenly priesthood and what that meant for the believers still living out life on earth, but he was concerned that it would go over their heads and they would not understand it. It was not because of their inability to understand. It was because of their laziness in understanding.
The writer had just explained that Jesus, though the Son of God, had to learn obedience through challenges and suffering. When Jesus was born as a baby, He was not a fully mature adult physically, mentally or spiritually. He had to grow into maturity. He had to progress from drinking milk to eating solid food in order to grow physically. He had apply Himself to learn and meditate on the scriptures in order to grow mentally. He had to practice and apply the word, will and ways of His Father in order to grow spiritually. Growing into maturity requires effort and intentionality – but the Hebrew believers had grown lazy in their understanding, and barely understood the most basic truths of the gospel. If they barely understood the basics of the gospel due to laziness, how could they understand the more difficult and meaty things of God and Christ?
One thing I have noticed in recent days is the laziness among professing believers to fully understand the word, will, ways and works of God, and all the benefits that we have through faith in Christ. Many believers have a shaky-at-best and incomplete understanding of the basic gospel message. If they don’t understand the gospel, how can they effectively share the gospel, much less disciple others in the things of God and Christ? The lack of understanding is not because of an inability to understand. It is because of an unwillingness to do the work to understand. Instead of spending time in the word of God – investigating, meditating, applying and exercising what it says, many are content to live on short sound bytes and small quotes taken out of context. Because they don’t know what God’s word says, they have a hard time discerning between good and evil, right and wrong, righteousness and unrighteousness, and are easily swept up in the current of the world culture.
After a baby is born, the parents of that baby are very intentional in seeing that baby progress from nursing and living on milk to feeding themselves and eating solid foods. If the baby is slow in progressing, they become concerned and seek out help in order to see their child grow into maturity. The same should be true of us spiritually. It is wonderful for a person to come to faith in Christ, but if we leave them to live as spiritual infants for the rest of their lives, that is not so wonderful. Let us put away our laziness in spiritual growth and learn to live on solid food and grow in spiritual maturity.
Psalms: “May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works. He looks at the earth, and it trembles; he touches the mountains, and they pour out smoke. I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him; I will rejoice in the Lord. May sinners vanish from the earth and wicked people be no more. My soul, bless the Lord! Hallelujah!” (Psalms 104:31-35 CSB)
Psalm 104 is a magnificent and beautiful ode to God the Creator and Sustainer of all life. The psalm begins with the author saying to himself, “Bless the Lord, my soul!” because of the majesty and splendor of Creator God. In order to fully and properly bless God, effort and intentionality – a setting of the will is required. The psalmist could allow himself to grow apathetic about the wonders of creation and take the goodness and greatness of God for granted. He could allow himself to grow lazy in his praise – but then he would miss out on understanding, knowledge and wisdom, and all the other blessings that are found in living humbly submitted under the rule and reign of the Creator. So instead of giving into laziness and apathy, He ended this psalm with intention: “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live. May my meditation be pleasing to Him; I will rejoice in the Lord… Bless the Lord, oh my soul! Hallelujah!”
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for all that You have done and provided for me. I also thank You that You have also given me Your Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth and teach me the things that I need to know and understand about what You have done and provided for me. However, I must set my will to understand and grow in the things of Your kingdom in order to become one of Your mature disciples. Help me to slough off laziness and apply myself to investigating, meditating, applying and exercising Your word, will and ways. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.