How to become fully mature disciples of Christ
It has been over 20 years since the day the Lord showed me that although I was a Christian and loved Him, I was an immature Christian. I knew the songs, went to church, and even occasionally read the bible, but I also put myself first and still wanted to gratify my own selfish desires. I desired to be mature, but I was lacking fruit. I thank God for His grace and His patience with me.
The good news is, He has that same grace and patience for you, but you must get to the place where you recognize where you are in your journey with God. Sometimes we think we are more mature in the Lord than we are.
In fact, if there is still obvious sin and bondage in your life, you are not yet fully mature. It is time for the American Church to wake up and start prioritizing discipleship. It has been said, the American Church is a mile wide and only an inch deep. I believe this is because we have prioritized comfort over true conversion. We lead people to Christ and get excited that they are born again, but then we do not take the time to disciple these new believers. Instead, we walk away, leaving the teaching and mentorship to the world. Therefore many believers are stuck as baby Christians whom never fully mature in the Lord.
“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12In 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! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
Many years ago, the Lord gave me a….
Checklist of seven immature qualities:
- If you do not Feed Yourself, you are still immature.
- If you are unable to Change Yourself when you are in a mess you are still immature. Disciples do not wear diapers!
- If you cannot Clothe Yourself, you are still immature. We must be clothed in Christ and His character.
- If you are constantly dealing with Jealousy and Arguing you are still immature.
- If you still suck on a Pacifier you are still immature. A pacifier is something other than Christ that you go to for self-comfort.
- If you throw Temper Tantrums you are still immature.
- If you do not Share with others you are still immature.
We should not be discouraged if we are still young in the faith. The bible says in 1 Peter 2:2 (NIV) “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” In fact, whenever I think I am finally fully mature in the Lord, Jesus shows me another area I can grow in and I must decide to take the challenge.
It takes time. The Lord gave me a picture of a lot of the believers in our church. A toddler was trying to walk around in their daddy’s shoes, and they were tripping all over the place. Many people are trying to do more than they are ready to do. I felt like the Lord was saying, “Let them know where they are at so they can grow.”
If you are tired of being a surface Christian and in a perpetual state of toddlerhood and you are ready to mature in the Lord, then I want to share with you another checklist the Lord gave me. If you are ready to go from “Milk to Meat”, then this list will help you grow in Christ, but I also want to remind you that only God can truly mature us.
The scripture says it like this, 1 Corinthians 3:7 (NIV) “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow”.
Checklist of 7 characteristics we need to grow and mature in the Lord:
- Regular Devotional time with the Lord.
- Consistent Prayer life.
- Depend on God through good times and bad.
- Have Godly Character.
- Deny yourself to please God.
- Be Obedient when the Lord speaks.
- Serve and Give.
Friends, it is time to put on our big people pants. It is time to decide that we are ready to go to the next level with Jesus and become fully mature disciples of Christ. This does not mean we will instantly become perfect and never make another mistake, but it does mean we will choose to pick up our cross daily and follow Him. It means we will be done making excuses, done putting our everyday lives before our spiritual well-being. It means we put down the bottle and pick up the bible. We will choose daily to become more like Jesus. If you are up for the challenge, then allow me to leave you with these 3 points of growth:
1. Read the entire New Testament through in 6 months or a year.
2. Find a prayer partner and pray weekly together.
3. Share your testimony with an unsaved friend/family member.
Lord, my prayer today is for everyone reading these words to choose to mature in you. Lead and teach us in your ways Father. Every day let our prayer be, “More of you, less of me.” Thank you, Lord, for who you are and for saving and changing me. Amen.