I have been thinking lately about what helps us to grow spiritually, to develop that maturity and appetite for the “meat” of the Word and not only for “milk.” The book of Hebrews explains, “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (5:14).
Notice the words “practice” and “trained.” This is our part! We put what God teaches us through His Word into practice and in doing so, we train ourselves to distinguish between good and evil. Unfortunately, there is a major problem: we are easily deceived. Evil is so often called good, and good is called evil these days, just as in the days of Isaiah:
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
Have you experienced this in your life? Do people that you work with call evil good and good evil? What about your family? Friends? Other people you are around regularly? There are so many influences we encounter -- sometimes daily -- that we have little control over.
But what about intentional input; things we choose to put into our lives?
What you put into your your mind eventually influences your heart (perspectives, attitudes, desires, thoughts, etc.). If we are not careful about our own intentional influences, we may unintentionally consider evil good, and good evil! Consider what influences you are intentionally allowing into your life through what you:
- Watch (TV, movies, Internet)
- Listen to (music, teaching, movies)
- Look at (Online, magazines)
- Read (books, websites, articles)
Are you training your senses to discern good and evil? Are you putting things into your mind and heart that are against God and His holiness? Are you accepting whatever ideas and teaching that sounds good or popular? (I ask myself these same questions!) We even have to beware of so-called “Christian” material and teaching, and be like the Bereans, who searched the Scriptures daily to see whether the things they learned from the apostle Paul (and Silas) were accurate (Acts 17:11). If they were examining the truth of Paul’s teaching, certainly we have a responsibility to do so concerning today’s teachers of God’s Word!
If you have taken a moment to examine your choice of input and realize that something needs to change, how will you do it?
Filling your mind with the things of God will turn your focus upward and help you develop spiritual maturity. You will long for the meat of God’s Word, and not be satisfied by milk only. Such an appetite for God Himself will never be satiated -- and that hunger is good!