“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14
Have you ever put off doing something you knew you should do, but it was just so much easier letting someone else who was already proficient at doing it fill in where you didn't want to go? I have. For the longest time I have felt this way about using a gun. My husband and sons are very good at shooting so I fell into the mindset that as long as they all knew how to shoot, then I could just let them do it for me. But a few weeks ago I was finally talked into learning how to shoot for myself.
Now that I find myself on the other side of this learning curve, unfortunately just like many others I realize I have avoided tackling because it was much easier to lean on the knowledge and wisdom of others instead of taking time to learn the skill myself, I am very happy I have taken the time to learn, grow, and become more equipped to handle what life may throw my way.
As I was thinking about this newest hurdle I have braved to learn how to jump over. The above verse from Hebrews really struck me as to how much our spiritual lives can fall into the same mode of thinking when we look at learning spiritual principles and disciplines in the same manner. It is really easy I think at times to just say, “I will let others (my pastor, the elders, the bible study leaders, etc.) do the spiritual learning and the searching for me, because it just seems to hard for me to do this on my own.”
The problem with individuals approaching their spiritual life in the same way I did in learning to shoot, is that in not pushing to learn and grow, people leave open and vulnerable places in their lives where an attack may happen. And, without the aid of another person these individuals will soon find themselves defenseless. For me, I left myself open to be physically vulnerable, or at least my animals as they were this past Thursday when we had a coyote run through our property in broad daylight and scare our livestock as it tried to figure out how to make them his lunch. (Fortunately this time I was able to depend on my 15 year-old son to remove the threat, but that may not always be an option in the future.) But we all stand in places spiritually where we are vulnerable to Satan, who stands at the ready to pounce on us where our defenses are weak. We really have no excuse to keep relying on the abilities of others when we ourselves have the capability to hone our skills, get beyond our limited mindsets, and will ourselves to step out into some uncharted territory.
Have you been holding back from learning new spiritual principals on your own or in developing a new spiritual discipline? Is your reason for holding back valid in the sight of the Lord, or for some reason do you just not feel the need to push out of your comfort area and do what you know you need to do? There is no better time to start doing what you know needs to be done, so make it a promise to yourself and God today that you will stop avoiding the new things in your life that God is asking you to try learning for your own spiritual growth and security.